Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pet Therapy

One of the innovative aspects of the hospital where I work is the Pet Therapy.  On occasion, someone will bring a well-trained dog to our floor for patients to enjoy.  Of course, the animals are extremely clean and very friendly.  Subsequently, only certain dogs qualify for this special role.  Yet, when one of these canines visit our area, I usually put my workload on hold momentarily to rub on the dog.  It seems to add a special joy to my day.

It is no wonder that when I underwent surgery for cancer in 2004 I asked for the Pet Therapy people to visit.  Unfortunately, they were off that week.

Yet, studies show the beneficial aspects of owning pets.  I read an interesting article about the health benefits of owning a cat recently.  For example, having a cat in the household reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and even the chance of having a heart attack among other things.

Come to think of it, except for brief periods, there have always been cats in my household, providing their soothing balm.  Even when life has been tough with financial problems, family issues, broken down vehicles, work difficulties, or even health concerns, stopping for a few moments and petting my cat has been a welcome relief.  No matter what may be happening on my world outside my home, as long as I have a loving cat to console me, then life is okay.

Albert Schweitzer also recognized the value of cats by stating, "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats".  So, when life is tough, chaotic and stressful, I'm glad that I have a comforting feline within my reach. 

Hence, my saving grace on many occasions continues to be, "Here, kitty, kitty.  I need you." 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Running Into The Wind

Being off from work yesterday, I ventured out running in my neighborhood yet again.  It seems like many of my blogs deal with running.  Nevertheless, it was a different run temperature wise.  It was around twenty one degrees.  Pretty cold to exercise outdoors.  However, years ago, I remember running when it was eighteen degrees so I felt running in the cold would not be that significant.  Yet, I forgot about one factor about running in the cold yesterday...the wind.

I ran on a straight street for about one and a half miles without any problems.  I had on plenty of running apparel, i.e. long running pants, long sleeve shirt, gloves, toboggan and a hooded sweater.  Then, I reversed my path and continued running for about another one and a half miles to return to my car.  This is when the northerly wind attacked me with ferocity.  You see, in reversing my course, I was running straight into the wind.  I pulled the toboggan and hood around my face as much as possible to cover up any exposed skin, especially my nose.  I agonized over the elements, longing for when I could return to the heated confines of my car.  My only thoughts were of when the run would end.  Keep going.  You'll be out of the cold soon.  Don't slow down.

Life is similar to this run.   Sometimes life is easy.  The wind if behind you.  The run requires some effort but is still manageable. Yet, something may occur where you have to run against the wind.  Life becomes a whole new ballgame.  Every step is agonizing.  You struggle to make it to an area of comfort.

My simple suggestion when you feel like you're going against the wind....keep running.  Keep pressing.  Don't stop.  Who knows?  Just as there was a warm car at the end of my run, there may be warming stations in life not too far down the road.