It’s a Dog’s Life

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Often when I’m out running I see other runners, running, with their dogs. There are two particular people I notice; one lady has two large dogs which I think are weimaraners. Together they seem to glide along so gracefully. The other person I see regularly is a man with a middle sized terrier type of dog. The dog has black shaggy fur and although they certainly could not be described as graceful, they are both clearly having a great time. Whenever I see them, I always wish my dog would run with me.  So, here begins my quest to turn Murphy the Irish Terrier, into a running dog. If you want to see an Irish terrier in action, check out the movie, Firehouse Dog. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0476995/

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However, Murphy doesn’t quite get it! Murphy loves going out for walks, in fact whenever I come down the stairs, he thinks he’s going out, and if anyone puts shoes on, he dances around getting in the way. Just lately he’s figured out that I usually get my sunglasses out of the kitchen drawer before we go out, so now, whenever I open that drawer, he starts hopping around and wagging his tail. Often I can’t make eye contact if I’m not taking him out as I feel so guilty!

So you might be thinking that he would make a great running partner?  Yes, but on his terms! We live in an area where there is a lot of wildlife: deer, squirrels and rabbits, not to mention coyotes and the occasional cougar, so there are a lot of interesting smells for a dog, and he apparently has to sniff them all. Not so much of a problem if we are walking, but when running it’s a nightmare! He’s either pulling forward or backward but never the direction I’m going, and if he actually sees a squirrel or another dog he takes off so fast, I am in fear of losing my arm!

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We live in a beautiful town where there are lots of great pathways around the river valley, but dogs are not allowed off leash, which is probably just as well for Murphy as he clearly has a one track mind…. Did someone say, ‘squirrel’?

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New Year, New You?

The presents have been unwrapped, turkey eaten, relatives visited and the tasteless sweater that Great Aunt Maude gave you has been consigned to the back of the closet. Phew… what’s next? Yes, it’s the countdown to New Year- possibly the most over rated holiday known to mankind.

Everyone wants to know what your plans are: eating out at a fancy, overbooked restaurant? Heading out to sample the nightlife? Or perhaps you’ll be partying with friends and relatives. Whatever your plans, there is the added expectation of the all important New Year resolutions. Do you make them? More importantly, do you keep them?

The main reason people make resolutions is to change something about themselves, or their lifestyle that they either don’t like, or think they shouldn’t like. Apparently the most popular resolutions are to lose weight, or to improve health in some way. I think we’d all agree that these are admirable and important changes, but, what we are really saying, is that there is something wrong with us, we are not good enough, we don’t like an aspect of our self, and think we should be more like someone else. Instead of allowing this negative state of mind, maybe we should love ourselves a little more and be kinder to ourselves.  After all, a promise that you will treat your body well, by giving it healthy foods and exercise so that it can work properly and efficiently is more likely to be successful than telling yourself that you are not as good as Perky Pam next door because you take a larger dress size than she does.

Be kind to yourself. Love yourself and your body, and if you do that, you will want to treat it well and those negative thoughts will be replaced by the question we should all  ask every day.. What can I do today to show my body that I love and value it?

“When you consider yourself valuable, you will take care of yourself in all ways that are necessary”. -M. Scott Peck