more than one true dog

It’s strangely serendipitous that when you turn the word god on its head you wind up with a dog.

After all, isn’t what many of us find wanting in the case for the creator: some solid, furry evidence.

At the risk of sounding like a dog-botherer, there are times when it might serve us all to be a little more dog-like – not so much in matters of faith and hope, but expressions of joy.

This is not to be confused with happiness. Happiness – like its cousins contentment and satisfaction – is a much more restrained and highly individualised state. You can measure happiness. Australia’s Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten argues happiness is the key to boosting productivity in the country’s workforce. Happiness is the new buzzword in the HR departments of institutions like RMIT. But can academics really expect to find joy in RMIT’S new “Behavioural Capability Framework”?

Moments of true joyfulness are rare in adult life because with age we seem to lose the ability to live fully in the moment. We are generally too mindful to abandon ourselves completely, at least without the aid of drugs.

But we can still recognise pure joy when we see it in dogs and small children.

When the poodle-cross hits the beach she is completely beside herself. Maddened by delight she’s running, barking, digging, jumping and dashing back to bite our feet all at once.

She radiates the same gleeful feeling as she sticks her head out the car window ears streaming in the wind as we hurtle headlong into a new day.

And with a dog as your witness what’s not too enjoy?

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