Guided by Dog
Alot of people warned us that if we got a dog, we’d never sleep in late again. But they were wrong. WE got a dog, and I’VE never slept in late again. This pup is up a bit after dawn every day. He sleeps on a little shag rug next to the bed, on my side, and I’m pretty sure he reads brain waves, because if I’m even just SLIGHTLY stirring (think, eyelids fluttering) he stretches and shakes out and jangles his tags and stands, panting, then whining, and pawing, eventually leaping up and bounding around the bed and it’s like OKAY OKAY I’M UP NOW GEEZ and there we go.
But it’s actually really, truly okay. No matter how late I’ve been up binge-watching The Mandalorian, I’ve got the early morning routine down to a science: Running clothes are set in a bundle on the heater in the bathroom the night before. Pee, brush teeth, pop in contact lenses, get dressed, and pad downstairs as the dog excitedly knocks against my legs and the cats race past us meowing and they all almost trip me. Flip on the already prepped coffeemaker, pour a little cream into saucers for the cats so they stop yowling. Slip on sneakers (or boots) and all the layers as dog works himself up to hyperdrive at the front door. Pull out a doggie bag from the roll and flick it open so I won’t have to remove gloves in the cold. Stuff the Smartphone in the pocket and snap the leash on the beast and OUT WE GO!
After the initial blast of arctic air, it’s actually pretty nice, being out and about while it’s still quiet and there’s still time to think a bit, before distracting workday realities kick in.
Lately, there’s been a fair amount of snow and ice, which this husky mutt absolutely loves. In the deep snow of the yard, he leaps and bounds and arcs like a furry dolphin. On walks, if I’m slow and struggling he PULLS like it’s the Iditarod and someone’s yelling “Mush!”. Except it’s me hissing “SLOW DOWN!” because you can’t yell in front of your neighbor’s house that early in the morning.
Yes, this dog prods me up and out of bed, forces me to breathe fresh air and get some exercise every morning. Every. Single. Morning. And it’s a good thing! I’m actually really enjoying this. We always have a nice walk; We sometimes get in a 2 or 3 mile run. And I guarantee that I would never, ever motivate myself as consistently. It’s even okay when he catches a glimpse of a squirrel or rabbit and almost pulls my shoulder out when he veers off to track it. Thankfully, he’s incredibly quiet and rarely barks. But Lord knows what he’d do to a small woodland creature if he caught one. (I have a feeling it would go like it does with our cats: A quick bat on the nose with a clawed paw and he cedes right of way right quick. But I’m not sure so, we’ll make sure he doesn’t catch any small woodland creatures.)
Yes, he’s changed our lives for sure. For the better. Love this dog! And really, he is pretty darned good-looking, ain’t he?