• 70°

A little dog changed everything

Ever since my dog, Little Girl, came to live with me, things have been lively at our house.

One morning I awoke about 5:30. I felt movement on my bed. My son was gently placing Little Girl in her bed that was on my bed.

It happens all along. Sometimes when I am sound asleep, she hears him in the kitchen and smells bacon cooking. She stirs, leaps off the bed, joins him in the kitchen, and acts as if she is starving. He lets her outside, fills her bowl with her special dry, diet food and puts fresh water out for her. When he lets her back in, she dances her special little jig awaiting a rubdown with a towel to remove any dirt or leaves from her shaggy coat. If she is in her “I’m not about to eat that awful stuff” mood, she gives her food bowl a sideways glance and moves on, sniffing the kitchen floor, hoping for some choice crumbs.

When it is obvious she will await me to coax her to eat some of “that awful stuff” out of my hand, she dashes back to my bedroom. My son gently and quietly lifts her up to her bed. I pretend to be asleep with one eye open, while he tip-toes out of the room. Little Girl watches him until he is out of sight. Then she promptly leaves her bed to snuggle next to me. We settle in for a little more sleep before she wakes me up with a little bark several hours later.

At least she spares my son’s feelings. I guess she realizes he is the one who gives her royal treatment every night at bedtime by scooping her up in her bed and transporting her to my bed. Man and dog have a ritual to prepare for that special ride. As he steps in to pick up her bed, she playfully leaps in and out of it several times before he raises her and the bed for the walk from the living room to my bedroom. Once the bed is in place, she gets a short belly rub from him. Then it is my time to pat her head and croon, “Put your little head down, close your little eyes, and go to sleep.” She patiently endures these carry-over words from my childhood when we put our two little fox terriers to bed every night.

Little Girl resents my leaving her. Besides pouting and refusing me a goodbye kiss when I dress to go out, she shows me her displeasure by turning over any wastebaskets in the house . Of course, as disgusted as she seems when I leave, she greets my return with joy. She can’t wait to lead me to “our recliner” in the living room. There she contentedly curls up beside me and falls asleep.

Little Girl rewards us with so much laughter and love that she is worth every minute of our care and attention.

 

Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper industry.