Sometimes, a girl needs a day off.
Koala let her boss know that a couple of weeks ago. It was a Saturday, and they were going for a walk. A nice leisure activity — for the human. But Deni wanted Koala to guide. To work. After a long week filled with lots of work.
Koala wanted a day off. She wanted to wander and sniff and run on the grass (and maybe go into the water…?) … not work.
Koala is pretty clear in communicating what she wants (or doesn’t want) to do. If she doesn’t want to work — and, this is critical, she knows that her work is not essential — she slows down, gives Deni that look, and indicates that she’d rather head toward the grassy park or lie down than put on her harness.
She does have a strong work ethic, and if Deni and Koala are in any kind of situation where Deni needs Koala to work, Koala excels.
But, more and more, she has days when she’d really rather not (I can relate!). She might be dreaming about retirement, though she’s still a relatively young 7-and-a-half years old.
Or, she might be reading up on the Great Resignation / Great Reshuffle. And, like millions of other American workers, she might be re-thinking her work-life balance. I’m guessing that Koala has realized that there’s too much work and not enough life in that mix.
A friend asked me not long ago when I get a full day off — not only off from my job, but free of all types of work, errands, obligations, and other have-tos. I rarely do — and Koala is likely in the same boat.
The great thing about giving Koala (or any dog) a “day off” — a fun day — is that it feels like a day off for the human(s) too: I’m getting ready for a visit to the dog beach with Koala, as I am taking (most of) a day off following a busy work week at a Florida conference. I think it will do both of us a lot of good!
But even on regular work days, I think we all need to build in some fun time for ourselves and our dogs, especially the ones with demanding careers. If Koala gets more time to run and play, will she return to work with more pep and enthusiasm? It’s worth finding out.