What My Dogs Have Taught Me About Aging
by Judy Kent, ECM Care Coordinator
Dogs live in the moment. Their example teaches us about aging, enjoying life and living for today. Dogs don’t know how old they are and they don’t save up their energy for tomorrow much less a distant retirement. They go to sleep, wake up, and are just plain glad to be alive!
I have had the privilege of loving 21 dogs in my life so far, and each one has taught me a different lesson. For example:
Revisit Child’s Play
Chloe is ten years old and reminds me to play like I did when I was little. Each morning on our outing, she jumps up on a retaining wall and balances precariously the way we used to walk on the curbs, trying not to fall. I’m not recommending jumping on walls, but I do recommend revisiting your inner child; sing a silly song, draw a picture, blow bubbles. Re-live the carefree feeling of childhood.
The power of touch
My Golden Retrievers have all adopted the golden nudge. They use their nose to push my arm and prompt a pet. They understand the importance of human touch, and they want it. We all do. When you visit a friend, hug them, touch their arm, or hold their hand. Make that vital connection with touch.
Greet the day
When my dog Spencer got up in the morning, he would do a lap around the yard as if he had just won the Olympics. It probably felt like he had because – with epilepsy and seizures – getting to the next day was a joyous victory. Be happy with what you have. Get up and greet the day!
Learn from the dogs; forget about your age and live for today. You’ll be much happier!