To not would make you a bit of a dick. But it’s also fairly standard practice to wake up a dog, because they tend to find the best places to sit quite naturally.
But then you end up with those balefully mourning eyes, staring like you’re an abuser.
The relationship with dogs is weird. A command structure built on cuteness and survival. The whole business is weird. But you are in charge, and it’s most likely your sofa. How do you deal with that?
Metaphorically speaking, we’ve got a different set of problems to deal with. Presumably the phrase implies ‘don’t bother fucking with things that area already dealt with’. It’s alarming postive about maintaining status quos, which aren’t my favourite things. But there is the added implication that it may be talking about not waking up anything that might bite you.
When something is woken up, it’s instincts may be in charge, and it may defend itself in panic rather than not.
I don’t know how this relates to more general situations, but you can understand that dogs don’t need to be tarred with the brush of aggression just because you’re being a dick.
But I still don’t feel comfortable leaving grander symbolic dogs where they are. Just because something has been a certain way for a certain amount of time, doesn’t mean we should leave it like that.
Inertia isn’t always a positive thing. In fact, it’s something to be really quite careful with. A tendency to stay still can make movement harder. And a tendency to keep on moving in the same direction can be equally impractical.
I’m not promoting nothing but fearful care. Risks and guesswork and trying things out are what life is about, really. Staying still out of fear, staring the dog in the eyes and praying for change, is not healthy.
We need to take an active part in the life we’re living and the world we’re living in. We can’t assume that just because something is curled up comfortably it means that it’s the best possible situation. In order to gain momentum. Or resist momentum. We need to be aware and decisive. These aren’t necessarily the easiest things to do, but they are both worth practicing.
And sometimes that means gently waking the dog and checking it’s alive and well and maybe wants a walk in the park.
I wouldn’t ever recommend thinking that the easy route is the best route. I wouldn’t ever recommend leaving things as they are because there’s no other totally safe option.
I don’t think safety is the best reason to keep present situations. The unknown has more possibility in it. It’s worth striding straight into it. It’s worth taking the time to make something of it.
Because woken dogs, once they stop hating you. Are much more fun. And they need plenty of exercise.
And so do you.
So when you get an opportunity? Do something about it.
Illustration by Helen