Everything I Need to Know About Self-Care, I’ve Learned From My Dog

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On Saturday mornings, we often go to the beach…

Our dog, Max, is a creature of habit. He likes his routines and when we deviate from his schedule, he let’s us know about it in whiny, persistent ways.

Up at dawn, out the back door for a pee, up on the bed for a snuggle between us, then breakfast and a walk. After a hard day of napping and alerting us to the potential threats of the mailman and the occasional UPS delivery, his internal timer goes off again in the late afternoon. Play with the ball, dinner, walk. Nap some more until bedtime, out the back door again to watch the night creatures for an hour or so (we thought they were his own personal Snuffleupagus’s until he actually started catching raccoons), then to bed.

We didn’t realize our days were so repetitive. But not long after we adopted him, it was clear that Max had figured out how things were done around here – and had trained us to keep them that way.

We love him and love taking care of him, but his insistence on his schedule can be, well, inconvenient at times. I’ve tried to explain to him that humans enjoy novelty, that it’s not good for us to get stuck in a rut, but he’s not convinced. When things need to change, he can adjust – but he doesn’t like it.

And why should he? He knows what he needs. Rest. Nourishment. Work. Exercise. Play. Affection. Every. Single. Day. And he has no qualms about asking for what he needs until he gets it – which most of the time he does. His needs are pretty simple, after all.

So I am trying to follow his excellent example and honor what I know I need (and my list is really no different from his) by finding ways to get the basics every day.

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1 Response to “Everything I Need to Know About Self-Care, I’ve Learned From My Dog”



  1. 1 Getting Back to Normal « How THW Gets In Gear Trackback on February 25, 2008 at 11:29 am

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