Friday, July 4, 2014

Always Basenji Time

Multiple times a day I marvel at Ivan & Dasa. One of their remarkable attributes is the apparent ability to tell time. I understand when they hear Eric’s car coming down the street; that’s not psychic, it’s their (also remarkable) ability to hear and distinguish the sound of his car from others and to do this from some distance away.

It is entertaining and also, we think, beyond clever that even when she’s asleep under blankets in a bed on another floor of the house, Dasa hears Eric put bread into the toaster. Ivan snores away under his part of the blanket and doesn’t stir so easily. He knows we will bring his thyroid pill upstairs to the bedroom and serve it to him in a bit of baked sweet potato so he doesn’t have to get out of bed and can sleep for another hour until breakfast.

Later in the day when he is officially awake, Ivan also materializes in the kitchen whenever the frig door opens or there’s a promising rustling; looking expectant because if there’s something edible at hand, it must be for him. We find this charming, and it brings us contentment and joy.

However, their ability to tell time or distinguish periods of time, or in any way perceive time as a concept amazes me.  On the nights I work until 8 pm, Ivan goes to Eric at 8 and looks at him, willing him to make me appear. And I do. My commute is very short, so I walk into the kitchen before 8:15.
Dasa also has a preternatural sense of time. Ivan gets his thyroid pills one hour before breakfast and dinner and his Prilosec 30 minutes before lunch. Dasa comes to me demanding food almost precisely at the 60 and thirty minute marks, respectively. How did she internalize these periods of time?

How does Ivan know when it’s 8 pm and that I come home at that time?
When Dasa shows up at my desk and scratches at it, I look at my watch in surprise. She’s very accurate. How does she do that?

The Munchkins are extraordinarily miraculous creatures. This perception of time is yet one more component of the miracles that make up my babies. They are so exquisitely packaged, these beautiful compositions of  love, smooth fur and muscle, so physically compelling, packed with so many gifts and talents. All this and the bonus of telling time. We never cease to be amazed and delighted by our magical Munchkins. They are fallible, however. No matter what the clock says, it’s always meal time to them.

1 comment:

  1. I saw a show on PBS about dogs and their sense of time. It had to do with the scent of their owner dissipating as the day went on and when it got to a certain point, they knew their owner would come back home. They tested this theory and spread his clothing around the house that he left in that morning (wife brought him a change of clothes and she brought his clothes back into the house) and it TOTALLY threw the dog off his time. It is amazing though how they just KNOW when it's time for something. Like their walk. Although that "time" keeps getting moved up every day...Hmmmmm