Want To Get Healthy, Follow Your Dog’s Advice

HAPPY TUCKERIt was about 8am and time to start my day. I got out of bed slowly to prepare my body for the trek to the bathroom. My dog (Tucker, the beagle) looked up at me and decided his day should start as well. As I began to walk, I could feel mild stiffness in the ankles and hips as I do most days. It always clears up within taking about 10 steps. I noticed, however, that before my dog began his trek, he stretched his shoulders, hips and paws and shook his entire body creating an instant increase in blood flow. Hmmm, stretching before starting the day; now there’s an interesting concept!
It was now time to head down stairs to begin the morning coffee ritual. As the rich flavor permeated the air, I couldn’t wait until the brew was ready. Once again, my dog joined me in the kitchen and walked right over to his water bowl for his morning hydration. Hmmm, I’m about to drink coffee which acts as a diuretic and dehydrates the body and my dog is providing nourishing water to hydrate his. Following his lead, I consumed a 14oz glass of water..
It was now time to sit down and begin reviewing my emails with that lovely cup of java. As I turned to head back upstairs, I noticed Tucker sitting patiently in front of his food bowl ready for breakfast. I haven’t provided my body with any form sustenance to this point, yet I’m preparing to begin my activities of the day. Hmmm, Tucker is about to begin his morning ritual of playtime, but before he is willing to, he wants to eat his grain free high quality dry food mixed with his “raw food” and barks to make certain the message is clear. Maybe Tucker’s right; maybe I should consume that morning meal first providing my body the fuel it needs for maximal performance.
About two hours has gone by and I have accomplished a great deal sitting in front of the computer. Tucker decides at this point that a 1 hour walk/run is needed. As I sit sedentary in my comfortable chair compressing my spine and preventing good healthy lymphatic flow (fluid that needs to move to prevent waste and infections from building up in your body), I realize that Tucker is recommending gentle exercise to increase blood and lymphatic flow as well as  improving muscle tone. Hmmm, why didn’t I think of that?
sleepy tuckerUpon returning from our outing, I head back to the computer for research and ideas for my blog site. I can hear Tucker in the distance lapping up water once again. Hmmm, maybe it’s time for me to drink another glass of water as well. By the time I get downstairs, he has already gone into his crate (which is his “happy place”) and started his afternoon nap. Hmmm, how many hours of sleep did I get last night? Now that I think about it, I only got 5 1/2 hours of sleep. Did my body adequately recover from the activities of the previous day. I don’t feel tired, but symptoms seem to take some time to develop. It seems that Tucker never needs to catch up on sleep. I also notice he doesn’t have a problem falling asleep or staying asleep.
As the day progresses, I begin to notice a recurring pattern. Tucker naps, stretches and shakes his body each time upon awakening, gets a drink of water, and heads to the front door for his walk/run. Hmmm, rather than sitting for prolonged periods of time which recently has been classified as an event that can lead to early death, Tucker gets up periodically to move, exercise, drink water and eat healthy foods. Lesson noted!
As night approaches I once again hear in the distance tags from a collar clinking as I head back down the stairs to see Tucker pacing in front of his food bowl. As I look at my watch and see that 6pm has arrived, I head to the closet to prepare his meal. How did he know it was time to eat? Hmmm, I notice he only asks for food two times a day at nearly the exact times each day. Does he only ask for food when his body tells him he needs it? Maybe eating within a reasonable pattern stabilizes hormones and allows a body to function more efficiently. I also notice his body weight doesn’t fluctuate very much. I never realized how health conscious he was!
Tucker playing III also notice he enjoys life and looks forward to play time after dinner when he pulls each and every toy out of his play chest. He seems to enjoy alternating between chewing on his plush toys and my wife’s arm. Come 9pm, his eyes focus on the wife until she gets up to take him out for his final walk. He enjoys going to bed voluntarily shortly after this final walk. For Tucker his day was filled with fun, food, water, exercise and rest. It is now time to provide his body a well needed recovery for another day of adventures.
As I review this day in its entirety, I have come to realize that my pup’s innate intelligence directs him to enjoy the quality of life he desires. Maybe there is a lesson here we can all learn from this little guy.

20150131_Cute Face Tucker_resized

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27 comments

  1. He sure does have it all figured out! Love how you wrote this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We doctors are famous for our ability to cure insomnia with our boring approach to health. Sometimes, a little creativity can get the message across better than all the scientific studies in the world. Thank you for reading and sharing your comment with our wonderful blogging community.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t agree more! That is always how I try to present my messages, anyway, in between all my other ramblings! This was a very entertaining way to get your messages across!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wisdom from the pup! love it

    Like

    1. I left a comment on your blog site about purposeful living. My boy Tucker exemplifies the point. He has become one of my many role models. Amazing how much we can learn by opening our minds to different perspectives and thought processes.
      Thank you for sharing your time with me and commenting on my article.

