Following Our Dogs’ Example

Jana does yoga. No, really.

I took a yoga workshop a couple of weeks ago that focused on stretches for the back, neck, and shoulders. The instructor showed us a couple of ways that she uses a tennis ball to apply pressure to tight muscles. Watching her, I got an immediate image of Jana, who does something very similar. You can watch her here: Jana Works Out. She has always done this. She wriggles so that the tennis ball moves down her back, massaging every inch.

We can learn a lot about how to live well and take care of ourselves by watching our dogs. Think about how consistently they demand exercise. And fun. Breaks. I can get sucked into work and sit in front of the computer for several hours. Except Cali won’t let me. Play time is supposed to happen at 3:30. Dinner must happen at 5. Breaks happen every couple of hours, tops. That is such a healthy, balanced approach to life — enforced by my dogs.

Also recently, I was talking to an acupuncturist. She was lecturing me on how important it is to take probiotics. I looked at her for a moment, then said. You know, I actually know that — I do it for my dogs. I just never applied that knowledge to my own diet.

IMG_1540How many of us worry more about what our pets eat than what we eat, and how many spend more time (and money) ensuring that their food is nutritious, balanced, tasty … while we eat junk food? Jana and Cali have no weight problem to contend with. They take their vitamins and supplements and exercise daily. They get better medical care than I do. And, once something becomes routine, even something like brushing their teeth, they expect it — and expect me to provide it. They remind me. (Though they have never asked me to clean their ears …)

We do exercises daily to build up Jana’s shoulder muscles (which, incidentally, help me improve my balance), and Jana also gets regular laser therapy treatments for her arthritis (see photo). It keeps her (mostly) pain-free, so she can continue to wriggle and roll and do her yoga-tennis-ball exercises. For many more years, I hope!

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5 thoughts on “Following Our Dogs’ Example

  1. So true…..Rusty got acupuncture for a long time before I thought…wait if it really helps him why not try it for myself? duh. That was years ago and we both get regular acupuncture and employ traditional Chinese medicine as our primary healthcare option.

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