School begins today. The boys seem a little excited, mostly about seeing their friends. We are expecting things to be calmer at work, so much so that I have a lunch date with Egypt and La Bella, so I guess I’m getting to see my friends, too. Starting school on a Friday makes it seem sort of provisional, though. I don’t really intend to get back to my school-year schedule till next week.
We have considered back to school from the standpoint of the teachers, the kids, and the parents. But we have not yet looked at it from the viewpoint of the two creatures at our house who are perhaps most gravely affected, and yet have the least control of or understanding of the situation: the dogs.
When they do go someplace in the summer, the people often take the dog along. And we are not talking about trips to the vet, here, but about hiking and walking and the farmer’s market and swimming and playing in the park.
Even when no one is going anywhere or doing anything much, the dogs have kids to bear them company. Lots of lying around and eating take place, including lying about immodestly without having Daddy say “No belly!” and lying on the furniture without having Mama say “Off!” The kids really know how dogs like to do.
With the beginning of school, however, the dogs are in their crates for most of each day, with no people to play with at all. Nothing interesting happens. Nobody eats things or drops food around. In fact, there is no food except at meal times.
I think the dogs get used to it after a bit. It is even possible that they remember “Oh, yes. This is what happens before it gets cold. They’ll come back later. We might as well go to sleep. Sigh.”
But I know that it is difficult for them. They don’t even have any advance warning, what with being unable to read the calendar or understand our conversations. It is just a sudden change in their schedules.
For all the students out there: enjoy the beginning of school, including your new clothes and school supplies. I hope you have an intellectually stimulating teacher or two, that you meet interesting new people (even perhaps a new romance, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your schoolwork), and that your dog adjusts well.