I hate mornings. I really do. This whole “having to get up and be an adult” gig is just not my thing.
Enter Petra, my adorable morning loving dog. She has an almost annoyingly happy morning persona. If she was human, I’d avoid her until noon. Or drown her in a cup of coffee, lock her in the supply closet, duct tape her mouth shut; you get the point. I hate perky, annoying morning people.
Petra wasn’t always a shot of energy in the morning. When I rescued her two and a half years ago from our local shelter, she had been abused and neglected. At age six, she was terrified of everything and everyone. She was painfully thin, and afraid of loud sounds or even sudden movements; it was as if she was always waiting for the worst to happen to her. My heart breaks to think what she went through before becoming comfortably ensconced in our household.
After showing this little Chihuahua the love and respect she deserves, she now knows she is safe. No longer afraid, this tiny giant of a lovebug is comfortable in her surroundings and loves us as much as we love her. Petra has blossomed under our care and is a completely different dog. Every day finds her happy to be alive and with us, safe and warm. I know how this must sound and believe me, I’m not trying to “toot my own horn” in the animal care department so much as adequately describe just how annoyingly adorable this dog truly is. She really is just happy to wake up each morning, still here, and shows it.
Now, every couple has their differences. I get it. I really do. But Petra is my polar opposite in the morning. While I groggily throw shoes at the alarm clock, this petite dynamo seems to just pop out of the covers, every hair in place, with a big welcoming smile on her doggie face. Apart from her morning breath (which is also her afternoon and evening breath, but I digress), she is ready to face the world. Her little tail wags a mile a minute, and seriously, I have tried to figure out a way to use that wagging tail to stir my coffee. So far, my only reward for that invention is a coffee cup full of hair. I don’t think I’ve ever met a human that is so happy to be alive and so eager to greet the day. But this dog has got it covered.
I guess she can’t read my “I Hate Mornings” coffee mug, although I have tried to translate it for her. In sooo many ways I’ve tried to translate it for her. I suspect she just doesn’t care. Petra doesn’t wake me up, she is way too smart for that. She doesn’t try to push me out of bed either. If I stay in bed, she stays in bed. She just stays burrowed under the covers next to me until she feels me stir in that “okay, fine, I can’t avoid it any longer and I have to get up now even though I don’t want to” kind of way. Then, all bets are off.
Bouncing out of bed as if it were a trampoline, my tiny giant is a circle in motion, enthusiastic, tail wagging, smiling bundle of boundless energy. She is that annoying barista at Starbucks who insists you must pay attention to her as she writes your name on your cup. “How is your morning?” Ms. Barista breezes at you, smile plastered on her face as you blink at her in confusion. “Nice weather, isn’t it?” Your brain screams “Shut up! Just make the coffee!” but your mouth freezes into the fake smile as you nod and snatch your cup from her overly eager hands.
Petra could be that barista, hands down. Except for one thing.
No barista was ever this cute. And engaging. And infectiously happy. I can’t help it; I want to be annoyed, I try to be annoyed, but I just can’t. Instead, her exuberance rubs off on me and I end up smiling myself, like the fool I am.
I’d be a millionaire if I could figure out how to bottle that energy and sell it. Or, I’d selfishly keep it and sip on it when the cable guy says he’ll be there “between 7am and 8pm.” One sip, and I’d have the laundry and the housework done in half an hour.
Still, as I brew my coffee and look at my petite dynamo of a dog, I’m glad that her happiness is contagious. I’m glad she’s happy, period. I can’t help but smile at her, no matter how early it is.
The amazing thing is, she always, always smiles back.