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.