Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Need a Routine

There is at least one being on this planet who is NOT happy that I've stopped working for The Man -- my dog.

My dog LOVED his daily routine. Every morning before I got ready to go toil for The Man, I would come down to my dog's plush bed and snuggle him, and then he would invariably start wiggling all around on his back so that he would be well-positioned for me to rub his stomach. I would always say "You're a goof!!!" and then get in the shower while he was still rolling around on the carpet. He would get fed, go outside, and then go to his crate. As in, he himself would walk into his cage, we never had to put him in there. The story of why he has to be in a crate while we're gone is for another time, but just know that he loves it and stays in there on his own all the time even when we're home (especially if it's storming outside). Our dog-walker would take him on a 25 minute walk every day around 2 pm; I would get home by 6 pm and feed him and let him out again. When my husband got home he would go nuts and run up and down the hall with his toys to show off. We would go for an hour-long walk in the evening and then we would yell "Time for bed!" around 10:30 pm. The bed-time routine is his favorite... he runs with each of his toys from his bed in our main room to his bed in our bedroom - barreling down the hall back and forth until all bones and chew toys have been transferred. Then he would wiggle around on his back and get more tummy rubs, and then he would be out like a light - often snoring.

Until I stopped working.

His food and walking schedules remain the same, and nothing is different about when we get up and go to bed... but now, I am home during the day. And when I am home, he doesn't sleep. He may still lie in his crate, or he may curl up on his dog bed, but the second I walk over to the fridge, he's by my side. I am coming in and out of the house to run errands and he needs to snoop into what I've brought home or sniff for any other dog smells on me.

He does not know WHAT is going on. And he does not like it one bit.

He is SO TIRED, it is really sad to see. I guess when you're used to sleeping for the vast majority of the day and then all of a sudden you need to (or in his case, think you need to) stay alert during that same time period, it would be rough.

Therefore, I really need to get some sort of routine established for myself. They always say that people are like their dogs and vice versa, and watching my dog suffer has made me realize that I, too, have kind of broken down over this past week of freedom. Yes, I'm enjoying not having to get ready in the morning and commute back and forth and all that, but I feel a bit lost at the same time. It is not in my Type A nature to just relax!!! So, once I get all of these random errands out of the way (getting a new water heater, fixing a snapped cord on one of our blinds, going to the doctor, getting new shelf support pins because one of our shelves collapsed... and on and on and on), I need to figure out how I'm going to operate on a daily basis. Perhaps if I always plan to leave the house for the gym or for errands at the same time each day, that will help my dog be confident that he is going to get some shut-eye during those hours. And I definitely will be keeping one regimen from my days with The Man - my breakfast ritual. Every day I would have a whole wheat bagel, low-fat cream cheese and a mug of Earl Grey hot tea. Every single day, without fail. The tea being the most important part of the ritual. Now that I'm home I'm mixing it up with waffles and berries every few days just to try and be a bit healthier with some fruit intake, but the tea I cannot live without. Maybe once my dog gets used to me being around and starting the day off the same way after my husband has left for the office, he won't feel like he needs to stay awake anymore.

Unfortunately, I think it's going to be a few more weeks before there's any sense of normalcy around my place. Until then, if I DO see him dozing off, I will let sleeping dogs lie - literally!

- e


Anonymous said...

(crossover fr. lost blog/skin cream comment chick)
The doggie is GORGEOUS. I have a brown lab with grey whiskers, boxy head, they could be brothers. He will settle in soon, and you will have a new routine.

Congratulations on your new life! You are going to be wildly successful and very happy.

Erika (aka "e") said...

Yes, my dog IS quite the beauty, isn't he? We get comments on his coat all the time (the trick - a small bit of peanut oil mixed in with his food). Your lab sounds cute as well! I like the English lab (boxy head) look better than the American lab (narrow head).

He is still pretty darn tired between me being home and all the crazy storms we've been having that freak him out. But hopefully in time it will get better.

And... I WILL be writing up some more makeup/beauty product stuff very soon - I felt like I was writing too many "girly" things recently so I gave it a break for a while. : )

- e

Anonymous said...

I experienced the same thing when I stopped working ... well not the dog thing ... the needing a routine thing. When I started working again, I was actually excited to "get a routine" ... but now I'm like "what am I doing working for The Man again?!?!" I gotsa get me less routine! ENJOY IT while you can ... and I'm sure the dog will get some sleep soon.