“Joy and sorrow are inseparable … together they come and when one sits alone with you … remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.” Kahlil Gibran


Last week my Yorkie-poo alerted me that something was going on in the backyard. His barking wasn’t the usual yapping to greet a dog walking near our fence. When I went to investigate I saw him doing manic laps around the pool, looking up frequently to see if I was paying attention. He had discovered invaders and was beside himself with the thrill of it. A pair of mallards had decided to enjoy a swim and Rocky wasn’t sure what to do about it.

I know we all see lots of ducks in this area … on golf courses, at parks and even in our yards, but it was stunning to my pooch. After a few minutes of side-splitting laughter I encouraged him to go swimming to “get the ducks.” This is a funny little dog who swims and retrieves balls like a Labrador, so he went for it — even though the ducks were nearly as big as he is. Naturally the annoyed birds flew off, leaving Rocky behind, victorious.

Rocky’s buddy Ziggy, our sweet Rottweiler, went to doggie heaven about a month ago. When Zig was in the yard ducks and neighborhood cats didn’t venture near. Now things are different — for Rocky and for all of us in the Markins family. We miss Ziggy and when there is a void that big, things change. Rocky has been mopey. He’s taken to making a fast break into the neighborhood when the door is open and dumps the trash can over when he’s left alone.

But then today there were ducks! He was filled with the joy of a new and exciting experience. I’ve started taking him to work with me (at our Phoenix business) when I have a short day. Something that wasn’t feasible with Ziggy. He also gets more car rides all around Ahwatukee and 100 percent of the doggie love lavished at our house.

For my little mutt and for all of us there is unexpected joy to be found in the wake of grief and disappointment. When there is discord in one relationship it may forge an even closer bond in another relationship as you seek comfort and direction. If you get sick you have time to appreciate health, which will hopefully come again. In a bad economy you learn to rediscover simple pleasures and find out that possibly you have been squandering money when it was plentiful. Or maybe that’s just my experience?

Are you stuck in a sad, angry or bored place? Rather than dumping the trash over (and ticking everyone off) start looking for ducks. There is probably unexpected joy ahead in your own backyard. Share your unexpected joy experiences at www.ahwatukee.com.


Ahwatukee Foothills resident Diane Markins can be reached at Diane@DianeMarkins.com. Visit her blog www.DianeMarkins.com.

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