I was “cleaning up” after my dog in the backyard and I realized I was not enjoying the experience. My attempt in being dutiful about this winter work is to avoid a most egregious event during the spring thaw. The more I get now, the less, well, I won’t paint you that picture.

A thought popped to mind about my frequent messages about perspectives. A further musing came to me from one of the best workshops I’ve ever attended — an orientation session by Michael Brandwein many years ago when I was a counselor at Camp Laurel — “if you aren’t making it fun, you’re doing it wrong.”

This may apply to youth leadership, but what are the boundaries? I recall Robert Pirsig writing that sitting on a hot stove is inherently a low quality experience. Could there be joy in my current endeavor?

Jerry Seinfeld observed that if a being from another planet came to Earth and saw one species carrying another species’ excrement, said being would likely conclude that the one with its droppings in the bag would be the superior. Well, my retriever is certainly not using plastic bags for me.

As I played with it (the idea, not the dung), I realized there was some fun to be had here. There is something rewarding about uncovering the nuggets under the snow. There is something satisfying about collecting a prize that won’t have to be extracted in a mushy state come April (or May, this is Edmonton; no more imagery, I promise).

Thus, I have dubbed this task “frozen, canine, fecal archaeology.” That’s gotta sound like fun.

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