Monday, December 5, 2011

Sleeps with Dogs

Yep, that’s me. On any given night I have a six-dog night – five cocker spaniels and a basset hound that insists on stretching her body across the entire width of the bed. For the most part she is my footrest. I have resisted the sad eyes of TBTB visiting dogs accustomed to sleeping with their owners because there is absolutely no more room for a lab or sheepdog on a queen-size bed. Occasionally one sneaks up in the middle of the night if they get past Luce, who guards the bed passionately against after dark invaders. I have however relented and allowed the smaller Yorkies, Poodles and a few Terriers into the sleeping area since they are not big enough to sleep with the big dogs – or so they tell me.

Needless to say it is extremely crowded with dogs on either side of me, covering my feet, on the pillow above my head, and anywhere else they can find space. BunBun and Luce like being on top the covers, making it difficult to move around when one is under them. A good night’s sleep is something of the past but I can’t bear to tell them no, herein lies the problem. I’ve thought of sleeping on the couch but as Zachary my grandson reminds me. “But MeMa, they will just follow you,” and of course he is right. When I go on vacation and have an entire bed to myself it feels a bit odd but I must admit I sleep like a baby on my own.

Zippy DoDog the Basset has always marched to her own drum no matter what the other pack members are doing. When they go outside for their final pee of the night, she refuses – only to want out at bedtime and then she’s off for a run while the rest of us are waiting to go to sleep. Often times I am almost asleep, actually in the REM state when I hear the familiar ARF at the backdoor. I unwind myself from the others, get out of bed and let her in the back door and up on the bed, causing everyone else to adjust their positions to make room. Chaos, this routine is exasperating but I allow her to do it again and again. The definition of insanity is “to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.” Well so be it, I must be insane.

Currently we do not have a roommate at TBTB Dog Camp. This allows me the luxury of sleeping in one bed or the other, depending on my mood. The upstairs loft bed is next to the large A-frame window where I can look up at the stars or have an Alpine view with an occasional moose, that I hope the dogs don’t see. Otherwise it’s an utter bark fest while they woof their hellos across the tundra. It’s lovely up here particularly when it’s snowing outside.

The other choice is the downstairs bedroom that has the feel of a rustic, cozy cabin with log walls, perfect for nestling in the pillows with a good book and glass of vino. Both beds have flannel sheets and down comforters with lots of pillows for lounging. Last night the rustic cabin bedroom was calling me. I got the treats out and all 11 of us claimed our spot when I realized Zippy was missing. She had gone upstairs earlier assuming we would sleep in the loft since we did last night. I called her offering a treat for her to come but she ignored me, as usual. I decided to leave her up there, knowing when she realized we were downstairs I would hear the familiar ARF at the bedroom door and once again get up to let her in while everyone rearranged themselves to make room on the bed. Sigh. . . Oh well, so be it. DoDog is like a sack of potatoes if you try to move her when she’s sleeping.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning and my legs were still stretched out fully in the bed with room to spare, and no Zippy. OMG, is she okay I wondered? Okay is not the word. I went upstairs to find a basset hound stretched across the width of the bed, snoring under the covers. Apparently she thought having a bed of her own was such a good thing that she slept through the entire night alone. Wow! This could be the beginning of a good thing if she decides to sleep alone from now on. I will have so much more room in my bed. Fat Chance. Last night she insisted on getting in the downstairs bed with the rest of us, on her time of course. Apparently she totally forgot about having a bed of her own.

And so it was, another six-dog night. Sometimes I wonder why I allow them to rule my bed. The only thing I can say, “it’s for the love of the dog,” absolutely no other reason. I’m a pushover, at least where canines are concerned. And, I really do love my life with them. Otherwise, why would I bother? I will continue to do the same thing over and over but without any expectation of a different result.

Perhaps that means I’m not insane after all?

Woof! Woof!