Our Golden Retriever Baird is now three years old and I was reflecting on his morning routine and how we can learn from his healthy habits.
Once he finally decides to get up off the floor from his deep and extended beauty sleep his first steps are long and deep muscular stretches. First he locks his front feet to the floor and leans back long with his chest on the floor, his tail up in the air, and his neck stretched up and forward while holding his breath and tensing his stomach muscles. This is followed by several short steps forward with his front paws leaving his rear feet attached to the floor extending his rear legs as far as possible while dipping his back and once again stretching our his neck forward. If you were to touch his stomach you would note that it is held tight as a drum head producing a stretch in his body core. He will repeat this process several times. We refer this as “puppy pilates” and prepares himself physically for any immediately demanding duties such as chasing cats or squirrels who infringe on his territory.
Through the day he will drink only water finishing off several bowls a day. This keeps him hydrated for those prolonged Frisbee catching sessions.
When Baird starts to become fatigued from the challenges of the day and begins to lose his edge in pursuits and security patrols of the yard, rather than make mistakes or becoming frustrated he will relax in the shade and take a quick nap.
All of these habits if followed by humans would make us all healthier and better able to handle the rigors of everyday life. Of course there are other habits that dogs exhibit that may not be the healthiest practices such as licking their private parts and constant fascination with feces.
So perhaps you can learn from your pets, just be careful which habits you decide to adopt.