Friday, August 22, 2014

The Tajji Diaries: Alarm Clock

Dogs, like many other animals, are Creatures of Schedule. They seem to feel most secure when recurring events are predictable – the sun comes up, monkeys get up, we go walkies, then breakfast, then nap, then playtime…and so forth. They love rituals, like the one Dave has created for putting on the harness. It’s a version of Keepaway, with great romps through the living room, corridors, and open dining area. Her body language says it’s great fun, and she stands willingly when it’s all over. Interestingly, Tajji understands that this is a game to be played only with Daddy Monkey. Mommy Monkey is all business when it comes to gearing up, hence the harness is donned not in the living (Keepaway) area but in the mudroom.

To everything there is a season…
A time to pounce on cats, a time to be rubbed against,
A time to nap, a time to romp,
A time to cuddle on the monkeys’ bed, a time when doggies are not allowed on the bed…
A time to be lazily retired, and a time to impose order on the household.

Now that Tajji has settled into her new family, she feels it is incumbent upon her as the resident dog to impose some degree of order upon her monkeys. We noticed very early on that if either of us closed the door behind us and it did not latch, Tajji would very shortly poke her nose in, ascertain we were okay, and then withdraw. She was keeping an eye on us! (This was a little disconcerting at first in the bathroom.)

Monkeys and doggie do not always agree on what constitutes a proper daily schedule. Dave gets up quite early, but especially when I’ve had a rough night, I’ll sleep in, hauling myself out of bed between 7:30 and 8:00 am.

Tajji has other ideas.

She has determined that the proper time for me to wake up is 7:15 am, and she’s remarkably precise about it. I don’t know what will happen in the winter when it’s barely light at that hour, but so far, she begins her wake-up call within 5 minutes of the appointed time.

First bell: She stands on my side of the bed, panting. If I don’t respond, she pokes me with a wet nose. (So far, no kisses.)
Second bell: She hops on the bed with me, usually nicely at my feet, and sighs dramatically.
Third bell: I have not yet discovered further escalation. The first two are usually more than enough. I leave it to your imagination.

Dave, considerate spouse that he is, will close the bedroom door so that I can get a bit of extra sleep. The photo shows Tajji and Gayatri expressing their opinion of being prevented from performing their vital wake-up duties. It’s a good thing neither of them has opposable thumbs, don’t you think?

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