Like many dogs, Lois has a few internal alarm clocks. Unlike most dogs, none of Lois’s have anything to do with food. Lois is entirely driven by people and play.
If I don’t get out of bed between 7:30 and 8 am to interact with her, Lois will explode. I know this isn’t about her breakfast, because even though I pour out her food while she’s outside, she’ll walk right past the full bowl to follow me into the bathroom. You know, to hang out. Then, if someone doesn’t take Lois for a walk to her favorite wooded area around 10:30 am, Lois will also explode. Finally, if Lois does not engage in a game of throw a toy and/or get a second walk in late afternoon/early evening, she will definitely explode.
I don’t make it out on many of the morning walks. I’ll go twice a week or so, but since my husband generally works afternoons and evenings, he is in charge of making sure Lois doesn’t have a mid-morning meltdown. Because unlike Lois, I can’t simply be driven by play and people. I, like all of the other dogs, am driven by food. Or, rather, the work that turns into the money that buys food. When Lois is overwhelmed with the need for play, I am overwhelmed with the need to finish that story, prepare for that interview and reply to those emails.
Wouldn’t it be amazing, though, if the absolute top priority in your life, the thing that made you stress out and feel like you’re going to explode, was having fun with the people you love? Oh, to be a Lois. Or a trust fund baby. It would be grand.
So, Mike’s been out town for the last four days. That means I’ve been left in charge of Lois’s trek to the woods and/or Lois
standing/sitting/leaning/drooling on me until I take her. Not once did I think I had the time. Every day it has felts like an enormous sacrifice I absolutely didn’t have the bandwidth to make. But Lois doesn’t really give you a choice about these things, and since she’s nearly the same size as me, I had to comply.
Each time, it has been the highlight of my day. It’s cleared my head, it’s made me happy, and by the time I’ve returned to my computer, I can’t believe I was going to go about my day without it. Feeling refreshed, I’ve been more productive because of it than I would have been with the extra time.
Maybe I need to be less food driven, and more driven by play and people. Maybe I should start getting my internal alarm bells to “go for a walk” and “have some fun for a minute.” Lois is, admittedly, the biggest dummy I’ve ever met in most respects, but she just might have that one right.