Passing fire engines make Marissa toss her head back and belt out a thin, high pitched wail of a howl. We played on this by starting to howl together; it took her a bit to catch on, but some months ago Scot and I would howl, and when we hit the right contrasting pitches, she'd join in. (This was, of course, after torturing her one night in bed as I downloaded siren sounds on the iPhone and tried them out on her.) Now she's used to the game, and she joins right in.
Winston has never been one to debase himself so, however. Until tonight, anyway. Sitting on the couch with Winston on my lap and Marissa taking the cushion between us, Scot started up, I joined and Marissa was going to town, tossing her head back with us. Then, Winston starts chattering, then talking, and then... a real, honest to goodness head-thrown-back-and-doggie-lips-pulled-into-an-O howl! He looked like he might have surprised himself, even.
Our neighbors think we're nuts, I'm sure.
It was quite an evening; when I came home late from work, my mate greeted me with a fresh frozen margarita w/ salt. I took a moment to unwind in the back yard, sun streaming down on the freshly manicured lawn, the blossoms of the cherry tree floating through the air, and happy dogs bounding about. I was gripped by one of those "it doesn't get better than this" feelings.
Counting my blesings.