Our house is a cute little 100 year old colonial but a part of its 100 year old charm I don't find so charming: in 1903, there was no central air conditioning. We put window air conditioners in the bedrooms eventually so no matter how humid the summer nights are, I can thankfully get some sleep.
That is until we got DaBoys.
If it's a really hot and humid at night, I leave them in their crate on the first floor with a fan on them. But once I get upstairs with the air conditioner humming away and the bedroom door closed, I can't rest. Why? Because while I might be losing my memory and I might be losing my mind, my mommy genes are still around to remind me that I can't hear what's going on downstairs. What if the fan overheats ? (Insert Ken rolling his eyes here.) What if the fan falls over and overheats?? (Insert Ken rolling eyes and sighing here.) What if someone breaks in?? What if they get hurt? WHAT IF THEY NEED ME ??
It's the same thing I went through when the kids were little. Ultimately, I end up sleeping in half hour spurts and spend the rest of the night checking on DaBoys just like I used to check on the kids. But now, I check on DaBoys and then try to convince them to go back to sleep because they can hear a creaking floor five miles away and if it's one thing builders did in 1903 to make up for the lack of central air, it was install creaky floors.
So last night, I got a brilliant idea. We'll just put DaBoys' crate upstairs in our room! Why didn't I think of this before?? As I was explaining my Brilliant Idea to Ken, that little muscle in his jaw did a dance. The only thing he said (and he said it very quietly) was that no. dogs. are. sleeping. in. our. bed.
But he agreed to try my Brilliant Idea because it was . . . well, brilliant (she said modestly). As he schlepped the crate up the stairs you could barely hear him muttering under his breath. He didn't crash into the table on the landing but did suffer a nasty bruise on his shin when Sammy forgot he lacked opposable thumbs and tried to help.
Things were going reasonably well at first. Doggies in their crate over by my closet, chins resting on short little front legs, quiet and watchful in what I took to be a sleepy sort of way. Ken and I in bed, me with the latest issue of Discover magazine and Ken reading S.M. Stirling. About midnight, we turned out our lights.
And that's when the fun began.
First it was the whining. Pitiful, heartrending whining. Charlie started, then Sammy joined, then Charlie let Sammy take it solo for awhile.
After that, they stretched way up and ran their paws down the crate door over and over again like demented harpists. Actually, they got a pretty good rhythm going a la Muhammed Ali at the punching bag.
Ken and I were laughing to ourselves but trying not to let on. Cuz right then, it was funny and we were sure it was going to end. Ken fell asleep for good at 12:30 and slept like a log (see post about the squirrel in our bedroom). But DaBoys whined and cried and rattled their crate all night trying to alert us to the fact that (a) they were locked up and (b) helllooooooo, we were in the same room but not holding them. Around 1AM they started taking deceiving little rest stops every once in awhile; rests that were juuuuuuust long enough I'd drop off to sleep. Then they'd get their second doggie wind and start all over again with the whining and the rattling, tag team style. At one point, they started poking their little front legs out of the crate and waving them around in case we had only gone deaf and not blind, too.
It was a long night for one of us.
They finally stopped whining/rattling/waving furiously at 5:22 AM.
Lucky me. My alarm went off at 5:45AM.
When I let them out to go for our walk, there was much licking and jumping and happiness, let me tell you. They looked at me with confused little faces that said, "Didn't you see us? We were right over there ALL NIGHT!"
I dazed my way through getting ready for work and headed out the door. The only thing that kept me awake once I got to work was massive doses of caffiene and a quick nap in my car at lunch (which I learned from my coworkers, seemingly all of whom are master car nappers). But when I came home this evening, I wasn't greeted by my usual furry, snuffling, licking, jumping duo. Oh no. They were asleep on the living room chairs.
You see, they had a rough night.