Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, August 26, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:8

JUST FOR BEST FRIENDS Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 26, 2017 
8JUST FOR BEST FRIENDS Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 26, 2017 

Learning to Live From A Pup’s Perspective 

A couple of years ago I decided it was time to take 
a personal moral inventory, in an effort to better 
myself and to become more valuable and available to 
those around me. By the Grace of God I have indeed 
managed to make a few adjustments to my lifestyle 
and that alone has given me a more positive outlook. 
Not a bad start, but there are still many aspects of 
myself that I find to be less than the best I could 
be, and so the pursuit of improvement continues. 
Progress is paramount.

One of the most influential aspects of my daily 
life is the time I spend with the kind canines I am so 
fortunate to have befriended over the past 7+ years 
I’ve been pet sitting and dog walking. Although I do 
consider myself very blessed to have several true-
blue two-legged pals, I can honestly say that few are 
the human companions I have who can boast the 
attitudes of sheer gratitude that I find among my 
furry four-footed friends.

Nothing eases internal tension like walking a 
grateful dog. It’s like cutting butter with a hot knife. I 
wake up in the morning, happy to be alive and feeling 
good for the most part. But by the time I walk out 
the door to embark on my day of dog walking, I have 
dodged the darts of negativity dealt by the media 
I’ve tuned into. (Why I subject myself to such grief 
is beyond me). I’ve mentally combated an entourage 
of talking heads who thrive on sharing wicked tales 
of harsh reality from capital hill to a crime-ravaged 
dark alley in an urban sprawl, and I‘ve miraculously 
navigated my way through this time of year‘s school 
traffic to make it to my first destination. I am feeling 
the stresses of everyday human life.

In my best attempt to shake off the would-be heavy 
cloud that might otherwise overwhelm me, I get out 
of my car and while approaching my first client’s 
house I begin to pray. I thank God for the opportunity 
to live. Just to live. That should be enough, as life in 
and of itself is such an amazing gift. But there is more 
to be grateful for so I continue my prayer with sincere 
thanks for the chance to be part of a community 
that, in my opinion, is socially nourishing and awe-
inspiring. I then finish my prayer in thanks to God for 
the beautiful beasts He allows me to walk alongside 
each day and I ask Him to guide our every step.

The tension begins to melt away. When I enter the 
door I am greeted by a more over-the-top enthusiastic, 
fun-loving, energetic, carefree individual than a 
fiction writer could even begin to attempt to conjure 
up as a character in a whimsical nursery tale. But this 
is not fiction. This is my reality - every day! The dog 
embellishes me with his unique brand of hairy hugs 
and canine kisses, I leash him as quickly as possible 
through the exciting chaos, and off 
we go on our way.

As we commence our journey, his 
enthusiasm remains at a level higher 
than mine will probably ever be in 
this lifetime, as he walks on the same 
trail we walked just the day before. 
To him, it is all brand new…every 
single day. To him, that blade of 
grass he just sniffed - the same one 
he sniffed yesterday - was like a little 
bit of heaven that he‘d never sniffed 
before. To him, that light breeze that 
just passed through the trees was 
like the feeling I felt as a kid when 


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Happy Tails 
by Chris Leclerc 

the roller coaster dropped from top to bottom on it’s 
tracks. To him, that cat in the neighbor’s yard was 
put there just for his own personal entertainment, no 
other reason whatsoever. And to him, nothing else 

He is in the moment. There are no concerns about 
what took place yesterday. There is no stress about 
what he should be getting done in lieu of taking a 
walk. There is no urgency to finish it up and get to the 
next task. There are no thoughts of regret, no angst 
over memories of last week’s blunder, and no burning 
desire for more than exactly what is happening right 
here and now…that dog is in the moment.

Suddenly he raises his snout up toward the sky 
to catch a whiff of a passing scent, or to inspect the 
flashing movement of a flitting hummingbird. Then 
down again it goes as fast as it went up, to resume 
his mission of reading “pee-mails” left by those who 
visited this spot before him. He casts periodic glances 
my way, just to reassure himself of my presence and I 
return his glances with a nod and a wink. I stop for a 
moment, lean down and give him a peck on the cheek 
followed by a loving, “You are such a good boy and 
I‘m proud of you!”, to which his eyes roll back as if to 
reply, “I love you too.” Then, down to the trail returns 
his intent focus, head swinging to and fro, floppy ears 
bouncing up and down on either side. In the moment.

And there it is, plain and simple. A subtle yet (oh-
so) valuable lesson to be learned from a precious 
pup. I know we humans don’t get to just “live” like 
a dog lives, as if there is nothing to be planned for 
and no amends to be made for yesterday. We must 
bear the burden of responsibilities that are inherent to 
being human. But must we spend our every moment 
planning future events that we likely won’t bother 
to enjoy because we will be so busy thinking about 
the next activity to be planned? And if we spend our 
days regretting the fact that we wasted time in the 
past, have we not wasted yet more precious time in 
fruitless regret?

