The book Peanut Butter Dogs, Photographs by Greg Murray, is the best thing to cross my desk in ages. We now know that the ingredients for a giggling, smiling, heart-warming laugh fest are: 1. Dogs (80% of the dogs in the book were adopted from shelters or rescues). 2. Peanut butter. 3. A great photographer.
The inspiration for this book came from Greg’s dog Bailey, a Mastiff rescued from a tough life, underweight and frightened of the world. But Greg gave her love and care, and she lived a life of “joy and adventure” until her untimely death at two and a half years of age. While Bailey was alive, Greg happened to take an amusing photo of Bailey slurping peanut butter off of her face. An enlarged photograph of that image greets visitors to the house, each of whom begins smiling when they see it. Their reactions led Greg to photograph 150 dogs, all dealing with peanut butter as best they can, with nothing but tongues for napkins. Besides hoping to make us all smile, if not break into delighted laughter, he is also committed to inspiring more people to give homeless dogs a chance. No wonder I love this book so much. (I would add that there are lots of ways to help dogs find forever homes besides adopting one yourself. See here for more information about assisting shelters and rescues in their quest to find families for homeless dogs.)
After paging through Peanut Butter Dogs it’s just about impossible not to turn and look at your own dogs. As it happens, Willie is in the office while I’m writing this, and so is some almond butter . . . How could I resist? (Lessons learned: 1) Almond butter is really gooey. Willie will be getting a bath tonight. 2) Trying to get your own photograph is yet another way to laugh so hard you get tears in your eyes.)
CAUTION: Some peanut butters now contain Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Very toxic. So don’t give your dog any before carefully checking the ingredients. Thank you alert readers who reminded me of this important cautionary note.
What about you? What can your dog do that is a guaranteed laugh for you? Are you inspired to take peanut butter photos? (If so, be cautious, some dogs might be allergic, and be sure they don’t get too much.)
MEANWHILE, back on the farm: Is it possible to have had a more perfect spring weekend? Sunday’s weather was manna from the gods–mid 60’s and sunny, with the daffodils waving in a light breeze. Jim and I took the BCs on a beautiful walk in a county park full of blooming spring prairie plants. Here’s one of my favorites, Pasque flower.
Best of all, Maggie got to be off leash for five entire minutes. Be still my heart. I’d give a body part to have a video of her face when she realized that she was really free. Her joyful expression, as she began leaping and bounding toward us, makes my heart swell as I write this. Even better, there was no sign of any lameness afterward. Now we can begin to slowly bring her back up into shape, all the while watching to be sure that her knee is truly healed.
On Sunday we continued a long tradition of dyeing eggs with dear friends D & J, and then going on an Easter egg hunt. Two of us hid the 16 dyed eggs for the other two to find, and then we reversed and the hiders became the hunters. The perfect weather begged for us to have our hunt outside, and so we spent a wonderful hour in the sun and the breeze, listening to the calls of courting Chickadees and Tufted Titmice while hunting and hiding colorful eggs. That night, the dogs feasted on hard-boiled eggs added to their dinners. A perfect weekend all around. I hope yours was good too.