We use superlatives in America, too. (See Gina’s post next door.) During political debates and when we’re yelling at men wearing tights who are throwing balls at one another at sporting events. Also, on our profiles. And whenever we talk about god.

The tenor of our extraneous sentiments in America, however, depends on which coast you live on. West Coasters look at the world through rose-colored glasses. Things are usually healthy and good (everything is really health and good), especially if they’re made out of chia or kale. On the East Coast, however, our experiences get filtered through glasses made of smokey-colored quartz. Things are never good enough (everything is really ordinary and mundane). Or, at least, we’ll never admit to it if they are. Satisfaction here is uncool. We see life from a glass-is-half-empty perspective, but with more snark. And really good shoes.

You know what has brought “a little flair, a little drama and added intrigue and fun to the mundane moments that life throws at us” at our house here in the Hudson Valley, though? Our dog, Luca. He’s ridiculously sweet and cute and super awesome and, though I realize I’m outing myself as a dog person by professing out loud my unfettered love for him, I can’t help it. In the way that only furry beings can, our once little–now GIANT–puppy dog has burrowed deep into my heart.

My Luca. His lower lip pouts out when he’s tired.

Luca reacts with superlatives and unmitigated joy and excitment to everything. Going for a walk. Peeing. A piece of steak. Every possibility that comes across his desk he deems deserving of a body-wiggling tail-wag and a snort of satisfaction. When things are REALLY good (Leeloo or Walker come to visit, he sniffs his friend Tara on the street, the UPS man walks past him with his pocket full of peanuts and throws a few his way) well, then, all bets are off. It’s like Christmas and Mardi Gras and the fourth of July all rolled into one. There’s no containing this being’s joie de vivre. He gets so excited and emits so much joy that my shriveled little heart starts to soften a little bit. Born-and-bred New Yorker that I am, I’m not proud of this wussy-ness, but I’ve also submitted to it. Luca is just that convincing. He’s just that great.

Luca is happiest when he’s with Noah or with friends (and when he’s sleeping) so I’ve put together a little happy-dog-photo collection for you. I know the internet likes kittens and puppies so here’s my contribution to that trove:

Noah & Luca.
Hoping for a treat.


On the beach. Cape Cod.



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