Monday, August 23, 2010

Dog Time

Dog time is not human time.

Seems obvious?

But just stop and think about it. When a dog's life intersects with a human's life, whose time is going to have to give in? A human's or a dog's?

To some extent, we can fit a dog's time into a human's time. A dog will sleep at night and play during the day. A dog can learn to eat a human meal times -- after all, an animal will eat when food is available. A dog will learn the patter of his family (or in his perception, his pack's) existence.

But while you can teach a child, even a fairly young child, to count off human time by the beats of the clock, a dog's time is only ruled by its needs. There's sleep time and waking time. There's time when he's restless and time when he's hungry. There's time when he needs to relieve himself and time when he's bored. And you can't tell him "in a minute." Or expect him to learn something in lessons of 50mn and lesson-segments of 10mn.

It takes however long it takes.

It takes a deep breath, a lot of patience, and turning your back on time. And on modern urban life.

Life with a puppy is like a daily trek in the great outdoors, even when you're cooped out inside your home for fear of a heatstroke because you don't handle well the summer temperatures. Here's your nature: an animal at your feet, reminding you of a different rhythm of life. Not a schedule, but a rhythm of needs and necessities.

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