Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sleeping With The Dog

When I woke up this morning, far too early as usual, there was a handsome man on one side of me and a furry dog on the other side. It’s like waking up in heaven, except for the excess hair. I’m not sure heaven is as furry as my life with a dog.

When I fell asleep last night Ash was on my pillow, making those cute sleeping dog sounds that only a dog can make. Sometime during the night he left my pillow, probably sleeping at the foot of the bed, or on the floor. At 4 am he woke me by standing next to the bed and giving me the stare. He never says anything, he doesn’t have to.

No one ever hears him except me, and that’s because he doesn’t have to say anything.

We got up, went downstairs, and I let him outside. He did his dog thing out there, and came right back. It was a lovely early morning, though as far as I could tell it was still the middle of the night. But the air is fall air, and even in the dark I can tell the color of the air has changed now that it’s fall.

When he came back in we went back upstairs, because I was half asleep still and intended to become fully asleep again. I went right back to sleep, not knowing what Ash was doing. He doesn’t get into any trouble, not like when he was little.

The reason he sleeps on my pillow is because when he first came to live with us he could fit in one of my hands, just a tiny little guy with black soft fur. He was disarmingly cute and harmless, and by disarmingly, I mean, he could destroy pretty much anything, and did. He could not be left unsupervised. This was when a crate would come in handy, and he did have one, and we used it, but at night I’d let him curl up next to me, and he’d sleep that way all night. It kept him out of trouble, and if he left the bed I’d wake up and capture him before having to replace anything of significant value.

In theory.

Eventually he grew out of the phase where he eats everything in sight (including more than one pair of glasses, a wall, and kitchen cabinets), but he never grew out of the phase where he falls asleep close to us, even though he’s now 68 pounds of dog.

Anytime I need to lay down during the day, which is often because sometimes I’m in pain, and sometimes I’m tired, he jumps up next to me, and if he thinks I’m not paying attention he’ll snuggle up against my side, or he’ll put his head on the pillow next to me, the pillow the handsome husband usually uses, but only at night, and he’ll look at me with those eyes that are sometimes brown, sometimes as black as his coat, and he’ll fall asleep. He’ll sleep with me as long as I want him to, as long as it takes, or until he needs to go outside, whichever comes first.

And at night he falls asleep above my head, and sometimes, when I’m lying in bed reading before sleep, his head, which is really really hard, will come crashing against mine and his head will come to rest next to mine, so he can feel me next to him while he sleeps. When he’s awake he may put his head on top of mine, an advantageous perch to see what’s going on, and he rests it there as if he’s a part of me.

This morning when I woke up and found him next to me, stretched out, his head on my pillow, he was sound asleep, as was the other occupant of the bed. They’re both sound sleepers, so this happens frequently. I tried to reach down to pull up the other blanket, but I couldn’t move. And so I said to Ash, “Move, will ya?” But he just kept sleeping, and so I pushed him just a bit, and I grabbed the blanket, and he just kept sleeping.

I read while they slept, comfortable and warm with my guys, the only sound their barely discernible breathing.

Sometimes I shake one of them just to make sure they’re still breathing, but usually I just let them sleep.