Lessons From Lucy

Lessons from Lucy
Written by Aimee Carlson, LMT
(5 min read)

My dog Lucy, has the best life.  Being an only “child”, she gets lots of love and attention.  Her personality is sweet, curious and at times full of boundless energy.  She can produce excited full circle spins at the word “walk”, has several fuzzy beds scattered throughout our house and can pretty much go from being active to snoring in 3.5 seconds.  There have been several days in the past when I’m rushing out of the house and I glance at her all cuddled up in her bed and often think, gosh, I wish I had your life Lucy!
As my busy life came to a screaming halt a little over a month ago, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on how I want to spend this down time.  I am fortunate in that my husband is still able to work so that leaves me to spend a lot of time with sweet Lucy.  In observing her daily habits, I learned a lot from her that I can apply to my own life  Here are a few of the highlights:
* Walks.  When the weather is ideal, this is wonderful.  I’ve got to meet some new neighbors, appreciate the open space near our house and breathe in lots of fresh air.  I’ve watched construction around our area go up, the spring flowers bloom and the birds come to life.  And even when the weather is cold, snowy or raining, you STILL go out for a long walk!
* Treats.  I’ve been training Lucy on a couple of behaviors and (much like her mama) she is food motivated.  But her weight has also gone up during this time (much like her mama), so it’s been a good lesson that treats are great, but they need to be in moderation.  Someone told me recently that calories don’t count during a pandemic.  I certainly wish that was true but this is a really important time to *try* and be as healthy as possible.
* Naps.  Lucy sleeps more than humanly possible.  I looked it up online and it says dogs sleep about 18 hours a day!  While this would be glorious (I love to sleep) it’s certainly not an acceptable habit and would probably annoy my hard working husband!  But it has caused me to reflect on how I can translate this into my life:  self care. Having a cup of tea, reading a book or reaching out to a friend.  I like to think that Lucy’s naps are recharging her for her next walk and so my self care is like a mental recharge for getting through this challenging time.  I won’t lie, my motivation has not been great but I no longer feel guilty for taking time for myself.
* Love.  Not just any kind of love but the very best kind: unconditional.    I’ve always heard about this kind of love from dogs but until I had my own canine companion, I never experienced it.  I have to tell you, it feels absolutely amazing coming home and having someone greet you with such love and excitement.  It made me wonder what the world would be like if we all could show love in that way.  It’s certainly something to think about.
I encourage each of you to try and implement one of these lessons in your day, if you aren’t already!  I sincerely look forward to the day when we can see each other in person.  Until then, be well, take a long walk with someone you love, and don’t feel guilty about that brownie!

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