Time change wreaks havoc on pet habits

Lynda Hollenbeck

Earlier in the week Courier publisher Steve Boggs gave his take on Daylight Saving Time — or rather on the adjustments one must make to accommodate the semi-annual change from Daylight Saving Time back to Central Standard Time.
Steve's chief concern was resetting all the clocks that govern his life.
I'm not trying to harp on the same issue, but I have a different problem because of the time change. It concerns two extremely vocal occupants of my household. Their names are Bobby and Danny Boy, and they are confused.
These are dogs that expect to go out at a certain time and be fed in short order after their early morning runs.
Animals are creatures of habit. Some are governed more by routine than others, and these two fall into that grouping.
My cats don't seem to mind the time change just as long as their food dishes don't go dry, but the two canine occupants are just not happy.
On most days I get up at 5:30. The second my feet hit the floor, Bobby and Danny are ready to fly out the back door.
Regardless of whether we're "falling back" or "springing forward," they expect this event to occur every day at the same time — and they don't give a flying fig what the clock says. They live by "sun time" or "real time" as my spouse used to say.
On the first day of the time change, the boys were restless when I didn't get up at what would seem to be the usual time, but they didn't get too upset. Occasionally, they will allow me a few extra minutes and they were being tolerant on Day 1.
I was encouraged, foolishly thinking maybe there wouldn't be such a difficult adjustment this year.
On Day 2, it was a different story. They wanted to go out at 10 minutes till 4.
"No, guys," I argued. "It's not time to get up. You're early even if we hadn't had a time change."
They would have none of my objections, so I had to drag myself out of my comfy spot and let them out. I couldn't really go back to sleep because I was afraid I wouldn't wake up in time for work, so that ended up being a sleepy day.
The next morning I assumed things would be better.
And what is it we're told about "assume"? You'd think I'd know better. On Day 2, they wanted out at 10 minutes till 3.
"No, doggies," I pleaded. "You're going the wrong way with this! It's not time to get up."
Try arguing with two dogs in what essentially is the middle of the night. This is a power trip you're not going to win, so all I could do was go to the door and let them run free.
This time I did go back to sleep for a while, but it wasn't restful slumber.
It probably will take weeks for these fellows to acclimate themselves to their new schedule.
I didn't adjust all my clocks immediately. Besides, I kept telling myself that "I know what time it is anyway without doing that. I'll get around to it eventually."
That's what I thought until Thursday morning. On that day I temporarily forgot that one particular clock still is set to the "old time." I looked at it and thought I had overslept.
I began rushing around in order to get everyone fed and get my clothes ready so that I could make it to work on time. I was in fast-track mode until I looked down at my watch (which is set to the new time) and realized I had started my day according to the old time, so instead of being slightly late in getting up, I had arisen nearly an hour early.
I think I prefer Daylight Saving Time to Central Standard Time, but what I really object to is going back and forth. I don't understand why we can't be on the same time every day throughout the year. Somebody else can pick it and I'll willingly go along with it; just let it stay the same.
This would be better both psychologically as well as physiologically. An abrupt switch in schedule just isn't pleasant, but then nobody's listening to me and once again I'm just a voice crying out in the wilderness.
I've told a particular story more than once, but it's the best Daylight Saving Time illustration I know of and bears repeating here. This comes out of the archives of preacher stories that dominated my life for nearly 37 years.
During the the greet-your-flock moments at the front door of the church following the morning worship service, a parishioner — much like "Miss Emma" in the mythical Mayberry — once made this comment to Ed: "Brother Ed, I just don't like this Daylight Saving Time. It's burning up my tomatoes."
There are those who might have tried to point out the absurdity of the remark, but not my Ed. Kindness was the hallmark of his life and he simply offered sympathy to this devoted church member.
Love those tomatoes.

Lynda Hollenbeck is senior editor of The Saline Courier.