True Story About A Dog: If He’s Happy, Then I’m Happy

Happy and Hunter

So, we had to give away our dog, Happy.

He’s a Hungarian Vizsla, a gorgeous dog, loyal and smart and easy-going, affectionate and true. And I wasn’t even a dog-lover before I met this dog seven years ago. But I did love him, in the way that big, wild, sloppy way that people can love their dogs.

My husband, Jonny, is moving back to Israel to be reunited with the rest of our clan and he was scared that Happy would not be able to make the 15+ hour journey in airplane steerage without drugs, plus the climate change, the house change and everything else. Happy had already been through one trauma when he thought everyone had left him alone and he ran away. Alone and wandering on Montauk Highway, Happy got picked up by a kind woman and spent the night at her house until a search party was organized. Jonny—with the help of Susan O’Rourke—may she rest in peace—picked him up the next day as soon as he was found.

Found, too, was a loving family for Happy. I didn’t think it was possible that our family would ever be replaced but the lesson, once again, is that we are all replaceable. And as you can see from the photo, Happy looks very happy with his new little playmate, Hunter, and since Happy is a hunting dog, all’s well that ends well for Happy and Hunter.

If he’s Happy—and he is in more ways than one—then I’m happy, too.

What’s the best way to be happy? Accepting what can’t be changed. Accepting that what’s best for someone else might not be what I want, but it’s something I have to accept.

Are you happy when someone else is happy—even if things don’t go exactly as you’d want them to go?

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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3 Responses to True Story About A Dog: If He’s Happy, Then I’m Happy

  1. dogear6 says:

    I’m sorry to hear you had to give your dog away, but it sounds like a thoughtful decision and one that is good for your dog. My Vizsla is overly attached too and wouldn’t like being alone. I couldn’t imagine shipping him on a plane.


    • dianabletter says:

      Thank you for your support. It was very emotional and I appreciate your understanding!

      • dogear6 says:

        My husband and I talked upon this once that if we ever had to give the dogs away, the Vizsla would adjust to anyone as long as he was loved. The beagle – our crabby old man – would not. We’d have to either take him or put him down. Hopefully we’ll never have to make those choices for ourselves.

        Happy going to a new home and adjusting helps you a lot too. These are not easy decisions, but you do the best you can. Glad I could encourage you.

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