Saturday, February 19, 2011

Border Collie Psychology at 4:30 in the Morning

I wear earplugs to sleep with.  All I hear in the middle of the night is my heartbeat and the ringing in my ears that was brought on by aspirin when I was a child.

I just picked up some brand spanking earplugs and they blocked out all the background noise.  For the last two nights I have gotten some very sound sleeps.  That is a very good thing because I have been waking up at 4:30 in the morning about 1/2 of the days in each week.

I had no idea, and assumed that it was one of a thousand things that was waking me up.

Bladder, gas, blanket falling off, the train on the FEC Line about a half mile away were all suggested as possibilities.

This morning I found a new possibility.  The judicious planting of a dog's head under my hand.   At 4:30 in the morning.

My trusty little 10 year old Border Collie needed attention so her head popped under my down arm's hand and nudged it until I pet her.  She still sleeps through the night without needing to use The Tree, so I figured she was just feeling lonely and wanted to be closer to me.

I sleep on my side and she decided that that hand draped over the side of the bed was just too tempting.

This went on for a little while until I decided that I had enough and wanted to get to sleep.  But what to do?

Mrs Dog never sleeps on the furniture or on the bed.  I was warned not to let her sleep on the furniture and since we've got new chairs and couches I'd rather keep them intact.  I stopped her from sleeping on my bed because when I first got her, I didn't realize that the old saying was completely correct:

"If you lay down with dogs, you will get fleas."

Those welts eventually healed and she stopped sleeping on the bed.  I also was able to wash the sheets less often since dogs don't stay as clean as you or I do.  Lettie will not tolerate a daily bath, but I luxuriate in hot water from 7 feet above the ground that pours from a jet in the wall.

Today is Friday, as of this writing.  Friday I tend to run all the laundry so I thought that it didn't matter what I did to the sheets.

Rolling over just a little further than her insistent head, I was able to scoop her up with one arm under her chest onto the bed.

Lettie did not like being spooned.  In the slightest.  I on the other hand didn't care and fell asleep.

With one arm draped over the dog, the other draped under her, she settled in, kept me warm and I didnt' realize that time went by until I was awakened.

There was a low rumble that woke me.  It filtered in through the orange ear plugs, and was just enough noise to bring me to consciousness.   Opening my eyes, I found that it was my customary 6AM wake up call anyway, so I lifted the arm that is over my dog's furry warm body ever so slightly...

Out like a shot, Lettie bounded from the bed with a grumble.

I rolled over and gathered the sheets from the other side of the bed, grabbed all the linens, and followed my dog's wagging tail through the house and past the parrot to the washing machine.

None the worse for wear, I had found a way to stop Mrs Dog from waking me up at 4:30 by assuming she'd tolerate being treated like a dog.  After all many dogs like to sleep with their people.  The bed is much more comfortable than the mat on the floor and certainly warmer.  Even in South Florida, a Concrete Slab leeches cold into a dog's older bones.

Mrs Dog did not appreciate being picked up, she never does.  She didn't really want to be on the bed because it was "weird".  Weird means anything out of the ordinary.  I sincerely believe that Border Collies are a breed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - everything has to be Just So and In It's Place.  Weirdness is Not Just So and must be Fixed. 

Perfect dog for me, a Project Manager, since I live an ordered life with certain things happening in a certain order.

Just don't pick her up or else she'll grumble and pout.  On the other hand since it is 5PM now, I'm getting the evil eye to get her dinner.  First.

Tonight she gets her way but tomorrow at 4:30 she may have a rude awakening if she puts her head under my hand again!

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