Inventing a new holiday for you & your dog: Calculate and celebrate your Lap Day!

We’re now 11 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and quarantine has been a slog. I am fortunate that my job allows me to work from home. But it also means day after day I’m in the same room, staring at the same laptop, bouncing off the same walls. A silver lining for me is that I get to spend nearly every hour with my dog, Murphy. (Yep, same Murph from my previous post on his dog DNA results.)

I try to pass the quarantimes by planning events & milestones to look forward to. It helps mark the passing of time in otherwise monotonous weeks and months. Shocker: many of these plans & milestones center around my trusty companion Murphy.

A couple months ago, we celebrated his fourth birthday. (He got the biggest bully stick we could buy at Tailwaggers pet store.) Earlier this year, we observed his third annual “Gotcha Day,” i.e., the anniversary of his adoption day. (I swear this is a common and not insane milestone among dog owners, especially those who adopted shelter dogs with exact birthdays unknown.)

Trying to think of more Murphy-centered holidays, I had a conversation with friends about the concept of human years & dog years; how, at some point in our lifespans — some exact date even — Murphy’s “age” will intercept with mine.

Me being me, I spun up an interactive Tableau calculator to pinpoint this day. We debated a few different options for what to call this date — this planetary alignment that only happens once ever for any person-dog pair. We brainstormed “Your Dog Eclipse Day,” “Catch Up Day,” “Convergence Day.” We researched the web and Reddit to see if there was a common phrase for this, and found just one Medium post on the topic, calling it “Same Age Day.” But all in all, the branding of this event seemed up for grabs.

What I’ve decided to hereby dub this auspicious occasion, is Lap Day! The once-in-your-lifetime date that your dog begins to “lap” you in age. I like it because the word “lap” has a lot of dog associations (lap dogs, lapping water, etc.), and it’s kind of a play on Leap Day.

So, here you go world! Your interactive, personalized Lap Day calculator:

One caveat: This calculator assumes 1 human year = 7 dog years. I realize this is an old heuristic. Veterinarians today agree that a dog’s body and brain mature at different rates and different times in its life, with a much faster rate of growth early (Year 1 of a dog’s life = 15 years of a human’s life) and a slower rate later (Year 10 of a dog’s life = 4 years of a human’s life). But the 7:1 rule is more colloquial, and for me it’s less about “when is my dog as mature as a 30-year-old” and more about finding this neat mathematical intercept.

So I have marked my calendar for September 8th of this year (yay, a plan!), and I will be planning a COVID-guideline-appropriate blowout for mine & Murphy’s special day.

Thanks for reading, y’all. Stay safe & give your dog a pet from me.