Laughing emoticon

I’ve been known to embarrass myself by breaking into laughter at inappropriate moments. Who doesn’t enjoy laughing? I have laughed so hard at movies that my sides hurt. In fact, I have laughed through movies that apparently the rest of the audience did not find funny, like Tremors. Anything by Kevin Hart is sure to be a hit. I love Katt Williams even though his specials are bleeped so much it can be hard to follow his stories. Offbeat humor is one of the things that make my favorite books just that-favorites. Having read Smoke and Mirrors (Tanya Huff) at least 20 times, I still occasionally laugh out loud.

Those things are typical sources of laughter. After all, they are designed to be funny. But my day-to-day life is hilarious.

My dog, Toby, brightens even dreary days. He came to my partner and me in November when my elderly aunt died. He is 13 pounds of insecurity, exacerbated by my other dogs that weigh in at 40-50 pounds, one with her own anxiety issues.

Toby’s feet never touch the ground except, well, the ground when we go out. Otherwise he moves from sofa to chair to bed, which keep him at more or less eye level with the girls. Because they are all so sensitive, I have to treat them exactly the same. Toby came with a bed, our girls had to have beds like his. He had a coat because he’s tiny and he freezes; they had to have coats. Chloe gets medicine for a couple of issues so Molly and Toby get fake pills so they don’t feel left out. You see the amusement. I’m sure our dog sitters think we’re nuts.

In the past week, Toby has surprised us with something. He can bark.

Scream and shriek might be more accurate.

For 6 months he’s kept his vocal hysterics to himself but I suppose he now feels completely at home. His screams can be heard all over the neighborhood. That is not an exaggeration; neighbors have asked about him. It starts when our car pulls into the driveway. The fact that we are outside in plain view is the only defense we have against claims of abuse. The screeches continue until we are in the house and they are replaced by leaps and digging at our clothes.

I know that it probably irritates the neighbors, especially when we get home in the wee hours of the morning, but he always makes me laugh. How can you not love something that is so happy to even hear you that he can’t contain his joy in a regular bark?

Do you have something you laugh about even though you probably shouldn’t?