Monday, December 7, 2009

Are you dog-tired? Try taking a cat nap!

Did you notice that I didn't post anything yesterday?  Well, Mom got too busy to help me write an entry, just like she said might someday happen, and that means I didn't have anything to post.  But today is different because I'm going to talk about the phrase "dog-tired."

"Dog-tired" means "extremely tired," but I'm not exactly sure what dogs have to do with the situation.  My theory is that maybe it's because dogs do stuff in kind of an all-out way.  They often take the run-till-you-drop sort of approach to life.  And then when dogs get tired, they just flop down and take a nap.  You don't really see other animals doing this.  So for instance, nobody says, "I'm elephant-tired" or "I'm tiger-tired."  No, those phrases just don't sound right.  Well, except that "tiger-tired" has a nice sort of alliteration.

I did some research to find out when the phrase "dog-tired" first started or where it came from, but most of my sources did not seem to know.  On one website, though, they claimed that "dog-tired" was an old English phrase, and it came from an old story about Alfred the Great.  The story is that Alfred the Great used to send his sons out with his hunting dogs -- of which he had a whole bunch -- and then the sons had to try to catch the dogs.  Whoever caught the most dogs got to sit on the right side of his father at dinner that night.  I guess this was a big honor or something.  Anyway, all this running after the hounds left the sons "dog-tired."

In my opinion, this seems like a dumb story because the point of having hunting dogs is to send them out to hunt.  I never heard of anybody just setting their dogs loose to run so that their kids could try to catch them.  There doesn't seem to be much reason to do this unless it's just to get your kids out of the castle for the day and let them get some exercise.

So I have my doubts about this Alfred the Great story.  I think the phrase "dog-tired" got started just like I told you already.  Dogs run and play until they're dog-tired, and then they just lie down and go to sleep. When people get really tired, they mostly feel like doing the same thing!


  1. Hello - hey I've experienced several "dog tired" moments in the past few weeks. :) I'm fine, feeling good then my physical therapist comes to the house....and then...yep, I'm DOG TIRED...and then I take a CAT nap!! What's the deal with these dog/cat expressions? I did enjoy the "Alfred the Great" story!! Take care and get all your walking done today...I keep hearing there's a chance of freezing rain tomorrow!! YUCK!
    Love, AP

  2. Dear Aunt Patty,
    You have to be careful about those physical therapists because they make you so dog-tired! I think the fact that there are so many dog and cat phrases proves that dogs and cats are very important to humans. I did not want to walk today! Mom had to mostly drag me and carry me. And I'm pretty sure I will NOT want to walk tomorrow if there's snow on the ground!
    Love, Piper