The Morning Mail

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Catch the Morning Sun

Winter mornings are great occasions for observing activities that we often ignore in more active seasons. Today I watched our cat, Oreo Junior- sun herself against the stone wall in the backyard. OJ does this every morning. The northern exposure of the yard only allows slivers of sunshine to filter into the yard during the early hours.

OJ lies on her back. She rolls. She plays with a brittle leaf. She soaks in the sunshine.

She is not alone. Both of our dogs- Riley and Dillon- also take turns in this little corner of paradise.

These rituals by our animals got me to thinking about animal instinct and behavior.
How do they know that recent scientific studies show that regular doses of sun every day help the body fight off disease?

Last summer, Riley suffered an injury to his knee. He was in such pain that the Vet thought surgery was in Riley's future. Riley had other ideas. Each day he laid on the cool deck by the swimming pool until he began to pant from the heat. Riley would then head to the covered patio for relief. He repeated this ritual several times a day.

When we returned to the Vet for surgery, no operation was necessary. The Vet said that had he not known which knee was injured, he would not have been able to tell. Riley was totally healed.

Observation of our animal friends results in good life lessons. Take time out during the winter doldrums to observe how our pets deal with illness and seasonal discomfort.



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