Loki, our Yorkshire terrier turns three tomorrow. We acquired him in the winter of 2009, when he was just ten weeks old. In that time, he’s taught us some valuable lessons about health and life.
* Do a little yoga every morning. Loki starts each day with a good puppy stretch. He reaches forward, then presses down while releasing a good long yogic breath. Then he stands up and does a quick shake.
* Show your love. It doesn’t matter if we’ve been gone for 10 minutes or 10 days — Loki jumps for joy whenever we come home. He hears the garage door open, rushes to the mudroom door, then whimpers and yelps excitedly as he awaits our entrance.
* Eat with people whose company you value. Most times when Loki eats, he prefers that one of us be with him. So he’ll come over and fetch us. If I’m in my office, he’ll poke his head out of the kitchen doorway and stare at me until I go and sit with him by his bowl. If my husband is moving about the house, he’ll follow him around until Jeff catches on.
* Be selective about what you eat. Unlike some dogs, Loki doesn’t grovel over every morsel of food. He’s been known to snub his nose at treats he doesn’t want. And he eats his dog food like a kid with a box of Lucky Charms — he picks out only the soft chewy pieces, while ignoring the hard crunchy ones, which often wind up on the kitchen floor.
* Bask in the sunlight. Loki likes to seek out the patches of sun on our family room carpet, where he’ll stretch, doze or just sit. A little sunshine is good for his canine soul.
* Walk every day. A daily walk does wonders for Loki on many levels. He’s better behaved, less agitated and has a better appetite. He’s also less likely to go snooping for tissues to shred, which he finds by toppling garbage cans.
* Know when it’s time to sleep. Some nights, when we’re up late, Loki can’t wait to be rid of us. The minute one of us utters the words “bed time,” or “sleep,” he darts for his crate, where he lies down and prepares to sleep. If we don’t go upstairs immediately, he comes back out, head down, as if to say, “Okay, when are you really going to bed?”