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I’m A New Dad Again! Hooray!!!

One of the reasons we decided to get a dog was the health benefits. The idea was that I’d be encouraged to get out from in front of the computer from time to time to take Ellie for a walk or play. Which is exactly what is happening. But it’s not the whole story.


One day Ellie will come for a run with me and we’ll both get our exercise. One day. But not anytime soon. Because, I was told by the breeder (and the vet, and people with more sense and experience with dogs than me), puppies’ bones aren’t fully formed for quite some time. So their bodies can’t take the stress of an hour long run. For now we meander around in no particular direction, punctuated by many stops wherein I attempt to remove something repulsive from her mouth that, for whatever reason, seemed potentially delicious to her. You may have seen/heard me when we’re out. “No. Leave it. Yuck. Leave it. No.No.Ellie No. Oh, for fu...”


In addition to her bones, Ellie’s bladder and other internal systems aren’t fully formed yet either. So despite her apparent best intentions there are accidents. And frequent fruitless-false-alarm trips outside. She can sleep through the night...if you consider 4:30-4:45 as morning. I’d like to tell you that after the pre-dawn trip outside she goes back to sleep until a decent hour. I’d really like to tell you that.


But the truth is that she’ll stay quiet for maybe another hour. So when I look in the mirror I don’t see the ruddy complexion of a man who goes for two walks a day. I see the drawn out, bags under the eyes, bloated face of a very tired new parent. Ellie has the knack to take just long enough with her incessant and too easily distracted sniffing around, that I cross the tipping point on not getting back to sleep at all. All the while I whisper-shout my pointless plea, “Just go already”. On the upside, I’m fully up to date with Food Network reruns from the early 2000’s. I await your emails of kind advice and general criticism of my puppy parenthood skills, and yes, I know the situation is temporary. And, so there’s no confusion, I love my dog, who is tremendously cute. When she wakes up at 4:30 am, Ellie is wagging her tail and wants nothing more than to stretch in downward dog and then lick every square inch of my face.


For those of you (including my wife) who were perhaps expecting a Valentine’s Day themed rumination on the nature of love and how relationships are important for your health, I will say two things: I love my wife dearly and I’m better off for it, and we’ve otherwise got you covered with the hearts and love in this issue of Tonic. Feature writer, Dr. Shari Caplan tells you how to get your mojo back. Our resident sex expert, Carlyle Jansen, has some tips to survive Valentine’s Day expectations and beauty expert, Jean Eng, explains why self-love consisting of pampering is good for your health .  I encourage you all to read our new column on medical marijuana. This month Ljubica Kostovic writes on cannabis and women’s health  and for those still stuck on the mechanics of their New Year’s pledge to get fit in 2017, Rod MacDonald has a list of the top 10 most effective workouts. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this note or anything else in this issue of Tonic, please feel free to contact me.