credit: Carol Schatz Papper

Today I’m Just So Damn Jealous of My Dog. Aren’t you?

By Carol Schatz Papper

Each day brings such wretched news for proponents of love, equality, journalism, climate progress and peace that I can barely stand it. Today I looked at the unruffled fur of my small dog and was struck with a Nasty thought. I’m jealous.

My dog has the IQ of a toddler. She knows quite a few words, but hasn’t mastered complex thought. Therefore life is simple.

Wouldn’t you want to be someone who thinks a wall is just for peeing on?

When I feel exhausted, I look into her soulful eyes and wish we could swap places like in a Disney movie. I can find a lot of reasons:

  1. She has everything she needs and more. But unlike the super-wealthy in Silicon Valley and Connecticut, she’s not dreading doomsday and going bonkers for bunkers. She’s not enraged they’re pursuing underground silo condos in lieu of social solutions. Honestly, she doesn’t even read The New Yorker.
  2. She’s so loyal. All this year my dog has never talked once about moving to Canada or, unlike some, obtaining citizenship in that suddenly trendy country, New Zealand. Even though she likes to eat grass and looks a lot like a tiny sheep!
  3. Speaking of wool, my dog has thick, lustrous hair, even at the ripe old age of 10.5 dog years (75 in human). No $60,000 weave here! People often stop her on the street to comment on how beautiful her hair looks. That’s how great it is. Not to get personal, but how often does that happen to you?
  4. This girl doesn’t hold back from “talking while female.” She barks at anything she damn well wants to. No matter how often I tell her to shush, if the spirit moves her she speaks right up. Lean in? She’s a pro, especially if I’m eating cheese.
  5. My dog loves parks, but she could care less about crowd-size. She can see the forest AND the trees. More things to pee on.
  6. Her Down Dog is so effortless it brings tears to my eyes. She can lie on the floor with her legs and hips completely splayed, exactly like a bear rug. She can sleep on her back, with her arms and legs IN THE AIR and her head twisted to one side. Why can’t I do that? How fast can you get up from your back? I bet she’s faster.
  7. My dog has so many friends! She walks with a pack of them everyday. A pack! Talk about popularity. Experts say that the happiest people are the most social. Did I mention how diverse her friend group is? They’re white and black, small and large, hairy and furred. They wait turns patiently and get along splendidly.
  8. She is social, but not Social. She doesn’t blog or curate. Her kibble bowl is not on Instagram. She’s not Snapchatting her street finds. She doesn’t like to stare at screens. Staring out the window–or at me with love–seems enough for her. My dog doesn’t want to be a Brand.
  9. Did I mention the sleeping thing? My God, my dog sleeps a lot. Like half the day a lot! In fact, while I write this, she gets to sleep! Who wouldn’t be jealous of that? And she can sleep anywhere! Who needs a $27,000+ swedish mattress when a sneaker is your pillow? Not my dog!
  10. If my dog could write, she wouldn’t need a gratitude journal to boost her mood. She prefers to lick her gratitude. She’s so grateful that I have to tell her that’s enough. Enough with the licking. Enough with the gratitude. I’m the one who’s grateful. I’m just grateful she’s my dog.

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