You know when you feel like life is kicking your butt? Crazy at work. Crazy at home. Commitments starting back up and making you feel generally over committed. And then there’s that night with the big thunderstorm. Right. You’re the girl always bragging about how your dogs aren’t an anxious mess in thunderstorms. Big mistake. As it turns out, maybe they just couldn’t reach you with their anxiety because they weren’t allowed on the second floor (oh those beautiful days).
Back in the day (at the Nichols Homestead), the dogs weren’t allowed upstairs. Well, in the current day at the Little House, they also aren’t allowed upstairs- the notable difference being that my bedroom is on the first floor now, which, as it turns out, makes a huge difference.
At my parents house, the dogs slept in my room in the apartment. When we moved to the new house, their favorite night time pillows (oh gosh, I just said that out loud) landed in my bedroom to help ease the transition to the new house. Well they liked it alright and began thinking that we’re the kind of people who sleep in the same room, all together, cozy-like. Oh they are on the floor on their favorite cushions and I’m in my bed. And no, there isn’t a lot of room in there to walk around by the time you have my bed, a big bookshelf, laundry baskets, and two big dog cushions.
So about two weeks ago I realized I wasn’t committed to remaining the kind of people who sleep in the same room with the dogs. In the old house, they slept in the dining room, I slept upstairs. It was kind of great. So I moved their favorite cushions to the living room- assuming they’d opt for the cozy pillows and that would be that. Nope. Apparently they are really into this sleeping in the same room business, no matter how much I try to dissuade them by removing their pillows. Suzie started making a nightly nest in my dirty laundry heap (yes, that’s right, in the current state of unrest at the Little House, I have a dirty laundry heap).
Last week I broke down and put the cushions back in my room. Apparently we are now the kind of people who sleep in the same room…
And then there was Thursday night… There was a big thunderstorm. I woke up to a crash of thunder and Maggie putting her two front paws on my bed and crying directly into my face. Huh? They’ve never been anxious in storms in the past. In fact, I’ve bragged about their cool “we don’t care about storms” demeanor for years! What is this? This was, in fact, an impressive hour of storm. Huge bolts of lightening with the thunder practically simultaneously. Huge trees blowing right outside our bedroom window, torrential rainfall. Yeah, it was impressive and kind of awesome as storms to watch go.
At the second loud crack of thunder, Maggie leaps into my bed. INTO MY BED! Something she’s never done before. We are not dogs in the bed kind of people. Ever. She spends about a minute huddled next to me, her whole body trembling. This leaves me crammed up against the wall, wondering what to do but feeling bad for the old girl. Moments later, she decides it would be safer on top of me. Um. We are not this kind of people, Maggie. How do you think that we’re this kind of people? But in my tired state, I just felt sorry for her as she laid on on top of me, trembling, whining, and hiding her face in my armpit. I decide to watch the storm for awhile while holding the trembling dog– I’m a softie and didn’t have the heart to shove her off the bed just yet. Suzie didn’t appear to be terribly afraid of the storm, just jealous that Maggie was in my arms and she was still on the floor. I tried to pet her with my free arm, while assuring both of them everything was okay.
The storm began to abate and I decided I’d had enough of this. I got Mag off the bed, got up, refilled water dishes (yes, I was trying to change the subject), turned on the light in the living room and told Mag to lay on her pillow there. The windows out there are smaller and with a less impressive view of the dwindling storm. She laid down out there and I went back to bed, wondering what the heck just happened and how to discourage it from ever happening again.
And that’s how it goes down here at the Little House on the Hill. Reenie is still a major pushover for a person- or critter- in crisis. Even if she isn’t dogs-in-the-bed people.