Bessie Anne, like her canine predecessors, is the official family timekeeper. It's not an easy job trying to keep me on schedule, let alone on the straight and narrow.
I am, by nature, a dawdler. I've had a lot of practice and I'm good at it. An early childhood memory is the sound of my dad impatiently jingling coins in his pocket as he tried to hurry me along. My mother frequently lost me on sidewalks and in stores because I lagged behind. Steve once (and only once) beeped the car horn while he waited in the driveway for me to come out.
Once Bess has learned the routine, she does her best to keep me in line. Like me, she has a little trouble making the transition when the clocks are moved backward or forward, but she adapts faster than I do, and she doesn't complain. In the morning and again at night, when it's time to tend to the animals, she gets antsy, asks to be let out but then won't go. She'll stand at the door, looking into my eyes, and say, "Mom, we've got a job to do. Let's get going!" Lacking my cooperation, she lies down with a huge sigh, obviously disappointed in me. On nights when I might doze in the chair, Bessie comes and whines to tell me it is bedtime. Her internal clock is more reliable than the ones on the wall. I do a lot of apologizing to my dog because I'm late again. It's not her fault.