Relaxing never came easily to Smudge. Indeed, for most of her life, she has struggled mightily with it. Terriers (especially Jack Russells) are just like that; if you’ve ever had one, you understand. Now in her twilight years (she’s 17+), she has become something of an authority on this topic (among others) and I’ve picked up some useful tips from her.
Whether you’re going on vacation, planning a stay-cation, or just enjoying a day off, here are 10 things Smudge has taught me that will help you relax and replenish:
- Destinations are not that important. The joy is in the meandering. There may be something especially pungent under that OTHER shrub. The freedom to explore the possibilities is pure gold.
- Don’t be in a hurry. The next fire hydrant could be even better than the last one. Each one needs to be thoroughly examined.
- Dawdling is allowed. Every scent is like an email sent by another dog. Sniffing and replying appropriately is just common courtesy. It’s the doggie equivalent of social media.
- Be open to new encounters. The big dogs aren’t always arrogant and scary and the little guys often have something worthwhile to say, too.
- Wag your tail a lot. It’s good exercise and it makes the people around you smile and talk kindly to you.
- Be patient with humans. They are easily distracted by others of their own kind and may want to stop and chat. Just let them; it’s a good opportunity to chill.
- Let it roll. When your people get impatient or upset with you, remember: it’s probably not about you, it’s about them. They lead very complicated lives.
Physical limitations can be a blessing. Loud noises no longer startle when your hearing starts to go. And with failing vision, the squirrels aren’t nearly so distracting. (They were always over-rated anyway.)
- There’s no shame in slowing down. As you grow old, you have less to prove. You get kudos just for waking up in the morning.
- Hurry home. There always a treat – and a nap – waiting for you there.
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