By Dean R. Koontz
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Extra resources for A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie
Eleven of the dogs sit erect, in stately poses, chests out, heads raised, each holding the end of its leash in its mouth as proof of its high degree of learning. The twelfth dog sits with legs akimbo, grinning, head cocked, a comic portrait of a clownish canine, ready for fun. This obvious free spirit is Trixie. A trainer told us that when Trixie and her classmates were being taught the stay command, Trixie learned it quicker than the rest. At that point, further lessons on the same subject became a chance for her to have fun.
The breed has a huge amount of energy and always likes to be doing something. A golden retriever, however, is playful and energetic when it wants to be, but is also happy just lying around, observing or cuddling or snoozing. ” I had always admired goldens for their beautiful coats, their comic-gentle-noble faces, and their sweet temperaments. I was fifty-three years old, and although I exercised regularly and still had a thirty-inch waist, the indefatigable American Association of Retired Persons already harassed me monthly with their mailers, insisting that I should recognize I was in denial, should face the fact of my mortality, and should join them to receive all the senior-citizen discounts, denture-adhesive analyses, and funeral planning that they stood ready to provide.
In this big world, she was a little thing, but in all the ways that mattered, including the effect she had on those who loved her, she lived a big life. In each little life, we can see great truth and beauty, and in each little life we glimpse the way of all things in the universe. If we allow ourselves to be enchanted by the beauty of the ordinary, we begin to see that all things are extraordinary. If we allow ourselves to be humbled by what we do not and cannot know, in our humility we are exalted.