This morning, the dog woke while I was sitting in meditation. As I sat, trying to focus on my mantra, a gross licking sound pervaded, drawing me back.
There is a particular licking sound that occurs when Biscuit needs to go to the bathroom. It comes from her licking her butt, as though something about that disgusting habit is going to help her figure out whether or not she needs to go.
Not so great for the human meditating. But a clear communication of doggy needs.
In general, the humans in our house are pretty good about attending to Biscuit's needs: did she eat, does she have enough water, did she go to pee before bed.
But one of the needs we've been ascribing to the dog a lot lately since moving from a house with a yard to an apartment is her need to play. "Does she look depressed?" I ask my husband. "Can we take her to the park to play ball? She really likes that."
Grownup humans can forget that we, too, need play time. As well as a number of other necessities--good sleep, healthy food, exercise--that go by the wayside when we get busy.
As many of us launch on our new semesters, or even just the upcoming work week, it's worth thinking about the needs we would make sure our dogs have met and seeing whether we humans are also meeting our basic needs. Are we doing the equivalent of going out to play once a day?