I don’t know about you, but I want to learn how tolive in the moment, like my canine companions do.
They don’t even have to try, it comes naturally for them. Ibelieve I was better about living in the moment as a child,
but I seem to have lost that skill somewhere along theway of becoming an adult. Today I am on a new quest torestore my skill of being in the moment, and I am pleasedto have the best teachers one could hope for. I’d be lost 
without the pets I get to spend time with. I hope you willjoin me in learning important lessons from the animals.
They teach us through their simple ways of living, if weare willing to learn. There is a reason why God createdthem and put them by our side. Love, learn and let live. for adoption info and application.
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I’ve never been so 

tall doing yoga!

Ha! Those of you

who know me 

know that’s some 
seriously wonderful news. Yoga can transform a person
slouching in their chair into someone who sits uprightwith no assistance. 

The sages say that asana poses were developed tomake the spine strong in preparation for meditation.
“One whose spine is full of energy” is the definition ofa yogi, so it goes without saying that the spine is a hugefocal point in yoga.

I remember my mom telling me to “hold yourshoulders back.” Most of the time, this is what the 
teacher is masterfully trying to accomplish withstudents in yoga class. To assist with alignment ofthe spine when you are not enjoying the expertiseof a teacher, enjoy a few of the wonderful posturesdescribed below at home. 

First, try Tadasana or Mountain Pose. Stand withyour feet hip distance apart, activate your legs and 

Are you over 40 years old and 


Does the idea of looking for 
love cause you to break out in hives?

Are you paralyzed by that stupid Newsweek 
article, from 30 years ago, that said a single woman 
over 40 was more likely to be killed by a terrorist 
than to find a mate and marry? 

First of all, that article has been proven to be 
wrong over and over again. Second, who cares 
about stats when we are talking about a life you 
would love that includes love? The truth is that 
the odds are actually in your favor. Older adults 
are changing the rules for aging, dating, and sex. 
Love is available to everyone regardless of age. 
Studies also indicate that the maturity of age helps 
older adults have more positive dating experiences 
than they did in their youth. Older adults have 
well developed emotional brains. 

Over 40 and ready to date? Good, because it’s 
your time!
“Two are better than one 

 because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,

 one can help the other up. 
But pity anyone who falls

 and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep 

 But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,

 two can defend themselves. 
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

belly. Draw shoulder blades onto your back and faceyour palms forward. Stand tall and breathe deeply.
Second, try Utkatasana or Chair Pose. Inhale andbend your knees deeply while bringing the arms rightalongside ears. Firm the belly and tilt your pelvis justslightly forward. Make sure your knees don’t jut outtoo far over the ankles. Breathe deeply here with allmuscles engaged. Other poses I love for posture andthe confidence that boosts the structure are Warrior I, 
Bridge Pose, and just unassisted sitting, or meditation 

Keep practicing and watch the body change!
Remember, everything is connected, so even safelystretching hamstrings can assist in posture. See you inclass soon. Visit Yoga Madre’s website for the currentschedule: Please email me with questions or inquires. 

Keely Totten, E- RYT 500, Teacher Trainer at YogaMadre 

Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual 

---Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 New International Version 
Being in a committed relationship leads to reduced 
stress, better healing capacity, feeling a greater 
sense of purpose and a longer, healthier life.

I know that the idea of dating and courtship can 
seem frightening, but the rewards are immense 
and worth the challenge. A few short years ago, I 
was at a crossroads. My very long marriage ended, 
and my child was at college, and I was lonely. I had 
to decide what I wanted for myself, and I started 
asking myself questions. What would make me 
happy? I realized that I longed for connection and 
intimacy. I didn’t know where to start, and I didn’t 
know how. 

I have since built a deeply fulfilling relationship 
where I have great fun and adventure. The best 
part is that I had fun all along the way. 

Having healthy relationships is part of living 
a full life, and romantic love is available and 
possible regardless of age. Are you ready to make 
love welcome? What are you willing to do to 
experience love? Ask yourself, what if I could find 
love? Everything starts with your thinking and 
your beliefs. You have to believe that love is at 
least possible. You also must be willing to take 

Write to me; I would love to hear your thoughts 
on love after 40. What comes up for you when you 
think about dating and looking for love? 

Lori A. Harris is a Lawyer and coach that helps 
women over 40 find love and have fun doing it! 
Find out more about her at 

Walter Cailleteau, DVM Free Exam! 
927 N. Michillinda Ave. For New Clients 
Pasadena, CA 91107 Bring this coupon to save! 
(626) 351-8863 
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