“BEAR!!!! I want to sleep!”
“I have a job to do, Aunt Lois. I need to make sure my flock is well and safe all night.”
“But you’ve woken me up four times! I’m tired! It was a long day! Fun, but long.”
“OK. I’ll go check on Mark.”
“You do that.” Lois gets up and slams her door shut, hoping that this time it latches. Martha wakes up at the sound and knows the whole story. She laughs to herself and goes back to sleep.
Morning comes. Martha’s up first. She looks in her friend’s room and sees the sheet pulled up over her face and laughs to herself again. Bear doesn’t give up. Bonded to humans rather than sheep, she is taking care of her flock. Lois and Mark are her flock and when they come back to the fold after a long absence, Bear is visibly relieved.
In the solitude and silence, Martha makes coffe and a smoothie, taking the blender to her room so she doesn’t wake Mark who’s sleeping in the semi-bedroom/studio off the kitchen with only a curtain, no door. She sits down at her laptop and with amazing tenacity continues looking for agents who might possibly represent her book, The Price. She does this only because it’s the right thing to do, and necessary, not because she has any hope. She doesn’t.
Lois wakes up.
“I guess Bear checked on you a few times?”
“I finally gave up keeping her out of my room.”
Later on, Mark stumbles out.
“Did Bear check on you in the night, Marky?”
“Her nose.” Mark had slept on a mattress on the floor, an easy target for Bear’s cold nose.
This is the hazard of spending the night in the same house with a tenacious livestock guardian dog who loves you.
(Some of the conversation in this post is possible but imaginary)