Dog days

Your day starts at 6 AM with a dog retching beside your bed. The noise rouses you from dreaming, and you stumble out of the room, urging the dog to follow you to the kitchen and its tiled floor.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite make it.

Still half-asleep, you clean up the carpet and then fall back into bed. The dog lies down next to you, wide-eyed and sad, as if he can’t believe his stomach has betrayed him.

An hour later, the alarm goes off, and it’s much too soon. But what can you do? It’s time for breakfast, emails, and work. Not long after that, it’s time for lunch, errands, and work. And a little later, it’s time for dinner and chores, and maybe some more work. The day rolls on, no relief, layering its stresses upon you one tick of the clock at a time.

Finally, when most of your to-do list has been checked off — the rest will have to wait until tomorrow — you settle on the sofa, curling into the corner and sinking into the cushions. The TV is on but you barely hear it. Your eyes are open, but your mind is in Sleep Mode. You feel… nothing.

Minutes pass. Then something moves in the corner of your vision. A paw.

You turn to see your dog tucked into the opposite corner of the sofa, a furry ball of sleep. You watch him. His little belly rises and falls with each slow, soothing breath. His nose twitches. His ears are askew. His eyes have disappeared into the black spots that surround them. His tail is wrapped around him like punctuation mark, and his head is nestled between his front legs.

You smile.

Peace settles over you like a warm blanket. You feel grateful for this one tiny moment, this perfect picture of serenity. You realize that life is a two-sided coin: everything is balanced. Suddenly you don’t feel so stressed.

When you get up, the dog follows. He stands in your closet while you change into pajamas. He sits at your feet while you brush your teeth. He looks at you hopefully when you open the fridge for a glass of water. He jumps onto the sheets when you turn off the lights and slip into bed.

At 11 PM your day ends with a dog resting his head on your leg. You both sleep soundly.


  1. Oh, Kristan. I loved being in that story with you and Riley. Thank you for sharing. :)

  2. Julia says:

    I love dog stories.

  3. Sonje says:

    You might really like the book Guardians of Being, written by Eckhart Tolle and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell.

  4. Dogs rock. That is all.

  5. Shari says:

    I love this. It’s so sweet. There’s nothing quite like the loyalty and love of a furry friend :)

  6. Les says:

    Totally been woken up by the *horf* noise.

    “The dog lies down next to you, wide-eyed and sad, as if he can’t believe his stomach has betrayed him.”

    So, so true. Sad and ashamed.

  7. Dogs rule and cats…well they rule over you. lol. I loved the story. Thanks for sharing your day.

  8. Juliann Wetz says:

    Dogs always seem to balance out the bad days, don’t they? My dog greets me at the door every night like I’d been away for months, and all the stress of the day just kind of melts away.

  9. Jon says:

    Loved the post! You almost make me want to get a dog. If only I weren’t so allergic to fur…

  10. Kristan says:

    Hm, thanks for the recco!

    HAHA *horf* is a good description of it. And yay, that was my fave line.

    ME TOO. I thought he might stop someday, but thank goodness, he hasn’t!

  11. linda says:

    Omg. LOVE this post! The line Les quoted definitely made me pause and smile, too. Sigh… you write beautifully, Kristan. :)

  12. Kristan says:

    Aww thank you. {blush}

  13. Pseudo says:

    “the day rolls on, no relief, layering its stresses upon you one tick of the clock at a time” yes it does

    how fortunate we have our doggies to remind us of the simple pleasures of life, yes?

  14. Kristan says:

    Yes! I think that’s a skill that Border Collies and their mixes are particularly good at. ;)

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