Why dog-tired? Why not horse-tired, mule-tired, or pig-tired? Why do people say their “dogs are barking” when their feet hurt from standing or walking too long? Why not “my cats are meowing” or “my horses are neighing”?

Actually, “dog-tired” derives from an ancient custom of Alfred the Great. He would send his sons out after his hunting hounds and whichever of them retrieved more of the dogs earned the privilege of sitting at their father’s right hand at dinner that evening as a reward.  (Wiktionary  at

Kings did love their hunting dog packs, but gathering cats would have been a more intense contest.

Day after day, when I got home from my last job, I was dog-tired and not from chasing dogs. I would rather have been doing that. My dog-tired condition made me reluctant even to visit with our dogs. I was weighed down. I lacked the energy to handle their bulldogginess so I would sneak back to my room, change into casual, comfortable, out of the public eye clothes, and fall asleep at 4:30 in the afternoon. I didn’t have the heart to tell the dogs that I was ditching them for a dark, quiet room and a soft bed.

I forgot that I was one of the highlights of their day and I would get stared down the next morning by pissed off, disappointed bulldogs. (Bless their hearts.) Where have you been? What audacity you have to go to bed early. We are the only ones who get to do that!

I had forgotten something else. I was carrying weight in my heart and mind that was not for me to carry. Rest was elusive. Dog-tired had become a way of life.  And the whole time there was a God-given solution.

Jesus said, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 KJV


©H.J. Hill 2016 All Rights Reserved


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