One of my favorite books is The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. A student gave it to me some 20 years ago in a Critical Thinking class. She (correctly) noted that The Phantom Tollbooth and Beyond Feelings, our textbook, said the same thing.

In the Phantom Tollbooth there’s a dog named “Tock.” He is a “watch” dog.

Milo and Tock, two of my heroes

For a long time, I just thought this was a cute pun to attract kids. But today, 85 degrees F (29C) my dogs had to go for a walk at 2 pm. That is Bear’s customary hour for a walk. This summer I haven’t been able to “tock” (ha ha) her out of it and go in the evenings. Every other year of her life, but not this year. I don’t know why. Maybe the big change of No More Dusty has made her a little more rigid than usual.

So, out we went. Luckily there are a lot of grassy and shady places around the high school and we just went there, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, practicing sit and heel for .77 miles. Throughout this meditation (ha ha) I thought that maybe Norton Juster was saying more with Tock than just making a cute pun on “watch dog”. I also have to figure out another way to reset Bear’s clock.

8 thoughts on “Tock

    • She gets water freely 24 hours. I feed her about 8. I’m going to try taking them in the morning and see if, by 2 pm, Bear’s convinced she had a good walk. This clock isn’t good for either of us. Every other summer of her life we’ve gone out around 7:30 and enjoyed the sunset and the alpenglow on the Sangre de Cristos.

        • I think it’s just the regular time we go out in the winter/fall/spring. I think the Dusty thing has probably made her cling more tightly to routine. Her breed is famous for hating change. I guess to them change means danger to the flock. ❤

  1. Three walks a day, and mostly at the same time, as the dog demands. I think they have an internal clock. Their alarm goes off the same time every day. One of our walks is also at 2:00. Like you, I stay in the shade as much as possible.

    • My dogs get one walk a day. The rest of their exercise is playing with each other which is hilarious as Bear is so big and Teddy so small.

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