Warrior Words: A dog’s life

My tired eyes strain to read the clock across the room that blinks at 11:57 p.m. There’s a high pile of homework on my desk waiting to be completed, and suddenly I hear the sound of a deep inhale. It’s 20 pounds of cream-colored fur next to my feet — my dog, Jessie, passed out on her back and snoring. An oblivious dog adding insult to injury to my current situation.

Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I wish I had my dog’s life. Being a stressed high-schooler with a lot on her plate, my dog’s life seems like an absolute dream. Coasting through life with some tail wags and belly rubs — what could be better?

First and foremost, I envy her sleep patterns. I am absolutely certain my dog sleeps around 80% of the day. She sleeps the whole day I am at school and work, but after my arrival home, she is out like a light again. Averaging around seven hours of sleep a night, I cannot help but be jealous of my dog in this respect. She is always fully rested! A feeling foreign to me! If this wasn’t bad enough, when my alarm sounds at 6:50 a.m. and I throw open my door, there’s my dog — fast asleep. If I try to nudge her with my foot to make sure she’s alive, there is no movement — the only sign of  life is her stomach slowly rising and falling. She is too much of a beauty queen to wake up so early in the morning — that is the kind of life I’m meant to live.

Also, if I had my dog’s life, I could get away with all sorts of ridiculous stuff due to the fact that I’m so “cute” and I “don’t know any better!” I could eat everyone else’s snacks, I could knock over garbage cans and not pick anything up, and if, in the super rare occasion I would need to relieve myself in the middle of the living room — I could. I could, all due to my fluffy fur, big black eyes, and spunky personality. I could also eat all of my sister’s super expensive chocolate, and then have everyone fuss about me for two hours hoping I wouldn’t die — the absence of the chocolate not even an issue.

My dog also has priorities that differ so extremely from mine. Instead of worrying about homework, work, clothes, college applications, money, what I eat, etc., I could just worry about where that groundhog is in the back yard, and if my owner will “drop” some of their dinner. Food, toys, snoozes — like, are you serious? My dog also has no self-image perception — something that would take a ton of stress out of a teenaged girl’s life. She also does not care about how her actions affect others — I mean, it is very beneficial as a human to think that way, but sometimes we can get swept up in it. It is hard to “just do you” like a dog does.

I want my dog’s life so I can sleep more, get away with crazy things, and have a stress-free life, but I am sure that that life can get very boring very quickly. At the end of the day, while my dog’s life looks like a trip to paradise, I know I will never get bored with my human obligations. Dogs are not a man’s best friend because they have a lot in common, but because they balance one another out — food, snoozes, and all.

Jackie Cooke is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with four classmates.