Cali’s sister Dora recently spent several days with us, and I enjoyed watching them play, wrestle, and hang out together. It is fun and interesting to see how they are similar and how they are different. One similarity is that they both have a silly side and a goofy sense of humor.
All the dogs I’ve known, with the possible exception of a German shepherd, have had some concept of humor. They play tricks on each other and on us — keep away, hide and seek. They act silly. Cali lies on her back and wriggles around the living room, bicycling her legs. This never fails to get a laugh (and usually a belly rub and a play session). She especially likes to do this when I am on the phone.
Jana used to have a “geflite fish” stuffed toy that said, “Oy, vey …” and burbled when she squeezed it. This also was always good for a laugh. She’d dig it out and “oy vey” it whenever she thought I needed to lighten up. Sometimes, she’d stand and do it over and over, just to keep me laughing. She always watched me very carefully as she did this, as if gauging my reaction.
They don’t only enjoy getting me to laugh; they seem to like it even better when I do something silly and they get to laugh at me!
Cali and Dora lucked out. I had lunch with some friends while Dora was here, and we talked about different stretches and exercises we do at home. Someone talked about how important it is to do the “plank” pose from yoga, so I decided to try it. Well, that was about the funniest thing that Dora had ever seen. Cali wanted to play too, so she lay down and squeezed her head under one of my arms. Then she flipped over and wriggled until she was, belly-up, between my arms. Dora was — I swear — laughing. Literally ROTFL. I’ve never actually seen anyone do that!
The next trick was even better. I have a foam roller, and I use it to stretch my back. Fair enough. Hilarious, said Dora. She buried her head in my shoulder, laughing. I am sure she was laughing. Cali got in the act too, and within seconds, I had a fuzzy golden head peering at me from either side. Two big black noses in my face. Two girls nosing my shoulders, neck, face. Nudging. Occasionally, one or both could stand it no longer and buried her head in my shoulder. Laughing. Silly humans!
All those studies about how humans benefit from living with dogs? If laughter is the best medicine, I think it goes both ways.