Health Blog

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Is your dog smarter than you?

I ask this because this morning I discovered that in some ways my dogs are smarter than me! Ok, so the fact that I’m at their beck and call–feeding them top quality food, working hard to be able to afford their insurance and vet care, and picking up after them outside–is already sign of that. However, they both reminded me of their intelligence for the basics for good health as I prepared to take them for a walk this morning.

When I pulled out their leashes, both dogs simultaneously and on cue bent down into a deep stretch. Dogs and cats stretch when they stand up after a good sleep. They stretch because it feels good. And, apparently they also stretch before exercise. How many of us forget to stretch sufficiently before and after we exercise?

After their walk and morning constitutional, it’s play time. Do they complain about or procrastinate doing their workout? No! They enjoy it! Exercise can be fun! About a year ago, my first dog Hana was declared by the vet to be overweight. She has a treat dispenser “grandmother” (my mom) and she doesn’t like to walk.. So, after just 3 weeks of fun time at my parents as my husband and I went on vacation, Hana had gained about 25% of her body weight! As many know, it seems that it is just so much easier to gain weight than to lose it, so despite our attempts to restrict her diet, she wasn’t losing weight. Now she’s a slim and fit little miss. Did she get liposuction or go on a lettuce diet (she does like lettuce, but not THAT much)? No. She started playing more. A full out run and wrestle with her buddy every day.

Do they stress out? Sometimes. If I give Kendo (my boy) a super special treat, he runs around whimpering, wondering where to hide it. When Hana sees a new dog, she runs to say hello and then suddenly gets shy and starts to drool with excitement and anxiety. But, do they dwell on these stresses? No. Kendo eventually lets Hana eat the special treat and Hana lets Kendo give her kisses.

Speaking of kisses, both dogs show such exuberance when they see someone they love, or like, or sometimes have never even met. Of course I don’t really want my friends trying to jump all over me when I meet up with them, but I do think that being shown lots of enthusiasm is kind of nice.

As I write now, both dogs have been out like a light for a few hours. They LOVE to sleep! No question that they get their sleep/restoration time!

So, yes, in some ways my dogs are smarter than me and they teach me how to lead a more balanced life.

What lessons have you learned from your dog, cat, bird, fish, frog or other best bud?

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