Journalist in dogged pursuit of happiness

By Ryn Gargulinski: Freedom Newspapers

Those positive-thinking people who say you can envision what you want and get it are usually on the mark. However, I have been breaking my brain to achieve my latest desire. Alas, to no avail.

I am still not my dog.

There are several reasons someone would want to be a dog, especially when being a human has been most difficult. But I wanted to switch places with my dog Lulu even prior to the latest bout of emotional scathing.

Lulu gets fed, walked, loved and pampered on most occasions just because she exists. Her place in the hierarchy of the house is top dog and she gets away with things nobody could do as a human.

Like peeing on the carpet.

A day in her life includes romping in the goat pen, riding in the car’s passenger seat and basking in the sun. Her biggest concerns are what door to bark at or what to chew on next.

She doesn’t bother with what outfit to wear, the high cost of winter heating or how to act at one of those stuffy social functions.

She just gets to be herself, every minute, every day.
Dogs even have the proverbs on their side. They get left alone: “Let sleeping dogs lie.” They get great promises: “Every dog has his day.” Heck, they even get a whole season to do nothing: “The dog days of summer.”

Humans, on the other paw, are told to get up and go: “The early bird gets the worm.” It’s frowned upon to pamper ourselves with goodies: “A penny saved is a penny earned.” We even have heartbreaking bumper stickers: “Same s—t, different day.”

I guess the last one applies to canines, too, although they welcome the same stuff daily, especially when it includes Kong toys stuffed with peanut butter.

Chew toys aside, there’s surely a few hardships that come with being a canine. Those awful decisions like what couch to lounge on or how many calories in a single kibble.

Dogs can also be subjected to hard work, like being expected to play dead when someone yells “Bang!” or to jump down off a flatbed truck on their own.

Yes, turning into a 50-pound puppy could have its complications. Although the driver’s license photo rarely looks like the person anyway, it would be even more shockingly different if I were to get pulled over and my big, black floppy ears where nowhere in the picture.

And how would I see over the steering wheel?

My job might also be a tad difficult, trying to interview folks with a single question that sounds like “woof.” And I’m sure typing would be tedious with those giant paws.

Also, if I didn’t turn in an assignment on time, I could never use the age-old excuse that my dog ate it.

Maybe an eagle would be more promising. In addition to thoughts of soaring above the treetops, who wouldn’t be excited by the ability to swoop over someone and swipe their hat?

A goat wouldn’t be bad, either, until I thought about that tin-can debate — can a goat eat one or not?

I wanted to be my pet rat for awhile, until I figured out the fish tank in which he is housed would be even smaller than my Brooklyn apartment.

Perhaps I’ll just sit around and stay human. But I’ll keep giving Lulu a hidden stash of treats, of course, just in case I change my mind.

Ryn Gargulinski is managing editor for the Quay County Sun. Contact her at 461-1952 or by e-mail: