Thursday, August 15, 2013

This Is Either Madness or Brains*

*Name that movie! The response to that statement is probably my favorite line in the movie - 'It's remarkable how often those two traits coincide.'

Okay, so, in the beginning of July I started waking up early (4:45 early) so I could go on a long walk before going to work, and still get to work on time (7-7:30 -- yes, my 'on time' is a range).

I was fairly successful for about 3 weeks. Okay, maybe it was two and a half weeks. Or technically just two. Whatever it was, it all ended completely when I went to CA for the garlic festival (good garlicky times were had by all - and by 'all' I mean me... not that I was the only one there, but I didn't go with anyone I knew. Yes, I'm brave. Moving on.).

I came back from that trip, and I haven't managed to see the early side of 7 o'clock since. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but I haven't been up before 6 for sure, and I haven't been walking in the mornings.

I mentioned this to my dad on Tuesday night when I said I should take the dogs on a walk (whispering the 'on a walk' part because Max totally understands that phrase) that night, but it was getting dark... I was tired... (I had just come from flying yoga so the tired part was totally legit)... and I would take them in the morning (said with a kind of scrunched up face like I didn't really believe what I was saying - and neither did my dad). Then, my dad said the brilliant thing - 'if you had an alarm that could say "go on a walk" (he said that whispering because Max was still in the room) then maybe that would wake Max up and in turn you would have to get up.' I told him it would probably have to be in my voice because he responds the best when he hears me say it. So I started looking into alarm clock apps that let you record your waking up message.

And there is one.

Well, maybe there were more, but I found one.

Wake Smarter

For $3 I downloaded this, figured out how to record a message, and then went outside to record it (because Max follows me around and I didn't want him to hear this and get excited - as a result of recording it outside, you can hear crickets in the background). I recorded something like, 'Max, do you want to go on a walk? ... Should we go on a walk? ... Come on puppy, let's go on a walk. ... Let's go on a walk!'

I figured repeating it a few times would give him a chance to wake up and focus, and then respond to what he was hearing.

I went to sleep around 9:45 (4:45 comes early! - for a really long time I didn't know that there was another 4 o'clock during the day that didn't mean work was almost over) with the alarm set and the app on (I think it's one that you have to keep the alarm on the screen, which keeps the phone on, which means the phone needs to be plugged in. If it's not that way, then yay, but I don't want to take any chances). I woke up at 2... then 2:30... then 3, 4, and 4:30 anticipating the alarming and wanting to see if Max would respond to it. At 4:30 I almost changed the time the alarm was set for so I wouldn't have to wait anymore. But at 4:30 the probability for user error is large and I decided it was best to just run it's course rather than risk setting it to 3:30 on Sunday morning.

Then 4:45 happened. I hear, 'Max, do you want to go on a walk?' and Max has jumped up from his bed and run over to mine, whole body quivering and jumping up and down with excitement. I couldn't dash his hopes, I had to get up.

So I did.

And I went walking.

And was able to take awesome pictures like this -

max and belle



fuzzy picture of the draper temple

- because it was pitch black outside.

No moon, but lots of stars.

I used the alarm again for this morning and miraculously it worked just as well as it had yesterday.

So I think I can honestly say that I have the best alarm clock dog in the world.

And since he responds so quickly to the first statement on the alarm and doesn't need a chance to wake up and focus, I'm beginning to suspect that much like Chuck Norris, Max doesn't sleep. He waits.


Deja said...

Awesome idea! I need an alarm dog clock system thing!

simplysarah said...

I am in love with this story/idea. You are brilliant.