KV-POP is getting ready for a fundraiser. We are baking dog treats, growing cat grass, and making pet toys to sell at the Holiday Market (the annual craft fair organized by Alpha Sigma Gamma) on Saturday, December 7th.

All of this crafting is fun for us, and it’s also fun for our pets. We keep checking in with them, as they are our resident experts. Is this shape appealing for a catnip toy? Does this toy move in an appealing manner? Does this treat taste good? Does it have an irresistible smell and crunch? Is this toy’s fabric attractive? Will someone’s pet pick it up on her own and suggest it for playtime?  These are the important questions and only they know the answers.

As we  test toys, my three senior dogs are teaching me that they are not done yet. Even though they are getting to the age when they are fairly mellow and content to rest for much of the day, they still really love toy testing. I think they are impressed with me for creating such cool stuff out of nothing. Plus they are used to seeing me do other (to them) less interesting kinds of work – too often on this laptop, from which fun things do not (according to them) come -- and so I have earned some cool points this week; turns out that I can actually be fun when I let the laptop click shut.

Playing is so important for all of us, no matter our age. You may know this, but I forget.

I recently heard someone talk about the five most common regrets of the dying, and two of them resonated with me. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard” and “I wish that I had let myself be happier.” To me these two complement each other nicely. If I didn’t work so hard, I could play more and enjoy more happiness. Playing is key.

Our dogs can teach us so much about happiness. And it’s not because they are hedonists (although they are) but because they live in the moment and are invariably optimistic. Even dogs who have suffered terrible abuse in their lifetimes are inclined to forgive and trust again. Dogs expect every day to be terrific and are grateful for every kindness shown to them. We should be more like them.

Let’s start by playing more. KV-POP can provide the treats and toys!

Look for us in Truman’s Student Union Building (Franklin Street) on Saturday, December 7th from 9-5 PM. All proceeds from KV-POP’s booth will go toward helping low income folks in our area spay/neuter their pets. Our booth will be one of many offering homemade cheer. And booth fees paid by vendors support the work of Victim Support Services. Win. Win. Win.