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It's A Dog's Life: Changing Times

Saturday, November 14th, 2020 9:00am

By Helen Stockton

As the seasons change, Teddy mulls over the impact on his daily rituals as the clocks fall back an hour. As always Helen Stockton interprets his problems with this time of year

Now that we are in November, the clocks have gone back, and longer evenings have returned. I’m a dog, as you might have noticed, and dogs don’t have watches, but I am still able to tell the time using my own body clock, and that doesn’t hold with all this hour shuffling.

As part of my canine duties, I offer an alarm call service for ‘Them Indoors’, which is something instigated by my predecessor, Rolo. The first thing ‘Him Indoors’ used to do when he got up during Rolo’s senior years, was to let him out, into the garden, and then reward his prompt return, when requested, with a biscuit.

When I joined the family, whilst I didn’t require the garden, I did need the biscuit, and I started coming downstairs when Rolo was called inside, to join in with the reward. Since we lost Rolo, I haven’t forgotten about the biscuit, and with pin-point accuracy, I arrive at ‘Him Indoors’ side of the bed to make sure he’s up promptly and attending to his biscuit tin duties.

The only problem with this arrangement is that I don’t take into account weekends, holidays or the funny business with the clocks. It’s not that I mind an extra hour’s sleep, but it disrupts our happy little arrangement until my body clock readjusts to the new routine.

I also take grave exception to waiting an additional hour for my tea. ‘Her Indoors’ usually takes pity on me and phases the change in over several days, but my tummy gives audible rumbles; without lunch, it’s a long time since my breakfast.

The other disadvantage with the clocks changing is that I run the risk of having my afternoon walk in the dark. ‘Her Indoors’ is self-employed and works from home, so, theoretically, she ought to be able to plan her working day around me, and my requirements. I’m sorry to report however, that this doesn’t always happen, and by the time I get my second walk of the day the light is fading.

As we are rural, and the lanes where we walk don’t generally have streetlights, ‘Her Indoors’ decks us out in a range of appropriate night-time walking gear. These involve so many flashing lights that, between us, we look like a moving embodiment of the Blackpool illuminations.

Still, in these troubled times, I doubt there will be many public fireworks displays this year, so if you’d like me and ‘Her Indoors’ to walk around your local park instead, I’m sure we’d be happy to oblige. I can even bark if you appreciate loud noises, but we just need to be clear about what clock we are working to for the timing!