As some may know, I am a fan of the Blue Zones. If you don’t know about them, check them out, they’re really interesting. As you may also know, I don’t believe anything to be 100% accurate, flaws creep into everything we humans do. Still, I find it an inspiring source. Therefore I regularly check what the Blue Zones people are up to. I have recently come across another article of theirs, in which they said you should get a dog to live longer; I somehow doubt that they had just any dog in mind, and definitely not ours. Ours is probably in the purgatory of longer-living-inducing qualities.
I’ve mentioned before that Puppy (no, that’s not her real name) is somewhat of a trouble-maker. We have come to understand that she doesn’t appreciate being on a leash and misbehaves more when this is the case. But a sprinting-without-notice kind of dog cannot be let loose in the street, only in a park, forest, or some sort of empty place with no cars. And the sprinting happens with every dog she spots, no matter how close or far. So for better or worse (for worse, definitely for worse), she needs to be on a leash when we go out. This, however, drastically diminishes her longevity-granting powers. If you have ever walked a dog that barks and jumps and growls at everything that moves, then you know this can get seriously annoying. Needless to say, you won’t want the walks to last forever. But if you also have to push a pram and sometimes drag a resenting toddler at the same time, you see how this may become a longevity-reducing kind of companion.
Still, we have not given up hope. Yet. The reason for this is that she has a funny kind of character that reminds us of both our kids. She has some baby traits, and she has some toddler traits. She makes the same face as Kid 2 when she smells or sees us close to her food or puppy cookies. Yeah, they’re both kind of greedy, and while Kid 2 has managed to somewhat say “neom-neom” when he sees us with food, Puppy’s face simply screams at you “cookie! cookie! cookie! COOKIE!” One of my favourite silly thing she’s done so far was one ordinary afternoon when she was trying to chew on her favourite treats in the house, Kid 1’s stuff. For some reason, his stuff is the tastiest and chewiest ever. Especially his Batman slippers. So she was going for his shoes in the hallway and I saw her just in time, so I said in my motherly stern voice “Puppy!” She had not realised I had come into the room (I can sneak really well, and I’m the only one in the house who can do that). So she jumped when she heard me, and immediately let the shoe go, lifted her paw and started to chew at it fervently, giving me a look saying “this is what I was doing all along, I’m a good dog”. This is what Kid 1 does too, I observe him for a few long seconds doing something naughty, then I sternly call him, he jumps and pretends he was doing something completely different. He actually says sometimes “I wasn’t doing anything, I’m a good boy”.
Things like that make Puppy very endearing to us. And that is why she is still allowed indoors and we haven’t kicked her out, tempting as that may be on a particularly rotten day. Either way, you may be wondering what any of this has to do with Holy Cake Day, and that’s a legitimate question. Holy Cake Day is about three things: nature; community; cake. The way I see it, Puppy is connecting us to nature every day. She is an excuse to go out, and an urgent provocation to learn about another species, another way of communicating and interacting, and another way of connecting. Never mind that so far we have managed to scare a few neighbourhood dogs and annoy some dog owners, we will make Puppy part of the community! And when that happens (hopefully sooner rather than later), we will have cake to celebrate! I doubt I’ll start making puppy cakes anytime soon though…