I am sitting here eating a delicious raspberry muffin. The reason I am eating a muffin at work instead of cereal at home is because I overslept this morning and didn’t have time for breakfast as I was rushing out the door. Then I couldn’t find a parking space and had to settle for a spot several blocks away. It was a rough morning.

But THEN, as I was hiking to work, I came across a woman walking three border collies. I stopped and said hello and they sniffed me and let me pet them (the dogs, not the woman). “I have one just like you at home,” I told the first one, who had stapled her head to my leg so I could scratch her ears. She wagged her tail in response.

It reminded me of the first time I saw Ellie, terribly thin with her fur all matted, but so happy to say hello. It was love at first sniff as she wagged her tail and, I swear, smiled at me through her boogered-up eyes. It was like she was saying, “It’s been a rough year, but life is still good. Let’s play.”

So let’s play.