A four-legged face of love stares at me in the middle of the night. I interpret this as, “I’m cold and uncovered, can you please pull the blanket over me?” But a few hours later, she’s uncovered again and running around the house, listening to sounds and dusting the furniture with golden fleece. Her nails click like ivory castanets on the walnut floor. She doesn’t want to wake me again but it’s pretty cold for the end of May and she licks my elbow. It’s a warm, gentle lick because she doesn’t really want to be doing naughty things like waking up her mommy, but alas, she’s shivering and there’s not much else to do. When she knows my eyes are open, she shakes her collar like a bell. Heaven forbid she wakes up daddy.
After our two-mile walk today, we figured she’d be tuckered out and sleeping like a log. Her tiny stepsister can burrow under covers, rarely needing any late night attention. Though I’m yawning and tired, I can’t be upset. I know that Pinky had some rough times before she came to live with us. She often has nightmares that sound spastic and dreams that make her tremble. Loud noises, fireworks and ambulances make her shake with fear. Plus she’s older now and maybe she simply wants large doses of extra love.
I can imagine her thinking something like this: 'Fiona is only five pounds and super cute—but what about me? When I was a puppy, everyone said I was cute too. Is there a twenty-pound limit to being a lap dog? I think I’m close--maybe a few pounds here or there. Awe, come on--you still think I'm cute--don't you? Have you seen the online video of elephants who want to be lapdogs? At least I want to be on your lap as opposed to Miss independent Fiona—I can keep you warm'—and so on.
|Fiona is sitting on the red pillow|
Curled like a croissant shaped pooch at the end of the couch, I get up and look into dark sad eyes that seem to beg forgiveness. “Go to bed, Pinky,” I whisper in the dark. I cover her up and for a few more hours, we fall asleep---both of us forgetting any troubles from our past. And miracle of miracles, we don’t wake daddy.