How To Relax
Be like Peggy and Steve
Hopefully, your next few days will be filled with family and friends and good food and…very little else. Rest is important but also not easy for many people. Here’s a guide from some professionals.
Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. If you are new here then let me introduce you to Peggy and Steve. You’ve now met the two most important dogs I know. Today we’ll talk about two dogs. Let’s all take a deep breath and direct our focus on a dog for a moment.
Each morning, Peggy wakes before dawn. She rises slowly — a bit wobbly on her three legs, which take a minute to warm up. She executes a downward dog in her spacious soft crate and offers up a loud yawn that starts in a low octave and scales upward toward sonic frequencies undetectable to the human ear. The yawn is followed by between one and two minutes of curious silence and then a soft whine, which doubles as the house’s alarm clock.
Once out of the crate and in the open field of the living room, she takes a few laps to make sure the house is in order and that items are where she left them in the evening. Confident that her worldly possessions are safe, she sneezes three or four times and does a little shake before making her way to the door, where she waits patiently to be let out to take care of some personal business in the yard.
Now feeling spry, the morning can begin in earnest. She bucks wildly and gallops to the back corner of the kitchen, where an empty puzzle bowl waits to be filled with breakfast. Peggy’s ritual requires sitting down to be fed and she gamely obliges, balancing her weight on her back leg — her stump proudly displayed. As breakfast pours into the puzzle bowl her mouth lets forth roughly an eighth of a cup of anticipatory drool.
Breakfast is consumed diligently. The nooks and crannies of the puzzle bowl are the dog equivalent of a breakfast crossword — stimulating the mind while nourishing the body. Even with the puzzle bowl, one cup of food disappears in roughly 90 seconds. Exhausted from excitement and now with a full belly, our hero ambles heavily toward the bedroom, where she throws herself up onto the bed. She surveys the sea of comforters and pillows to find a sufficiently cozy blanketed swale and burrows in. Thus ends first wake up. Nap one begins.
Nap one is quick — fifteen minutes at most. Still full, Peggy reluctantly ventures outside for her leashed morning constitutional. This is not strenuous exercise — it is a chance to take in the morning air and sniff inquisitively. A family of raccoons lives nearby and the walk is an opportunity to survey their machinations overnight. Two poops later, Peggy is back for nap two.
Nap two is conducted on a circular dog bed in the center of the living room. This vantage allows her to keep a close eye on the humans as they conduct their inconceivable morning routine of drinking from mugs and staring at screens. Nap two lasts roughly 90 minutes to two hours and is often interrupted by a scenery change and the safe high-ground of the couch.
It is a slippery slope between nap two and nap three. If it weren’t for humans making lunch, it’s possible that nap two could go three, even four hours. But Peggy dutifully rises in order to approve any and all food preparations and to graze the crumbs and various particulate that her foolish cohabitants have dropped on the ground. Paying close attention to hydration levels, she cools off with a refreshing drink and bee lines it to her favorite chair. Here, she contorts herself into a series of neck wrenching, ostensibly painful angles. Nap three has begun.
With Peggy dozing in the living room, Steve takes to his chambers for his repose. Unlike Peggy, Steve takes his rest more sparingly. After crumb grazing, when the sun is highest in the sky, Steve spends his afternoon in a meditative state. Stalking across the bed, he leaps across a short chasm, onto a long bench that is nestled up against an expansive window. From his second story view, Steve cycles through a series of elaborate yoga poses and settles in, his feet tucked carefully underneath him. His eyes dart back and forth as he surveys the back yard and the water further out. Lulled into a trance by darting seagulls, he eventually lowers his head onto his forepaws and his eyelids grow heavy.
Nap three ends for Peggy and Steve when they sense rustling from the cohabitants. This is the most important rustling of the day, as it often signifies that exercise time is near. Peggy rises and dithers around the living room in lazy circles, hoping to lock eyes with the cohabitants and register guilt-inducing looks. Steve opts for a more direct tactic, shadowing the cohabitants and herding them with gentle ankle and knee nips guided in the direction of the front door.
After some strenuous field exercises. Our heroes return to a hearty meal (yet more anticipatory drooling). This is followed by a short nap four while the cohabitants prepare their own meal (usually interrupted by random kitchen grazing). By now, the sun has disappeared in the sky and there is one final order of business: vigorous wrestling for the enjoyment of the cohabitants. The pair circle each other lazily at first, working up the courage to strike. The match builds to a fevered pitch with Peggy occupying the low ground and Steve striking from above. Despite their enthusiasm, the match ends in a draw each night. Steve’s mobility is stalemated Peggy’s solidity and broad shoulders. After much growling and tooth gnashing, the pair end up on the floor in a furry knot.
Eyelids grow heavy again.
In the lamp light, nap five — the pre-sleep nap — begins.
Steve’s breathing slows, his chest rising and falling gently.
In the distance, Peggy’s pensive snores keep time.
Your faithful correspondent,