My husband and I fell asleep on New Year’s Eve around 11 pm (yes, we’re one of those couples) and all was well until I woke a while later from the weight of a dog being dropped on my chest.
She was a small dog who was last seen sleeping in her dog bed on the floor and, although she was clever, she could not climb or fly, which meant my husband Kurt had something to do with her current position.
So, with eyes still closed, I asked, “Why is Sophie on my chest”?
Kurt mumbled back, “The fireworks were freaking her out and she kept crying so I put her on the bed”.
Okay, that makes sense, but there's a big difference between “on the bed” and perched on my chest like a gargoyle.
A difference that I’m sure could easily be explained by Kurt's “middle of the night” logic. Which probably went something like this…
1. Kurt has a dog on the bed rule (there not allowed on his side) so the only place a dog could land on our bed is my side. Let’s just say there’s an invisible line that separates “dog-friendly territory” from “unfriendly territory”.
2. Kurt is awakened out of a sound sleep by a whining dog, who is desperate to get on the bed, and will not stop crying.
3. Lisa, Kurt's wife, continues sleeping soundly, seemingly undisturbed by the dog’s endless whining.
And there you have it, the only logical response is pick up the whining dog and drop it on your wife’s chest, to ensure she’s also awakened to join the fun.
So without waking up further, I pull Sophie off my chest and try to get her to lie down next to me, so I can go back to sleep.
Typically, she would happily comply, but tonight for some reason she was having none of it. Instead, she frantically tried to get away from me and back over to Kurt’s side of the bed.
This was like crossing from South Korea into North Korea. She knew this was enemy territory.
All I could think in my half-sleep stupor was, why has this dog suddenly shifted alliances? I fed her, carried her, gave her treats, walked her, and played with her —life in the dog-friendly region was lovely.
Yet suddenly NO THANK YOU?
Why was my dog brexiting me?
After a few more efforts to win her over, battle fatigue set in, and I put her back on the floor. I figured our other dog Arthur was down there and she could go to him for comfort — especially since I knew how much he LOVED that.
Then I fell back into a deep sleep.
…until I was jolted awake again by Sophie being thrust at me. “She keeps crying,” Kurt mumbled at me impatiently then rolled over.
This time I was fully awake and now hearing the loud bang of fireworks going off. Yeap! This was going to be a long night.
Once again, I tried my best “dog calming techniques” to alleviate the situation — the soothing petting of her tummy, a gentle and melodic shhh sound, a comforting blanket over her head to increase security, and exacerbated blanket over MY HEAD to smother myself into unconsciousness.
But it was NOT happening.
She immediately returned to her previous fight stance of defecting to enemy territory.
This went on for another ten minutes until in desperation I said to Kurt, “She won’t calm down, she only wants you. This is going to be a long night for everyone if this doesn’t get resolved”.
Kurt sighed in response and sleepless defeat, and said, “Alright, let her go. Let her over”. Grateful, I released her and she sprinted from me like a gazelle being chased by a lion — straight over to Kurt.
Although curious to find out what would happen next, she was no longer my problem, so nighty-night I went.
The next morning, well-rested and feeling a bit guilty for my dog dump, I ask Kurt whatever happened with Sophie, hoping not to incite a riot from his sleepless night of trying to soothe her.
He smiled and said, “She licked my face a few times, then laid down next to me and went to sleep — end of story”.
What the hell? You’ve got to be kidding me? That dog was behaving like a restless psycho with me and two minutes after defecting she settles down and goes to sleep?
I looked over at Sophie and she was looking at me as though she knew what we were talking about. She had a smug dog look on her face that said victory with a capital V.
My response? Okay, you wanna play it that way, Sophie? New game, new rules.
Just wait till the next time you decide to cross back over into “Dog-Friendly Territory” and ask for your passport - will sell who the winner is then ( I happen to know for a fact her passport’s expired).