Anytime my family and I leave the house, we always see that furry face peer at us through the window. She stares at us until we pass from her sight. We come back and there she is, in the same exact spot we last saw her. I always wonder what my dog, Zahara, does whenever she’s alone in the house. Does she sit at the window for the entire time, wishing for us to come back? Or does she jump onto the couch after we leave and sleep until she hears the car? If she sits there the entire time alone, what does she do? What does a dog do when bored? All these questions pop into my head as I ponder this mystery. I couldn’t image Zahara sitting the entire time and looking eagerly out the window, especially when we spend almost a whole day away from home.
When I try to imagine myself as my dog, I picture her watching us drive away. As the car disappears from view, she strongly wishes for us to turn around and come back. She doesn’t like spending hours alone. She spends many minutes repeatedly making this wish. At this moment, Zahara gives up and slowly walks away. Without anyone to play with, she jumps onto the couch, curls into a ball, and closes her eyes. After a while, she wakes up and stretches. She gets off the couch and wanders over to the kitchen. She eats and drinks from her dishes. Or she continues on and walks around the house until she reaches the couch again.
I wonder whether she can do this continuously for hours and never become bored. Nothing changes. Nothing grabs her attention. I imagine her mostly sleeping. She doesn’t have to worry about passing the time. On those moments she doesn’t sleep, what does she do? She can’t only eat and drink. Eventually she won’t be hungry or loses interest in this activity. Walking through the rooms also becomes tiresome and uneventful. What does she think to do after this occurs? Toys. She has many in her bin. She has bones, balls, and squeaky stuffed animals all around the house. I think she walks around and looks for one interesting toy. Once she finds one, she grabs it and circles the house again for a spot to lay down and play. If she doesn’t want it anymore, she wanders the rooms for another one. After spending time playing and chewing on her toys, I imagine her becoming tired. She goes back to her spot for another nap.
Zahara must find ways to overcome boredom. She always greets us with the same amount of love and happiness, regardless of how long she spent by herself. When the car reaches the driveway, we see her at the window. Sometimes she is already staring outside, in the same spot we left her, and other times it takes a while for her to come to the window. When that happens, her fur messed up from sleeping. Either way, she never seems angry or upset over the long wait. Dogs seem to have a better grasp on beating boredom than humans do. Even though they have fewer ways of accomplishing this, they never lose. This shows how resilient dogs are to the dangers of boredom. They never get angry or lose their patience. No matter how many times they are left alone, they can do this time and time again. If dogs can accomplish this feat, then humans can gain this ability too.