Returning to Routine

The long holiday weekend is at an end. And hopefully, so too is your neighbor’s supply of alcohol and bottle rockets, along with your brain’s 5 day surge of cortisol and norepinephrine. Whether you view the 4th of July as a time honored celebration of our country’s independence or an excuse for grown men and women to get drunk and blow things up, there’s a need to decompress.

I feel badly for my dogs that, here in the south, have to endure a weeklong barrage of pops, whizzes, bangs, booms, and thuds. Not to mention that I am not all that fond of the time chosen by many of these fine citizens to deploy their little merrymakers.

Along with us, our dogs have built a nice little cocktail of stress related chemicals in their brains and are ready for a return to normalcy, a chance to turn off that little part of our brains that’s actively searching for that next whizz-bang-boom.

One of the things I look forward to the most after the 4th is a a nice, long, evening walk with my dogs. A chance for me and my dogs to enjoy the feel of the cooler air of the late summer and explore the many scents carried upon it, a chance to engage in routine.

As much as our dogs might crave the cessation of the unexpected explosions that assaults their ears during independence week, I think they crave the return to a normal routine even more. Routine is music to our dog’s ears and chicken soup for their soul. It helps them to make sense out of the world we’ve placed them in and allows them expectations that are of comfort to them.

Here’s hoping you can enjoy a nice evening walk with your best friends, free from the sounds of fury, and signifying routine.

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