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Got a Happy Story is a community gathering every Monday night where we share stories large and small that have put a smile on our face. The Happy Story diary exists as a way to anchor the community in hope and comfort while we do the hard work of maintaining a permanent Democratic majority.  Everyone and all sorts of stories and pictures are welcome. Consider this an open thread.

Gotta say, not much happy going on around here.  You have to take it where you can find it.  Fortunately, it found me yesterday.

Along with many of you, we had our first heavy snowfall this weekend.  And my one-year-old puppy hadn't seen snow before.  His de facto older brother (12), however, is a born snow dog.  I knew he'd be happy and energetic.  But how would my young hyperactive pup react?  He's a bit skittish, apparently having had a hard start in life, so I wasn't sure what effect all that cold white stuff on the ground would have on him.

When about an inch and a half had fallen, I took the boys outside.  Big Brother was thrilled.  He'd already perked up at the cooler weather, what with wearing a heavy coat all through the warmer seasons.  He made his ritual offering of gratitude to the Great Gods of the Arctic by rubbing his face in the snow for a good long while, then flopping onto his side and rolling around on his back.

But Junior stood on the porch steps completely nonplussed.  Staring.  Taut and nervous.  When simple encouragement didn't work, I used the only option left to me.

I shoved him off the porch.

He landed on all four paws at once, and stood there for a moment, then dipped his nose into the mysterious stuff... and immediately leapt up, shaking his head in shock.  Well, he'd gotten the first and most essential bit of information: snow is cold.

But sometimes one test isn't enough.  You have to make sure it wasn't a fluke.  So he stuck his nose in it again.  Same reaction.  Up in the air, shaking his head.  And... again.  Moved to another spot.  Same test, same reaction.  And... again.

This went on for a good five minutes.  And I was getting cold.  So I brought him over to one of the two trees in my front yard, and suddenly it dawned on him: this was his same old home turf -- it just had this funny cold white stuff all over it.

Satisfied we hadn't been transported to a strange planet (Hoth??), he did what we'd gone out for him to do, and then returned to the reassuring wooden-floor-with-no-cold-white-stuff of the house.  A short while later Big Brother returned, happy and full of snow.

So it looked like things would be fine.  Except that when I took the boys out for their final business of the night after midnight, there was eight or nine inches on the ground, and Junior was absolutely terrified.  He's always been a little extra nervous outside at night, jumping and barking at every sound, but this was beyond that hyper-alert state.  This was panic.  All he wanted was to get back inside.  He nervously moved between his brother and me, never wanting to get too far, but when he saw that there was nowhere to go that didn't have a bitterly cold pile of white powder on it, he tried to drag me back up the porch steps and into the house.  It was only by being even more stubborn than he that I finally got him to empty his bladder before coming in for the night.

For a good long while, I stared at the ceiling instead of sleeping, wondering how he'd survive the winter if he was so frightened.  How I'd survive it -- my favorite time of year, and Big Brother's, hampered by a frightened sixty-pound dog.  All I could hope for was that in daylight he'd feel more reassured by the visibility of all his familiar landmarks.

Both my dogs sleep late.  Teenager late.  Like 11:30, noon, twelve-thirty late.  I don't know how I got so lucky, but there it is.  They lie around like flotsam and jetsam, snoozing away the morning while I have a nice, quiet, uninterrupted time of things.

On Sunday, it just meant I had that much more time to worry.

Finally, the dogs were up and wanting to go out, and with heavy dread I put Junior on his twenty-five-foot tether ( because he still won't come when called), and waited to see what would happen in the clear light of day.

And, well... this is what happened.

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And when Big Brother was worn out...

 title=
                                         
                                       
...Junior expended a little more energy running your basic hither and yon patterns:
                                     

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While Big Brother napped for a bit...
                                         
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When he was good and breathless, Junior headed back to Big Brother --
                                       
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And settled in for a rest in the snow:
                                           
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And finally, Junior spontaneously posed by the holly bush to wish you all a very happy holiday:
                                 

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**************************************************
                                             

Do you have a happy story to tell us tonight?  Please go right ahead.  We love when that happens.

Originally posted to Yasuragi on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 05:32 PM PST.

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