He likes his sweaters tight.
Anyone who witnessed Dougal barking and charging at an overturned flowerpot this morning understands he’s probably not on the short list for doggie MENSA. However, he has the best attitude about life. He’s always happy. Seriously. He is always happy. Since happiness often feels like a tall order, I’ve been observing Dougal and chronicling his approach to life in hopes it will help all of us ignite our inner Dougal-ness.
• Affection is the best weapon. Dougal knows the power of persistent, aggressive affection to make the angry soften, the cranky smile, and the treat-stingy head for the jar. As hard as it is to eat, pay bills, or talk on the phone when he’s constantly sneaking onto my lap and nuzzling my neck, it’s impossible to resist him. He’s just so darn snuggly! Gets me every time.
Dougal was all smiles after our long trail run.
• Confidence is everything. All of Dougal’s sweaters are skintight because his body type doesn’t exactly conform to the traditional proportions of dog clothes. He’s a bit too short in the torso and a bit long in the waistband (more George Costanza than David Beckham). But, he doesn’t let it bother him. He loves his sweaters, even the tight ones, and that confidence makes him even more adorable than all those skinny model dogs.
• If no one’s paying attention, bark louder. A small woowoo can, within a few minutes, become a full-on, cover your ears, WOOOWOOO if Dougal thinks he’s being ignored. He has needs and he’s not shy about making them known. He may not speak English, but he’s the best communicator I know. Barley and I always know where he stands on the important issues.
• Do your best. Dougal desperately wants to run with the biggest dogs at the dog park. Unfortunately, he’s small, slow, and prone to being run over. Still, he keeps trying (barking progressively louder, the further behind he gets). He has the spirit of a champion and he doesn’t accept his own limitations. He just keeps chasing.
For Dougal, it all comes down to attitude. He is a chubby, cuddly, persistent ball of happy and it’s truly contagious. No day ends badly when there’s a Dougal in your house. Even Barley, who can be a bit cranky, is powerless against him. Crabbiness doesn’t stand a chance.