To my way of thinking, yesterday was the quintessential fall day here in my neck of the woods.

Acres of blue sky overhead, warm sun on my shoulders, and trees, grasses and leaves all burnished to a rich golden sheen.

We were hanging out waiting for the farrier, which in the horse world is a common experience. Bud and Pepper were gleaning hay, (more about that on Monday) Rick was eating his lunch, and I was grooving on the gloriousness of the afternoon. It was a perfect day to be waiting.

For anything.

At one point we noticed movement in the pond and saw Tucker, a young golden retriever that lives on the property. He was also obviously grooving on the weather. Turns out he was after his tennis ball, which had mysteriously ended up in the pond.

And being a retriever, he splashed around until he found it.

Then with his green tennis ball in his mouth and green pond slime on his coat, he emerged.

Tail wagging, pride etched across his young face.

He dropped the soggy ball at my feet and looked up at me.

“Wanna play ball?”

Who could refuse this enthusiastic invitation? Unfortunately for Tucker, I can’t throw for beans. But I picked up the ball and gave it my best try. He ran after it and returned immediately. This time he wisely presented the ball to Rick.

“Wanna play ball?”

By this time, Rick had finished eating. He picked up the green tennis ball and gave it a healthy throw. Tucker was off like a bullet.

They carried out this little interaction for a long time. Let me just say that Tucker was not the first to tire of the game.

He loved it when Rick would throw the ball into the water. In he’d go, splashing all round. He always found the ball.


A couple of times, the ball took a mistaken turn into a nearby corral, complete with horses.

That proved to be a bit of a challenge for Tucker. He’d walk the fence line, searching for an opening into the corral. He stood in pointer-stance, tail out and front leg raised, just, I think, to remind himself that he was indeed a retriever and could meet this challenge. Ultimately, the first time he found the way in by himself, got the ball and cautiously walked among the horses to the exit. Dogs that live around horses learn early to be careful around those back legs.

The second time the ball ended up in the corral, Tucker couldn’t remember where the opening was. He walked up and down the fence line, never making it to the way in. I think he was getting tired.

I could relate.

When I’m tired I don’t think so well, either.

This time Rick helped.

What are friends for if they can’t lend a hand when you need one?


I offer this story, not because it is unusual or profound. People who live with dogs experience something like this most days.

I offer it because of its simplicity.

For a couple of hours in the middle of our work day, we let go of the computer problems, personnel issues, deadlines, stress, and all the other things that make up our work world.

 We found ourselves in the presence of a genuine joy wizard – a happiness magnet, and we yielded completely to his wisdom. Tucker took us on a mini-vacation. We laughed, relaxed and allowed ourselves to simply be in the moment with this golden magnet of joy.

I came away refreshed and lighter.

Think about it.

Who are your joy wizards?

Wouldn’t it be nice to spend some time with them this weekend?