The focus of this blog is a big and important subject, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be shrouded in mystery and sciency language. As I’ve often said, we would have never survived as a species if humans had to understand or even care about science to be healthy. But you’d never know that to listen to the current crop of health advisors – even the ones speaking the truth.
So, with this blog, I have attempted to use what limited time I have for these posts to make health as accessible as possible. But it has recently occurred to me that – even in the absence of science – the blog has taken on a clinical tone of a different sort. At this point I’m pretty sure that what the subject needs most is for it to be a little more about people – people like you and me. I want you to know more about me as a person, and I hope to someday know more about each and everyone of you who reads this site. It will take both of us to make this happen, so I will be asking you for your input more and more in the near future, and reporting on what you tell me. But I’ll go first…
In my last post I talked about our new rescue dog Otis, and the lessons he was teaching me about a non-scientific approach to health – the approach a dog takes when left to his own devices in a natural environment. I was looking forward to years of examples from the animal world about staying healthy simply by staying touch with our natural instincts. Now, the really human part of the story:
Otis had to leave us nearly as quickly as he appeared. That wonderful dog I spoke of so glowingly in that last post was everything I said…. to most people. But somewhere along his 4-year-long way to us, Otis also picked up some aggressive tendencies that made him a danger to a few. He is – among his many other qualities – a protective breed, and the closer he and I became, the more protective he got. Hard to say if this was a case of nature or nurture, but the bottom line is the same.
This all unfolded within a very few days, and it was impossible for me to understand how such a sweet and docile animal could have such a powerful alter-ego. I would have done anything to manage this proclivity, but I just happen to have access to 2 of the most respected dog behaviorists in the country, and both of them told me with no hesitation that this was a problem that would never be managed to an acceptable degree. End of story. End of Otis. Back to the rescue shelter from which he came, having been in our lives less than 3 weeks.
I cannot overstate how quickly and completely an animal can win your heart, and separation from that animal will always feel a little like a death in the family – or a romantic breakup not of your choosing. It is a sad time at our house and we will miss this charming dog-friend immensely. I wanted you to know this story, not only because I had given Otis such a big send-up, but also because it happened to me, and it will affect my messages in the future.
For starters, I told you that the “Lessons From Otis” had begun, and that was true. I made note of several before he left us, and you will soon learn the rest. I should also warn you that I suspect there will be a replacement Otis making an appearance in the near future, which means the lessons will continue and that line of thought will most likely pick up right where Otis left off.