Saturday, January 15, 2011

Be happy

WHEN Happy Pup barreled into me and greeted me like a long-absent
friend, even though it was our first time to smell each other, his
mistress, S., told this anecdote to explain how such a short-legged
fellow came to trail around not just one but two impressively extended

The dachshund greets everyone, two- or four-legged, who walks in this
Badian retreat. Without even barking a sales spiel, he always gets
them to stay for a day or more after he sort of caroms into view, a
brown flurry of flapping ears, wet leathery tongue and sticky doggy

Such an exuberant welcome always wrings out the inevitable
reaction: “What a happy pup!”

Although meant as praise, the name does not give full credit to
this fine fellow. When he lost his puppy fat and was ready to be the
man, Happy Pup learned that nature does not always nurture exuberance.
All the ladies he was hopping ready to pay attention to was, due to
the unequal distribution of height, one hop too high for him.

After observing Happy Pup’s frustrations in the war of rising
but unmet expectations, one admirer offered to send an assistant from
his veterinary clinic to hold Happy Pup so he could, finally, see
“eye-to-eye” with a certain long-legged neighbor he admired only from
a distance.

S. found the offer solicitous but ludicrous. They always find
a way, she said.

And he did. When the tawny-coated Labrador lay down, Happy Pup
finally presented his case,a horizontal blitzkrieg that was greeted by
S.’s grandchild declaring, “Look, Happy Pup is now Happy Dad”.

If you find yourself in Badian and get drawn to a row of quiet huts
under towering Talisay trees, expect a whirling, tumbling mixup of too
long ears and scrambling paws to catapult into you and knock you off
your feet.

If you want to make a friend for life, you’ll squat and rub his
tummy, pick a few ticks, outgrin futilely what seems to be the most
generous propensity to live up to one’s name.

Happy—that’s what I decided to call him—can only be called off by
tossing for him to fetch any of the round, wave-smoothened stones on
the beach. He chews them like a bone, and leaves them lying around, an
expansive sand mosaic littered with happiness.

If we can’t be like Happy, folks, remember the Horizontal Maneuver.

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