Saturday, July 2, 2011

Her Majesty's bedtime ritual

Left to her own devices, Tinky-Winky will usually sleep on her own bed, unless she's upset and wants me to protect her. But because she's my dog and I expect her to keep me company, I like her to sleep on my bed. She even knows a command for jumping up on the bed (or couch, or into the car), but she chooses not to. So, we have evolved a routine which dates back to our days in Yellowknife. At that time, I would be in the computer room until 21:30, and Tinky-Winky would come with me and fall asleep on the futon. Then I would have a shower, and then I would pick her up off the futon, bring her into my room, put her on the bed, and go to sleep. In those days, whenever I would go to pick her up, she would tense up, and I thought she was trying to resist me, until I realised that actually, she was lifting up her ribcage so I could get my hand under her more easily. She expected to be carried to bed, the lazy creature.

Now that we're home, which is a bachelor suite, she's usually on her bed, and then I go to open up the hide-a-bed. At that point she will inevitably go into the hallway and lie down right in the corner. Then I go to pick her up, and she does the same thing, lifts herself up so I can get my hands under her. Then I put her on the bed.

The next issue, though, is that once she's on the bed, she digs at the blankets. This is why the top blanket on my bed is always a dog blanket, to prevent my own blankets getting shredded. But even so, it's quite annoying that she spends forever digging furiously and walking around in circles. The reason she does this is to shape a little doggy bed out of my blankets. And after watching her for years, I've discovered that she has a very specific shape in mind when she does this. She's trying to make a little crater the size of her body, with one side high as a pillow for her head. But because she has no hands, it can take a while to manipulate the blankets into that shape.

So now, when I put her on the bed, I take the dog blanket and shape it into a little crater around her, with a high side for a pillow. And instead of digging, she lies right down and goes to sleep. This also has the advantage of making her sleep where I put her, and not where she chooses, which is inevitably in MY spot.

Cesar would be appalled, I'm sure, but he doesn't sleep in my bed (not that I'd mind, though), so we do it our way. My dog must be smarter than his dogs anyway, because she doesn't assume she's the boss whenever I do something for her. Sometimes I do what she needs me to do for her, and the rest of the time she obeys me. Or at least she obeys the cheese in my hand.

I really want to get one of those signs that say "the dog and her housekeeper live here."

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