The new year is quickly approaching and I have tried to let Doc know that I am adamantly opposed to any New Years resolutions, but did she listen to my wishes? No, she certainly did not. For someone that preaches about respecting other people’s boundaries, she ran right over mine. She is trying to sell this new resolution to me as something that will improve and lengthen my life, but wait until you hear what she has cooked up for me.
I should have known something was up when I saw her reading the new book that her nephew Scott gave her for Christmas, titled; “The Forever Dog: Surprising New Science to Help Your Canine Companion Live, Younger, Healthier and Longer.” She has been consuming that book for the last few days and highlighting some of the pages and then talking out loud to me about what she is learning. I have to admit, some of it is interesting. She says this is all science based research and you know she loves that nerdy stuff, but I digress. So now she had decided to apply or should I say conduct an experiment with me, her favorite canine subject in accordance with the research in the book.
Since it is Dec 29, she told me we needed to outline the strategy for change starting today. ” Ok Grover, today we are going to focus on the importance of optimal movement. Although we walk everyday and you do zoomies in the yard, according to the research it is not enough, so today I am going to teach you how to walk on the treadmill. Doesn’t that sound like fun?’ she asked with enthusiasm. I turned my head so she wouldn’t see me rolling my eyes at her. The treadmill? I have no intention of walking on a treadmill looking like a hamster running around in a wheel. What is she thinking?
Doc kept talking and to be honest I kind of zoned out when she was going over nutrition, genetics and environmental stressors. I know, I know, it is for my own good, but don’t all of us hate change and that’s why we stay stuck in the same old behaviors? Even Doc knows that none of us change until we are uncomfortable and I am not anywhere near uncomfortable.
After it was clear that Doc was not going to let up about this, I agreed to go stand on the treadmill hoping that would appease her and she would leave me to nap, but she had more in mind. To my horror I saw her reach up to start the machine, so I did what any smart dog would do, I used passive resistance by lying down and refusing to get up knowing Doc can’t lift my 84 pound frame. Befuddled, she tried everything from pleading to bribery by holding a dog treat on a string in front of my face, but I just sat there, not moving a muscle. Exasperated, she finally gave up and went in another room.
After some time passed, I followed her into the other room. I then asked her a question that I have heard her ask her own patients many times; ” Doc. what were you expecting?” It was like watching a switch go off in her brain and she got a big smile on her face. ” Oh Grover, you are the smartest therapy dog. You are right, I had created expectations about how you would change, but forgot to ask the one person that it mattered to the most, you. I promise it won’t happen again. It will be my New Year’s resolution to always respect that.” ” That’s ok Doc, I responded, I knew you had good intentions and speaking of resolutions lets focus on what we can put on your list.” “Very funny Grover” she said as she looked at me over her glasses.