Do you miss words that people rarely use anymore? I do.
And “delight” is the word at the top of my list. When was the last time you heard anyone describe something as delightful?
Cynics Don’t Show Delight
Cynical people don’t find anything delightful. But dogs are not cynics. They delight in many things:
- a tasty morsel hiding in the carpet
- rotting fish by the side of a lake
- that ball that suddenly appears after collecting dust under the couch
- scratches in just the right spot
- and, if that dog is Honey, a foot of snow to roll around in
When people see their dogs frolicking with their newly found ball or grinning while they receive a belly rub, they describe them as goofy, silly, or lovable. But I think they’re showing delight.
Children Express Delight
People, unlike dogs, outgrow delight. But young kids are almost as good at expressing it as dogs are.
Maybe the key to rediscovering delight is to go back to childhood.
Do you remember when snow meant time off from school and sledding? How excited you got when you mom made your favorite dinner? Getting silly Valentine’s cards from your classmates?
My husband expresses delight when we watch Mary Poppins. He actually gets giddy watching Dick Van Dyke dancing with animated penguins or when dozens of black-clad nannies blow away in the wind. Mary Poppins is, to my husband, delightful. It’s pretty irresistible to watch him being delighted by the movie. Every. Time. He. Watches. It.
You might even call it delightful.
When I was a child, I found little to delight in.
I grew up reading P.L. Traver’s Mary Poppins tales. Her nanny wasn’t cheerful and rosy-cheeked.
I was terribly disappointed when I visited Walt Disney World at ten years old. I couldn’t believe that Cinderella’s castle was just a cheap facade to house a gift shop. No delight there.
But I do remember small moments of delight, mostly time spent with my dog, Duchess, or reading in my room. Come to think of it, Honey and reading are the most delightful aspects of my current life.
Be Delighted With Your Dog
Maybe it’s not just the word “delight” we need to bring back. It’s the whole concept.
With winter dragging on for those of us in the snow belt (which now apparently includes the Carolinas), we could all use a little delight. Luckily, we all have delightful teachers.
Watch your dog (and your cat) for signs of delight. And see if you can recover a little of it yourself.
And if you can’t find yourself getting all excited by a spitty tennis ball or a pee stain in the snow, try to uncover delight by enjoying how delighted your dog is with those things. Like me watching Mike enjoy Mary Poppins, it may be delight one step removed. But it’s still delightful.
And it’s good for your dog and for you to be delighted.
Your Turn: Do you like the word delight? What do you and your dog find delightful?