What should kids do for their health?

Gherkin asks: What do you do for your health?

I am a dog.  I have never done a single thing in order to consciously improve my health.  But my health has always been great, except for the few times I’ve gotten sick or injured.  The lucky thing for me is that my health has been perfect for three reasons, and none of them meant hard work on my part.  Though they might mean some work for a human.

The first reason is the easiest for me.  I love to exercise.  I love to run, to jump, to chase squirrels and birds, to gallop down a seashore, to tumble with other dogs, to play games like fetch and tug-of-war with Handsome or his friends… it’s my favorite thing to do.  Now some people are like that.  They love to play sports, or run miles and miles, or swim, or hike, anything as long as it’s active.  But other people aren’t like that at all.  They can always think of something else they’d like to do.  Maybe reading books, or shopping, or sitting in front of the TV eating junk food.  They need to make themselves exercise.

They could join a gym, or a swimming pool.  Maybe they could take up a simple sport, like tennis or golf, where they don’t have to join a team or a league.  Or go out dancing.  Or they could find a friend to go on long hikes with (I have a number of very good friends who love hiking.  They tend to hike with four legs!).  Any of those are great.  The important thing is to keep it up.  It’s the best thing you can do for your health.

The second thing is having a good diet and hygiene (that means eating right and staying clean).  Although Handsome likes to give me treats, I have always had to eat a very healthy dog food that isn’t nearly as yummy as those treats are.  Handsome knows that that food has all the nutrients I need.  And as long as I eat that, then it’s okay for me to have a little bit of what he’s eating.  He also checks me every day for fleas and ticks, and even brushes my teeth every once in a while.  And worst of all, he does two things I absolutely HATE!  He cuts my nails, and he gives me baths!

Oh how I hate them!  It’s almost impossible for him to cut my nails without hurting me at least a little.  And baths!  Why would anyone choose to have water poured on them?  It’s simply unnatural!  As a puppy I would always try to jump out of the tub.   But now I’ve learned that it makes it faster if I just sit there and take it.  Plus Handsome always gives me treats after the bath is over.

Then the third thing is to go to doctors.  All the best food and exercise and cleanliness in the world isn’t quite enough.  Over the years I’ve gone to a few veterinarians, as well as a chiropractor (that’s someone who helps you by making your spine, the long row of bones in your back, go into the right line together) and an acupuncturist (that’s someone who puts very thin needles into you.  But it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as a shot).  They’ve all been really nice, though sometimes the vet does things I don’t like.  But Handsome insists on it, and who am I to argue?  I like being healthy.  Being sick STINKS!  I want to live my life as actively and funly (that’s not really a word, but it should be) as I can, and I have to be healthy to do it!  So bring on the shots, bring on the dull dogfood, even bring on the baths!  I like living!

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