As I’ve said many times before, dogs and humans are both creatures of habit, never more so than first thing in the morning. The problem is that for humans, it takes at least an hour and a few cups of coffee before we can legally be held responsible for our actions and our dogs know it.
The morning starts much the same for dog lovers the world over. Usually, in one of three ways…
- Our subconscious tells us our bladder needs emptying and our dogs decide to help by jumping on it; both in unison, and then one after the other.
- Our subconscious feels something’s wrong and opens our eyes to reveal our dogs staring at us, doing their best Jedi mind trick imitation.
- Our subconscious feels something’s wrong and opens our eyes to reveal the bedroom totally empty, causing us to jump out of bed to see what mischief the dogs are up to.
Now that we’re conscious enough to somewhat control our movements, our dogs may or may not let us pass unimpeded to the bathroom to do our business. Normally at least one of them will come along to make sure we don’t dally too much. Once we’ve finished our business and not a moment later, the dogs will all turn into border collies and herd us towards the back door so they can tend to their own bladders. This will be, by far, the quickest pee break of the day. As soon as their bladders are empty, their stomachs remind them that they’re empty too.
Once back inside, the dogs herd us into the kitchen where we blindly grope for the morning rations of kibble. Now at this point we’re still operating on a half-awake brain and our dogs know it. Closing our eyes and listening to the morning rustle and chomp of kibble we fantasize of the bed we just left. The sound of silence snaps us back to the present to find the dogs doing their best to convince us that we never put kibble in their bowls in the first place. They figure that since we haven’t had a cup of coffee yet, we can be convinced of anything.
After the kibble crunching, we tend to get stubborn sometimes and refuse to do anything else until we’ve had at least a cup of coffee and some toast. However, our dogs are ready for this tactic and often counter with one or more of the following…
- A play bow, either as a group or one after another, each using their best happy face to entice us out of the kitchen and into the back yard.
- Gathering as a group at the back door looking as if they drank too much water and are going to explode in a shower of urine if they don’t get to go out. But of course they won’t go out unless we accompany them.
- They start playing inside as a group and become so loud and obnoxious that we have no choice but to let them out for our own sanity. Again they will just stand at the door and stare at us unless we go out with them.
- Working as a group, one dog will bring our shoes, one will bring the leashes, and the others will bring the rest of the accruement necessary for a morning walk.
Of course at some point in the morning we will fit in enough coffee and fresh air to actually be considered legally conscious and aware of our actions and ready to fully enjoy the company of our dogs. That’s when another morning ritual takes place— our dogs take a nap.
We’d love to hear what kind of morning rituals you and your dogs practice. So sit back, have a sip of coffee, and share with us.