time change

I do love the day the time changes, twice a year. I love the Spring change because it gives us more light later. But the Fall change is awesome in that I feel like I have an extra hour every day for at least a week. Since I am dyslexic, the time change is always a bit confusing for me. I mean, I feel that I have it figured out and then I talk myself out of the explanation I’ve figured out and pretty soon, I am sunk.

The dogs of course think we’re nuts. But I did have a dog who not only figured out what was happening but also how she could use it to her advantage each time. That was Tag, my miniature poodle, cream-colored and all heart. She was the happiest being I’ve ever known. I adored her. And she was clever. She was so clever, she managed to dodge most of her responsibilities while remaining head of the tribe of pups I had.

Tag was the second dog my ex and I got. We got her to keep Tucker company because it was becoming obvious that I was not going out because I didn’t want Tucker to be lonely. Which impeded my social life rather totally. So when Tucker was 5 months old, we chose Tag, or better, Tag chose me, by bounding into the room where I was waiting and biting me on the thumb. Tag realized even then that she had to make a large gesture in order to get my attention. She felt, in the nicest possible way, that all people were dumb, just an inadequate species, but we couldn’t help it, she supposed. She would be a little exasperated at times but she’d sigh deeply, visibly remind herself that we were idiots and try to get her point across again.

I felt she based her opinion on empirical evidence so who was I to doubt it?

Anyway for most of her life, she was the second dog and Princess. Tucker doted on her and did all the work. Tag got all the praise. It felt fair to her. I loved Tucker; she was brilliant and good; and Tucker worshipped Tag from the moment she saw her. When Tucker died, Tag was devastated and she mourned for several months. This manifested in extreme (and very unusual) grumpiness; Tag separated herself from the rest of us; and she would not sleep on my lap. Then one night I noticed she was doing the rounds with me, checking to see all the doors were locked, ┬áprior to bedtime. This had been Tucker’s job as top dog. And after that night, Tag was more or less herself again.

She immediately delegated a lot of the top dog chores to Pepper, next in age to her. While making very clear that she, Tag, was in charge. She allowed PeeKay, the third in line, to clean her face sometimes, but only if PeeKay had been very obsequious prior. And she pretty much ignored the younger 3 dogs. Unless she wanted to sleep in whichever dog bed one of them was sleeping in. She would then move in and take over, but they were allowed to stay, if they ceded most of the bed to her.

So she figured out that I was a little unsure twice a year as to the real effect of the time change. Was it an hour later or an hour earlier? Should I feed the dogs now or in two hours? And she really worked me. They were supposed to eat at 6. But when the time changed in the Fall, I would move it to 5. So Tag apparently figured why not get me to keep moving it an hour earlier, each time the time changed? When Lauren and her dog Vita moved in, my dogs were eating at 3.

Lauren asked why on earth so early, and I explained the time change issue. Tag had convinced me in the Spring that it should be 4 and then the subsequent Fall, we all know we moved the clocks forward so 4 is now 3. Duh. I have to say in my own defense that I thought something was a little wrong but I couldn’t pinpoint what and we all know the time change, changes the time.

So Lauren set a permanent time for feeding dogs. Tag, however, never one to concede defeat, spent the hour and half before the established permanent feeding time, wandering around the living room, moaning increasingly loudly. She did that every single day for over a year. She must have thought I was incredibly stubborn. She knew I was pretty dumb.