Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

Photo by Angela Kirk

Sometimes it’s hard to find humor in the world, but we must at least try. Humor is the one trait we have that can help us dissipate dark clouds,  face challenges and overcome obstacles. Laughter can also decrease the stress hormone, an added bonus. I especially love it when Doc does something to make me laugh and that is just what happened on one of our daily outings not to long ago.

We were out for our daily walk and it also happened to be the day when the nice people at Rumke Waste  pick up our trash. We make it a point to always say hello when we pass by as we have gotten to know the workers since being home over the last year. On this particular day as we passed by and greeted them one of the men said ” I like your hair!’ As Doc and I turned around and Doc started to thank the man for the compliment she realized by the look on his face that he was not talking about her hair but mine. For a quick moment they both starred at each other and he quickly said ” I like your hair too mam !” At that point Doc let out a loud laugh and before it was done we were all having a good chuckle, even the driver was laughing.  I would have felt sorry for Doc but it didn’t bother her at all. Later she told me that it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself and not take everything so seriously. ” You’ll have an easier life if you learn that lesson Grover.”

Some days it may feel like nothing is funny, but keep looking. A touch of humor can give us the balance we may need that day to keep us from getting knocked off of our feet. Remember, ” Every time you are able to find some humor in a difficult situation you win.”


In A Funk

Photo by Angela Kirk

Have you ever had one of those days that you’re in a funk and you don’t know why? Now I’m not talking about the “Shake Your Booty” kind of funk, no, I’m talking about the feeling you get when you can’t shake off the blahs. For the past few days I have just been laying around the house not doing a darn thing. The bad thing is that Doc has started to pick on my mood and now she has the blahs as well. Lets put it this way, now is not the time to invite us over and expect us to be the life of the party. I figured if Doc and I put our heads together we could figure out what was going on and find a way to shake this off, but Doc had a different idea.

” What if we just go with it and let ourselves be lazy for a day or two? What’s the harm in that?” she asked.  “Maybe we need a break, after all we have been working so hard lately. We spent three days doing yard work and then we had our other chores to get done. We are probably just worn out and our body is telling us to slow down. You know Grover, we don’t need to analyze everything, sometimes you just need to listen to what your body needs and go with it.” What a revolutionary idea, I thought to myself.  ” You know Doc you are right, I think all of us push ourselves too much sometimes, this is probably just our bodies telling us that we need to slow down and we need to honor that.” I said emphatically.

So for the next two days we gave ourselves permission to rest whenever and where ever we wanted. I choose a nice comfy place in the grass under the tree and Doc dozed off on the back porch.  And guess what? We both were back to normal after a few days off.

“Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity and how much of each to have.” 

                                                                                                                                                       –Sri Ravi Shankar


Time to Emerge and Celebrate!

Photo by Angela Kirk

Holly Cow! After being mostly home bound for over a year, the celebrations are back! People are emerging post vaccines like the seventeen year cicadas that are rising from the bowls of the earth this spring! But I’m not complaining.  It’s nice to have the problem of trying to fit in all the birthday and graduation parties into our schedule again, but this is not true for everyone, as some of you are feeling anxious.

Just the other day someone told Doc that after being locked down for so long, they feel safer at home. I get it. At the beginning I was a little blue from having to be home and away from work, the humans I loved seeing every day and our routine. Then after awhile, I got use to being home, sleeping when I wanted and feeling safe in our little bubble. It became my new normal routine and now we are faced with switching things up again.

Change can feel overwhelming sometimes, even if it’s a positive change. So here’s what Doc and I suggest, take it slowly. Remember that balance is the key. Re-emerge gradually back into the world and don’t forget to breath if you feel yourself becoming anxious.  It’s also important to have “me time” to relax. I personally like to lie out in the back yard at dusk when the world is still and commune with the nocturnal critters that roam the earth after dark.  In other words, find something that soothes you and practice it daily.

In the end, always remember that you made it this far and that is something to celebrate. After all, we could be like the poor cicadas that after getting to emerge from the earth after seventeen years their only task is to molt, mate and then expire by June.  Now that is just kind of sad.


Honoring Mother’s

Moms come in all shapes, sizes and species and this Sunday we honor them all.  Thank heavens for mothers because lets face it, they really do steer the ship and make sure we don’t do things that could get us killed while we are growing up. I can’t count the times Doc stepped in to intervene when I was about to make possible death defying decisions. When I was younger I sometimes thought she was a nervous dog mother, but now I know she was just watching out for me. So with Mothers Day coming up I was certainly surprised by her response when I asked her what she wanted to do on her special day.

” If I could have the perfect Mother’s Day I would trade places with you Grover” she said.  Surprised I asked her what she meant by that.  “Think about it Grover, you have quite the life. For starters, everyone you meet loves you. Just for one day I would like to be you, lying on the couch, having my belly scratched and someone bringing me treats just because I am cute. Not a care in the world with all my needs taken care of. No bills to pay, no house work,  just living my best life in whatever way I choose. You don’t even have to pick up your own poop, even I do that!” she said emphatically.

I have to say startled didn’t even describe my reaction. ” Well that makes me sound like a lazy bum.” I responded.  ” No, you are living your life the way you are suppose to. I guess there are some days I am just envious and wonder what it would be like to be you for a day” she said. Poor Doc, does she really think my life is so easy that she has been harboring jealousy all along?  So I thought the best thing I could do is to give her exactly what she wants on her special day so she understands my life isn’t as rosy as she thinks.

Excited about what I had come up with, I wrote down a schedule of everything I had planned for her and showed it to her wondering how she would react. ” Ok Doc, at 7am I will let you out in the back yard so you can use the bathroom and then you can come in and have some dog food out of my bowl on the floor. Remember you only get one cup because we have to keep your weight down. Since it’ s Sunday I will take you for a long walk, but no sniffing along the way because we are on a strict time schedule today. At about 11am it’s time for your bath and I will hose you down and shampoo your hair in the driveway for all the neighbors to see. After your bath you can take a nap but you have to stay out on the porch in the sun because you are too wet to come in the house. Later in the day I will toss you a couple Milk Bones for a snack. How does that sound so far?” I asked with enthusiasm.

She was silent before she responded and then she said. “That is not what I expected, I had never really looked at your life from your point of view. I thought that your grass looked greener, but maybe I just need to be grateful and water and nourish the grass I already have.”  ” Well, I said with a smile, if you don’t want to be treated like a dog for the day, what do you want to do?” ” I have a great idea,” she responded. ” Lets just relax on the couch, watch some movies and I will scratch you belly and give you a treat.” ” Now that sounds wonderful!” I replied while we got cozy and relaxed.