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What’s Furry and has Four Legs? May 26, 2011

Posted by franciecooper in life coaching, life lessons.
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What’s Furry and Has Four Legs?

“My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.”   Unknown
Sometimes the VIPs in our lives are the furry, four-legged variety – the ones we fondly call our Vitally Important Pets.  We love them like family and, according to Web M.D., research has shown that living with pets helps lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety, and boost immunity.
Walking a dog or just caring for a pet can provide exercise and companionship. Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies.  Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease — lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels — than non-owners, researchers say.  “Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
I had the poignant experience of losing a beloved VIP this past week.  She was a beautiful 15-year-old Golden Retriever named Natasha.  I had the pleasure of her company for only five years of that 15, but she managed to wiggle her fuzzy self deeply into my heart.
I dedicate this week’s blog to her.  She had beauty without vanity, and strength without intolerance. She offered unconditional love and companionship; she was funny, smart, and was never afraid to ask for what she needed and wanted.
Natasha was a good role model for everyone who knew her!
So, dear readers, I invite you to share a story about one of your beloved VIPs this week.  Shoot me an email  or go to my Facebook page to post a comment.  I’d love to see your pictures too!
P.S.  Friend and fellow Coach Steve Coxsey and I are talking about the importance of close relationships all month on our internet radio show, TapaPalapa.   You can listen right now to all of our episodes by clicking here.

My New Super Power January 12, 2009

Posted by franciecooper in Uncategorized.
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I must’ve been flying! Surely that’s the explanation…

It started as another glorious day in my neck o’ the woods. The sky was bright blue, the temp was cool but not cold, there was a slight breeze (but not enough to trigger allergies.) It was an ideal day to take a walk in the park. So, my best friend, Lesley, and I went together and took her two golden retrievers, Nick and Natasha, with us.

As we were meandering through the relatively empty park, we stumbled upon a playground. I have to confess it’s been a while since I’ve actually taken advantage of a playground myself, though I recommend it regularly to clients who’ve lost touch with their sense of fun.

The swings were calling to me, so we tied the dogs to a nearby bench and started swinging away. It was crazy fun, pumping my legs, pushing my arms out and apart, feeling my stomach muscles contracting and relaxing as I swung, leaning back and forward, to and fro. It was exhilarating! The most fun exercise I’ve found in years.

Anyway, one of the dogs started barking, first a few woofs, then uproariously! Soon she started pulling at her leash, tail wagging fast and furiously, barking her head off! She was going nutso!

My friend jumped off her swing (not in a bailing-out fashion because we are middle-aged after all, and not used to bailing-out of swings any more) and went over to pet Natasha to calm her. I kept swinging happily, which seemed to excite the poor pooch even more.

Lesley then decided to see what would happen if she let Natasha off leash, usually a safe bet because Natasha’s 13 and not prone to running wild. Well, she promptly ran over to me, chased the swing as fast as her four arthritic legs could carry her, barking her head off, and wagging her beautiful golden tail furiously.

She didn’t stop until I did.

We pondered this aberrant behavior during rest of our walk, debating why swinging triggered such craziness. Lesley finally concluded that Natasha thought we were flying. That made sense to me for some weird reason.

And that’s when I realized that flying must surely be one of my super powers. Not the kind of flying that Superman does because gravity has an unfortunate pull on my physical body. Rather, flying in the sense of being able to let go and have fun in my life. Natasha could probably sense my soul was soaring and she wanted to fly too!

How ’bout you?