Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happiness Lessons From Golden Retrievers

I have a soft spot for golden retrievers. Could be related to the two I live with, Jake and Madison, who are 3 years old and such wonderful companions. They are always in a good mood, happy to see me and the rest of the family. I just never considered before how much they have taught all of us about leading a happy life, until I recently read Dean Koontz's new book, "A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog"(Hyperion Press,2009).

Dean Koontz is the author of more than twenty #1 New York Times bestsellers, usually fiction. Here lives and writes here in Orange County, California. This gem of a book, however, is about Trixie, his beloved golden retriever, who he had for ten of her years after adopting her when she wasn't able to coninue her training to become a service dog, due to some elbow surgery.

"A Big Little Life" is full of wonderful and wise insights about what Trixie taught Dean and his wife, Gerda, about life, love, and happiness. As Koontz shares, "Trixie didn't need a new Ferrari or a week in Vegas to know joy. For her, bliss was a belly rub, a walk on a sunny day--or in the rain for that matter-- an extra cookie when it wasn't expected, a cuddle, a kind word. She lived to love and receive love, which is the condition of angels".

I loved the writers' tender relections about how Trixie taught them so much. She loved home, and her toys. She liked her walks and mealtimes to be the predictable security in her day. Trixie was curious about nature and people. She only asserted herself when it was necessary, with a bully. She sized people up right away, and Koontz observes that she was usually right. If Trixie didn't like somebody, best to give them up. Trixie wasn't jealous, didn't covet or deceive. Trixie remembered kindnesses and the people who showed them. She loved to play.

Koontz reflects on how Trixie insisted they shorten their work day to 5:00 or 5:30, because Trixie liked having a balanced life with her Mom and Dad, and she preferred they not be compulsive about work. Trixie required Dean and Gerda to learn to take breaks.There is a beautiful and tender quality as Koontz expains how they learned to be totally present with her, listen to her, and understand her. Trixie was grateful for her home with Dean and Gerda koontz, and enjoyed the simple things in life with great deliciousness and delight.

I would recommend this sweet book for any animal lovers, Dean Koontz fans, and everyone who chases happiness. Trixie Koontz also authored several children's books(as told to Dean Koontz),with proceeds going to CCI, Canine Companions for Independence, here in Oceanside, California, where Trixie was trained. Have a happy week, and enjoy the little things. Trixie would have liked it that way.

No comments:

Post a Comment