Pets can light up our lives

Lola and Charlie are our sweet, happy 30-pound Cockapoos.

Lola and Charlie are our sweet, happy 30-pound Cockapoos. I realize they are fully grown adult dogs and no longer puppies, but they still act like the hilariously excitable baby beasts we welcomed into our home almost five years ago, so I still refer to them as pups.

The brother and sister act have long been housetrained, and they now come when they’re called – unless the bird, cat or dog they’re talking to outside is too intriguing to resist – but in other ways, they haven’t changed at all.

When one of us humans wake up for a midnight tinkle, they awaken as well, ready to play. When someone takes the lid off the canine cookie jar, they come sprinting in like they’ve been starving for weeks. And when we walk through the front door, even if we’ve only been gone for a minute, they wiggle their bums and wag their tails so vigorously you can’t help but feel loved and appreciated.

Actually, loved and appreciated is putting it too mildly. Worshipped like a goddess would be a more accurate description of how I feel when they greet me. Wherever I go, Lola and Charlie are right at my feet – unless they’re playing with the kids or the husband’s home. If the big guy’s around, they barely notice the rest of us since they’re so head over heels in love with him.

Car rides are the real kicker, though. It doesn’t matter where we’re taking them, they freak out like loud, spastic toddlers hyped up on sugar, about to enter Disneyland. And every week or two, that’s kind of how a car ride ends up when we drop them off at doggy daycare so they can play with their furry friends.

I’m not completely clear on what they do all day, but it’s definitely their version of dog utopia. Just pulling up to that place sets them into a complete tizzy as they bounce around the car yelping and whimpering with delight. And as soon as they see the owner of Charly’s Cottage Kennels walking out to greet us, they lose their little puppy dog minds.

At the end of the day Charly will tell us who Lola and Charlie played with as they run circles around my car and jump in for the ride home. “We had a wonderful time,” she’ll tell us. No kidding, I’ll think. They look like they’ve been riding roller coasters all day.

If I’ve ever known someone who’s ridiculously well suited for their job, Charly is it. She absolutely adores dogs and they completely idolize her. Every time I leave our pups at her kennel, I know they’re going to come home elated and exhausted.

And I love it when they do. Cuddling them is always fulfilling, but in their tuckered out state it’s utter bliss. It seems like they’re reliving the memories of their day through their dreams as they twitch, moan, and even swish their tails in their sleep.

But as tired and zonked out as they get, it only takes a second for them to be fully awake and overflowing with joyful puppy-power again.

If I could bottle their energy and pop it like a vitamin, I certainly would.

But just being witness to their zest for life brings more zip and zeal to mine, and for that, I am doggone grateful.