Of the many, many things that dogs are better at than we are, knowing when to stop and rest rises to the top.
I’m sure your to-do list looks a lot like mine: errands, chores, work, social commitments, laundry, more errands, more work. Every time I scratch one thing off, there are half-a-dozen tasks added.
John and I have a running joke about the boys’ having very full to-do lists. “That afternoon nap isn’t going to take itself,” we say. We rattle off the items that Emmett and Lucas have on their list: eat breakfast, take an after-breakfast nap, go for a walk, sniff the garden and munch on a bug or two, take a nap in the grass, if it gets too hot move the nap indoors, play with toys, eat dinner, play outside, play with toys again, take an evening nap.
This past weekend, we were busy. We drove a couple hours out of town to go to a concert and my darling nephew’s first birthday party. We worked, John on his qualifying exams for his PhD and I on the syllabus for a course I’m teaching this fall and articles that are due this week. We picked up the house, swept up the fur, and went to the store. We made coffee Sunday evening, just so we could stay awake long enough to get through our tasks. We fell into bed, exhausted, just after midnight. And got up this morning at 6 to do it all over.
But the boys… Yesterday, they slept! They slept in their beds upstairs, then moved to their beds downstairs, then came back upstairs to sleep some more, then laid in the grass… After all their excitement of going out of town, having three other dogs to play with, attending my nephew’s party, they were wiped. And they knew it. So they slept.
This morning, I struggled to get out of bed, and John hit snooze every 9 minutes. When I finally crawled out from under the covers, there were Emmett and Lucas, bright eyed and bushy tailed. They wagged away, so happy to see me, ready and excited to face their day while I struggled to open my eyes.
There’s a lesson in this, I think.