I love Sundays- a different workout routine in the morning (by the way, we are having an incredible respite from June’s normal temps-it was only 90 degrees yesterday, 89 today, and the mornings are in the low 70’s), a slower-paced day, a chance to catch up on my book writing and some reading. Speaking of reading, I read a truly inspirational story about an abused dog that was rescued-it was in the latest AARP (yup, that AARP) newsletter. This dog, a Husky-mix called “Champion” had lived his life bound to a tree by a six-foot chain, sick with heartworm and kidney infections, and at least 15 pounds underweight. Flies had nibbled off the tips of his ears and his teeth were worn down from chewing on his chain. According to the author, “he looked weary with life”. At first they thought that death would be a kindness, but he responded positively to a pat on the head, so rather than having him euthanized, they put Champ through a month of rigorous treatment. The clinic’s staff praised his gentleness and affection.

At home, he easily adapted to his new surroundings, loved riding in the car, and played surrogate mother to a fostered litter of puppies. One day the author came home to see Champ on his back, wiggling like a puppy. He grinned, murmured, rolled over a grabbed a toy, acting like a dog who had never known a day of mistreatment. He was reveling in life. Champ taught the author that “youth lies in endurance, the appreciation of respite from pain, and joy in the love of family”. Champ was exhibiting gratitude for his new life.

Reading the article, I wondered how many of us are chained to a tree with a six foot chain, unable or unwilling to make the effort to revel in life. It also made me think about how grateful I am, to be able to do all of the physical things that I can do, from squatting down to pick up an object, to the intense workouts most mornings. I don’t want that physical ability to slip away, not when I have control over it. Youth lies in endurance. Champ knows that. Do you?

Stay well, John R. Blilie, M.S.

PS: Dot Olsen, who reads my blog, sent me the name of a website called www.realage.com, where you answer a few questions and it will calculate the difference in your real age from your chronological age. I took it and was very pleased to see that instead of being almost 55, I am actually only 47! Thank You Dot-You’ve made my day.