In Which My Household Jumps The Shark

One of the classic ways in which a television program overstays its welcome (i.e. jumps the shark) is the addition of a Precocious Child of Dubious Origins (i.e. Cousin Oliver, etc.). Once Cousin Oliver shows up, you know things are going pear-shaped with a vengeance. Once the Fonz jumps the shark, there’s nowhere to go but to the inevitable destination of all damned handbaskets.

In my house, the shark is also the child — Buddy the puppy/adolescent/Machine of Mayhem. The best way to illustrate the problem is to compare the old schedule in our house to Buddy’s latest agenda proposal
Old Schedule (rough outline, typical day)

Get up
Dogs go out
Human works out/showers/eats
Dogs eat
Dogs go out
Human goes to work/Dogs chill
Human comes home, dogs go out
Dogs chill; occasional playing
Human eats, then dogs eat
Dogs go out
Dogs chill while human works; occasional playing
Dogs go out
Bedtime
Buddy’s Agenda Proposal (to be voted on at the next house meeting)

Get up (assuming one ever went to sleep)
Play
Eat at some point  — whenever hungry, really
Play ad. inf., ad. naus.
Sleep as needed
You’ll notice that young Buddy has some rather unorthodox notions about the human’s need to work — he rather imagines that there is really no need for her to do so. Play, after all, is the only pursuit worthy of a living being’s time and attention. Sustenance and shelter seem to him to be mere details. What is most important is that there are blankets yet unhumped and unruined, bones and other toys yet unchewed, and older dogs and human beings as yet left unmolested. These things cannot be left in their current state — it would be a great and terrible failure for him to do so. Buddy is on a Great Quest, after all, and his schedule must accommodate this fact.
There is likely to be some lively argument at our next house meeting about Buddy’s proposal.
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About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. Otherwise, I labor to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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