“Ah c’mon. At least let the sun come up. I don’t want to get up now.” Look at the sky. Gray blue. Shuffle of roommates in the living room. “Give me five minutes.”
Sometimes the most refreshing part of a night’s sleep is those five minutes. It’s true. Don’t ask why. I don’t know. Maybe because they’re negotiated?
“OK guys, five more minutes.”
I can feel them waiting outside my door. Some people like to sleep with their animals. I don’t sleep with mine. In the first place, they’re all large — the smallest is sixty pounds. In the second place, I read somewhere that sleeping with your dogs gives them the illusion that they are your equal. When they can make the house payment, THEN they can sleep with me.
“OK,” I tell myself, and get up and get dressed. Bathroom attached to my bedroom, the old ‘jack’n’jill’ style, so when I emerge I’m ready for them. “Hi everybody.” Dusty comes right to me. Bear cranes her neck around the corner, Mindy makes in sounds that sometimes resemble “Herrow Martha.” I bend down and clasp them all to me in a huge hug.
“OK guys. Let’s go out.” I open the back door, holding Bear’s collar. Since she figured out she could dive through the lilac hedge, I have to take her to the VERY back yard which is large, securely fenced and operates as a dog run. She’s learned to go there on her own and push open the gate with her nose, but I’m never sure. I go in with her and Dusty and wait to be sure Dusty doesn’t pee on her. Yeah, he loves her. When I see all is well, I close the gate and fasten it. Mindy and I go inside and I make coffee.
A few more tedious little operations of the morning will ensue — returning to get Dusty and Bear, feeding them, feeding me, etc. Drinking coffee, sharing the dregs with Dusty, writing this, practicing “down” with Bear using rawhide “pencils.” She’s learned it so WELL that if she goes down, and I don’t notice, she gives a soft “woof” to get my attention.
Then we play a little fetch with her favorite and completely absurd toy. This ball is about 5 inches in diameter, squeaks, is covered with turquoise plush and has a peculiar “skirt” around it. It came from Barkbox. My first Barkbox last July, actually, and I was skeptical. I took that thing out and thought, “She’ll never play with this” but I was wrong. Even the little thing she was then thought it was GREAT, but she couldn’t get it in her mouth. Now, of course, giant creature that she is, she can. Bear loves it SO MUCH that when she lost the first one I ended up getting her two more — one for inside, one for out. And then, of course, I found the first one. 😉 Isn’t that just like life for you? When I contacted Barkbox for the replacements, I described the toy and THEN I learned that this strange thing is supposed to represent the head of the Statue of Liberty.