Monday, October 22, 2012

An unexpected forum for relaxation

We don't watch TV much in my house, and the TV we have is Florian's old model from about 1993. We did, however, tune in to the last debate, which meant that we and the dogs, and the budgies because they like to listen to TV and radio, crowded all together in to the small bedroom.

I won't go into my political leanings too much (okay, if you must know, I think Romney is a rich privileged dude who knows nothing about the struggles of normal people and will look out only for rich white people and big corporations, while I think Obama is hugely disappointing with respect to environmental protection but is essentially a good person trying his best in challenging circumstances), but I do enjoy TV nights because the animals seem to really love doing something as a family  together. 

Fozzie couldn't bear to watch the debate, so he had his cool nose buried in my neck.

Lamar lay in the dog bed I brought in for him. I thought about how Lamar gets less attention generally since he likes to lie in his own space, while Fozzie has no concept of his own space and so generally lies on top of his humans. 

But Lamar loves attention, as long as he can be comfortable while receiving it. So while Mitt and Barry duked it out, I lay down on the dog bed with Lamar.

And I just began stroking him. Rubbing my hands up and down his side, his neck, his scrawny legs. Getting out huge amounts of fur with each stroke, in the gentlest of deshedding techniques. And Lamar took a deep breath, stretched out, and looked more relaxed than I've seen him in weeks. 

For the entire duration of the debate, while the politicians nagged and jabbed at each other, I just stroked Lamar and relaxed with him on a great big orthopedic dog bed. 

When I finally got up to cuddle Fozzie for a minute before going off to brush my teeth and go to my own bed, Lamar remained there, stretched out, blissfully and deeply asleep. 

Years ago, when I lived in New Mexico and was a year or so out of college, I went to massage school and then practiced for about a year. I know all about how massage can make the lymph flow better, improve sleep, stimulate the immune system, process toxins, and give a great big boost to well-being, but somehow I just don't take the time to do it with my own dogs. Sure I pet them and scratch them and cuddle them all the time, but seldom do I really devote all my attention to giving a really good rubdown. 

Doing it reminded me how different life was back when I took the time to do relaxing things, to give massages and get them, to really think about how to stimulate healing in myself and others. 

The pace of life was different in New Mexico, and the pace of life was different without Florian's bright zinging current of energy running through my every day. I wouldn't trade my life now for that life, but there must be a way to recapture the sense of inner reflection, of stillness, of time stretching out before me and around me, that I often had then.

Maybe just by giving Lamar a massage once a day.


  1. I almost couldn't watch the 2nd debate after the first disappointing one. (Was that a clue?)Your post gave me a start because I thought I'd missed the 3rd one! Think it's tomorrow for us down under. 1/2 hour to midnight now.

    I miss massages so much! Georgia loves hers. I think it's wrong when the dog gets more massages than the humans in the house! :)

  2. Love the post and pictures and agree politically! Here is a little something else to sweeten your day: My Mini Pet Pig
    Oink oink,
    Katie and Coccolino the mini pig

  3. I watched the first debate and then tuned out the rest. Quite truthfully I don't care for either candidate. IMO we're screwed either way.

    I try to snuggle and rub my guys as much as I can, but I am not schooled in massage so they get plain rubbies. :-)

  4. Maybe try for once-a-week massages for Lamar...It sounds so good for both of you!!

  5. It does sound like massages are both for the one who gives AND the one who receives! Isn't there another debate tonight? You can do another round tonight :)

  6. Lovely post, you can't beat a bit of massage, we're very tactile in this house with our pets (I too trained in massage, we have a lot in common :)) and for Susie-Belle it's been amazing to be part of her transformation through touch. Gorgeous story :)
    (ps, I hope you all give Obama another chance, I love him, but I'm a million miles away!)

  7. I think Lamar would agree that you should massage him every day! I try to do that with Blueberry - but I have to admit that as soon as her eyes close, I will stop, then she'll look at me and I have to restart the process. It's usually just better if I wait until she is snoring - then I know I can stop because she is OUT. I know petting/massaging dogs is good for us - helps us lower our blood pressure, improves our own health - so really, it's a win-win!

  8. Like you I trained in massage many years ago but have let it go in recent times. I am hoping to go on a canine massage course to renew my interest. Our dogs are all pretty chilled anyway but they do enjoy being stroked - Lamar looks very peaceful there :-) -Leigh (Magic's Mum)

  9. Sounds like a massage is a perfect accompaniment to the debates. Maybe I'll keep that in mind the next time I watch the news.

  10. I try to give my pups massages every now and then, they love it so much, I know every dog likes to be pet, but puppa massages bring them to another level. So sweet!


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