I am sometimes asked about Simon, “What kind of dog is he?”. Though he may look remarkably like a poodle, he is in fact a Napping Dog (“Canis Nappus”), a highly specialized breed cultivated for generations to facilitate the human nap. Just as Border Collies are driven to herd, the Napping Dog is compelled to sleep with humans, preferably in the mid-day when others, not so dedicated, might be awake. Napping Dogs are highly sensitive to the signs of sleepiness in their humans and will immediately begin herding them toward the nearest couch or recliner, sometimes before the human even knows he or she is in need. Once there, the Napping Dog will skillfully maneuver the human’s body into the proper position by the process of “skootching” (a technical term of art in napping circles) its own body into any remaining space therefore assuring that the sleeping human cannot fall out of the chair. A proper Napping Dog can then remain in this position for hours if need be, keeping the human warm, providing the calming effect of dog snoring to ward off any outside sounds that might interfere. Only when the human awakens (or the postman or UPS driver come to the door) will the Napping Dog give up its post for the necessary barking and trip outside to return the human to a fully alert state.
While the other working dogs get more attention in the popular media, which they do deserve, it is the Napping Dog that assures humankind the proper amount of rest necessary to do what needs to be done (including feeding the dog and letting it out). Most human accomplishments have been made by well-rested people, a situation due almost entirely to the unsung heroes, Napping Dogs. I feel privileged to share my life with one.