      Like

  3. Love the loyalty of a good dog! This post was fun to read. My morning exercise habit is doing for me what your puppers stretching does for him; getting that blood flow flowing in the early moments of my morning. I feel much better when I am done exercising, even though it is hard going at the beginning of that morning ritual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just like the saying, “good things come to those who are patient,” healthy living achieves the desired outcome IF we are willing to undertake the “not so fun” steps to get there. You are a living example of this testament. I’m so proud of your persistence and determination and inspired by your accomplishments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, thank you! I’m humbled by that statement. I want so much to be an example of healthy choices and living large, but in a smaller size pant, and slowly I’m getting there. Teeny, tiny, is the way to go, I’m finding, because little changes are easily doable, while BIG ones are much harder to achieve.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Teeny tiny is the way to go. I write this in my articles on a regular basis. It is nice to see that people who practice this lifestyle find it works!! More importantly, it works for the LONG TERM.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes! Teeny, tiny works for the long term! I am seeing that and will talk about that on Thursday, when I post new goals for the following week.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a cutie! Got 2 beagles myself! Best breed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is my second one. Both have been rescues and both have wonderful dispositions. If he wasn’t so cute, STUBBORN would be the other word to describe him! I agree with you; they are a great breed.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great Blog! Dogs also stop eating when they are sick so their biological systems can concentrate on healing rather than digesting food, to bad we humans haven’t learned that!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have a tendency to cleanse our bodies slightly differently. We continue to eat to the point of purging our bodies via multiple orifices. Not the prettiest picture to write about, but truthful none the less. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. We can learn so much from our animals. About 7 yrs ago I started a practice of yoga first thing every morning, it really does wake the body up and increase my energy. My dog always wants to go for a walk, unilke me at times!! A good reminder today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the recurring themes I see in your comments is your personal commitment to healthy living and the active role you take in the process. This is an important message which you pass on to other readers. Quality living is not passive. Life and health is based on a concept of dynamic change. Through our efforts to “feed” our bodies and our minds the “nutrients” required to thrive we must recognize and accept a changing paradigm. Good health is NOT the absence of disease; it is an approach that leads to the balancing of our physical, chemical and emotional responses to our environment. Those who successfully achieve this balance are usually blessed with good health and happiness.
      Thank you for your comment and the important messages you share on your blog site.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thankyou for your continued support, and for increasing our knowledge and understanding about our health and medicine.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My best life lessons have come from my dog 🙂 My favourite is living in the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you look into the eyes of a dog that is given a chance to be happy, the unconditional love you will receive in return will be endless. Studies have shown the physiological benefits they cause including reduced blood pressure and pulse rate (via vasodilation {increased blood flow by increasing the diameter of the blood vessel}, reduced stress (via reduction in stress hormones) and increased sense of happiness (via increased neurotransmitters in the brain). How fortunate are we to have them part of our lives?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Aw, this was excellent and cute at the same time. Tucker is adorable!!! I can see this as a children’s book with Tucker as a role model. Step aside Clifford!

    Very impressed and highly entertained, as well. Thank you, Dr. J! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to take the credit, but in all honesty, this one was written by Tucker. This is what I get for sharing my username and password with him!

      Glad you enjoyed it. I write about some highly controversial topics and every now and then need to change the tone to remind myself and others that life can sometimes become a little too intense. It’s nice when humor can “gently” be inserted to reflect a small shadow of a meaningful message.

      Stay healthy and happy!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The animal world is so much more advanced than humans…I love your post….kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just a little message behind some hidden humor. 😊

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      1. I loved it….

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Priceless. I have learned similar lessons from my 13 year old (diabetic) corgi. He’s resting peacefully right now. Probably something I should be doing…;)

    Like

    1. Thank you for commenting on this article. It was fun to write while still providing a message for positive change in people’s lives. Our pets are a true source of stress relief when we see the unconditional love they offer.

      So nice to hear from you. It seems you have been busy with your new project. It looks like it offers great potential to those seeking options to living with diabetes. Best of luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. […] goals but are they realistic or am I crazy? This post is probably my all time favourite! It’s putting a lot of health advice and applying it to his pet’s day. Frankly, his dog […]

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