By Kristan Hoffman
Your day starts at 6 AM with a dog retching beside your bed. The noise rouses you from dreaming, and you stumble out of the room, urging the dog to follow you to the kitchen and its tiled floor.
Unfortunately, he doesnt quite make it.
Still half-asleep, you clean up the carpet and then fall back into bed. The dog lies down next to you, wide-eyed and sad, as if he cant believe his stomach has betrayed him.
An hour later, the alarm goes off, and its much too soon. But what can you do? Its time for breakfast, emails, and work. Not long after that, its time for lunch, errands, and work. And a little later, its time for dinner and chores, and maybe some more work. The day rolls on, no relief, layering its stresses upon you one tick of the clock at a time.
Finally, when most of your to-do list has been checked off — the rest will have to wait until tomorrow — you settle on the sofa, curling into the corner and sinking into the cushions. The TV is on but you barely hear it. Your eyes are open, but your mind is in Sleep Mode. You feel nothing.
Minutes pass. Then something moves in the corner of your vision. A paw.
You turn to see your dog tucked into the opposite corner of the sofa, a furry ball of sleep. You watch him. His little belly rises and falls with each slow, soothing breath. His nose twitches. His ears are askew. His eyes have disappeared into the black spots that surround them. His tail is wrapped around him like punctuation mark, and his head is nestled between his front legs.
Peace settles over you like a warm blanket. You feel grateful for this one tiny moment, this perfect picture of serenity. You realize that life is a two-sided coin: everything is balanced. Suddenly you dont feel so stressed.
When you get up, the dog follows. He stands in your closet while you change into pajamas. He sits at your feet while you brush your teeth. He looks at you hopefully when you open the fridge for a glass of water. He jumps onto the sheets when you turn off the lights and slip into bed.
At 11 PM your day ends with a dog resting his head on your leg. You both sleep soundly.