Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 12-27-10
The New Year is upon us. My plan is to avoid stress in 2011. How does one do that, you ask?
The answer: Dogs. (I’m not making this up). I just read an item in the paper (and therefore, the information is true and unbiased) which claims college students suffer “stress” upon facing exams, finals, and other challenges deriving from that dreadful experience called “education.”
Expecting knowledge to be funneled into their brains through the ear passages, thereby qualifying them to draw down high-paying executive positions post college, the poor dears actually have to study, write papers, pass tests. Oh, the awfulness!
To relieve these stress-ridden, high anxiety tasks, Tufts University in Massachusetts and New York University in N.Y. employ dogs. (I’m not making this up). Taking a break from finals stress – according to the article – “with something as easy and simple and loving as petting dogs is really helpful.”
Well, now, dog therapy for stress – isn’t that special. I intend to try that idea to relieve certain stresses of my own. Such as my truck refusing to start until I crank the engine over for 10 minutes or more in the cold mornings. It irks me a lot, so once it starts, I hasten to obtain and caress a new furry tail wagger.
When the stock watertank froze over, I had to break the ice with a splitting maul which made my shoulders ache and frostbit my fingers. The stress drove me to acquire another puppy to cuddle.
Of course, writing this column once a week causes a certain amount of stress as the deadline marches toward me no matter what time of year. So, to alleviate the pressure, I enjoy stroking my latest canine acquisition.
During Thanksgiving, I was snowed in. As soon as the roads became passable, I went to the Pound and picked up a pup and fondled it. I missed a turkey dinner invitation, but patting the pup made me feel heaps better.
The snow, by the way, blew sideways for two days in gusts strong enough to blow the metal facing off the eaves of the garage. A whale-size snowdrift (likely to remain till spring) barricades the lane to the house, so I have to drive up over the top of a slope (blown free of snow by the knifing wind) to get out. But my four-footed bow-wows let me smooch ’em any time.
A friend of long-standing broke her leg, another broke her wrist and a third is undergoing a depression. Fortunately, they each own a dog so I needn’t lend any of mine.
I don’t mean to complain. After all, I’m not facing the horror of trying to pass an exam, write a finals paper or take a test. I’m sympathetic. Once those dog-petting students conquer the stress of finals week, they’ll be out in the world serving you and me.
When you order a burger, be sure to ask for fries to go with it. If you don’t like deep-fried potatoes, your barking pal will love ’em.
Happy Stress Free New Year to all.
P.S. Anyone need a dog?