This is the door leading to my mom’s room. We had just come downstairs ourselves and I sat on the couch to search social media. I heard the click of the brake on my mom’s walker so I knew she was up and moving around.
Bella, my Neapolitan Mastiff, must have heard the click as well because all of a sudden I heard the thump thump thump of her tail hitting my hardwood floor. She gets so excited when my mom is around. When my mom comes out first thing in the morning Bella does a polite excitement. I love it. Her whole body will wiggle, she spins a little. She’ll mouth my mom’s hand (which is on the walker) softly until my mom says “no”. She never pushes her or jumps on her like she sometimes does to greet others. It’s as if she knows she cannot handle it. Once my mom is seated, Bella will be right in front of her, tail wagging. My mom will pat her on the head, say “I love ya Bella” and then sometimes the whole interaction is over. Bella goes on her way. I don’t even think my mom has realized this daily ritual between the two.
It’s not just the mornings. Bella will greet her with a toy if my mom has gone into her room to use the restroom. Bella will wait until she’s seated and bring a toy, usually a long stuffed animal or her long rope toy. My mom will take it and, with her arthritic hands and shoulders, attempt to throw it. It never goes very far but Bella doesn’t care. She’ll jump like she’s getting ready for a major sprint and pounce on it, grab it, and bring it back. It only lasts one or two throws and then Bella, content, will walk away with it and lay on the ottoman. It never ends that quickly when I’m throwing it for her!
So here we are. My mom will be out soon. Bella is waiting patiently for her. She has moved from being over by me to taking the spot in front of the door. She will be the first one to say good morning!
With Bella’s size, she doesn’t get to interact with my mom as much as Zipper does. Zipper is small, he can jump up next to her. Bella has found her own way to share time with my mom. She has found her own way to work into her heart. The love of an animal knows no age or disability.
I know all the reasons I should not fall asleep on the couch. Common sense tells me to just take my butt to bed but it isn’t that easy. You have to understand, sleepy brain has been shown to be as dangerous as drunk brain when it comes to driving, so I have to believe it impairs the thought process in general. I have never been drunk, so I have nothing to compare it to….so to make me feel better about my silly decisions in this post, I am sticking to this theory!
I feel I need to include a little backstory. Tuesday was spent working all day. Literally all day. My creative juices were flowing so I was on my laptop practically all day. I started a new project about 11:30pm Tuesday night and finally closed the laptop at 4:30am Wed morning. I went to sleep around 5am and was back up around 8am. 3 hours is enough for me to function but then I’m tired the next night. I felt it was important to explain HOW tired (it helps with my sleep brain theory)! I fell asleep, sitting in the chair, watching TV. I woke up to a Great Dane trying to get in the chair with me. You see, that’s a key point! I didn’t wake up on my own, I was FORCED to wake up. Startled even. Ok, startled may be a stretch. I guess Titan decided I had been away from him too long and wanted to be closer. Titan, a one year old Great Dane, is very needy affectionate.
Sitting in a chair with a Great Dane that cannot seem to get comfortable is not easy, even when I’m awake, but downright annoying when I’m tired. I stand up with the intent to go upstairs to go to bed. I shut off the lights (the REAL reason I’m always receiving “you use more electricity than your neighbors” letters. I’m about to head upstairs when my sleepy brain kicks in.
First, I would have to put the gates up because Titan and Bella are both counter surfers. You can understand….those SUPER HEAVY gates I use that are so cumbersome to put in place. There are so many of them. Sleepy brain kicks in and reminds me if I just crash on the couch I’m standing next to, I wouldn’t have to mess with the gates. They don’t counter surf when I’m downstairs with them. Sleepy brain…you have a valid point. Now, I’m not that easy. Sleepy brain doesn’t win that easy! I argued a little. The gates aren’t heavy at all, there are only two, and I walk right by one as I head upstairs.
The stairs. The dreaded stairs. Sleepy brain reminds me I have 30 stairs to climb to get upstairs and I have to dodge flying missiles on my way up. Reality, I have 13 stairs. The flying missiles are the three dogs fighting each other to be the first up the stairs. The first one in the bedroom gets the prime spot they want on the bed. At least, that’s what I think goes through their mind in the race upstairs. Sleepy brain tells me I am too tired to fight them and won’t have the strength in my voice to just tell them to wait as I walk up. Sleep brain is pretty convincing. Just as I am about to win the debate in my head, Sleep Brain reminds me I left a few things on my bed earlier in the day. That is the winning argument. I don’t have the energy to clean them off and with three dogs vying for a spot, not moving them is not an option. Sleepy brain does a little victory dance as I lay down on the couch.
My couch was comfortable pre Titan. It had thick cushions along the back that you can just sink into. After coming home multiple times to those cushions laying on my deck, thanks to an over active Great Dane puppy who has an affinity for taking thinks out my dog door, I removed all the cushions. Without the cushions, it’s just a hard back surface. Of course, it’s also a lot wider without the cushions.
As I’m laying down, trying to get comfortable, I’m also keeping two piranhas dogs at bay. They are both eager to jump up on the couch with me. I get settled with my blanket over me. Within 5 seconds I have Titan climbing over me to lay down by my feet and Zipper, my Jack Russell, jumping up to lay up by my chest. Zipper has dog aggressions from time to time and still hasn’t fully accepted Titan in the house. I’m always on alert when those two are near each other because Zipper can get aggressive when he’s laying with me. He’s fine if Titan is asleep first but if he’s up near me first, he doesn’t always let Titan up. Yes, the 18lb dog rules the house.
I keep the ottoman near the couch so Bella, my Neapolitan Mastiff, can also be close. She is such a good girl. She’s happy to just chill on the ottoman, away from all the dog drama. She isn’t very cuddly at night. I think her Mastiff side kicks in and she’s on guard duty. The irony is, when she DOES want to cuddle, she just pushes the other two out of the way and claims her spot.
You would think this is where my story ends, but it isn’t. It is really where it begins! You see, I’m sound asleep, oblivious to the devious mind at work, until I am forced awake by a cold, very wet, nose. Ugh! Titan had just gotten a drink and felt I needed to be awake with him. Lucky me. I close my eyes to go back to sleep. Titan begins pacing. I’m so tired I don’t think a lot about it. I tell him to lay down and start dozing. I feel a heavy head plop on my arm. I start to doze again. Titan wakes me up again.
What is his problem?
I slightly shift and realize his dilemma. He had climbed off the couch and the evil one (Zipper) had moved down to where Titan had vacated. Zipper NEVER lays at my feet unless it’s to torment Titan. Titan knows he is the underdog in this house. He doesn’t dare try to move Zipper. I chuckle to myself, remind him he shouldn’t have moved, adjust my pillow, move to my side, and proceed to try to go back to sleep.
After hearing Titan pace a little more (he REALLY wanted on the couch) I finally fall back to sleep. Knowing this standoff was happening, I couldn’t go to a deep sleep because I was worried Titan would push his luck and Zipper would try to attack him. I love Zipper dearly. His Jekyll and Hyde personality is something I have come to accept, even though it drives me crazy.
Next thing I know, Titan is climbing over me and stretches himself alongside me. I’m proud of him for figuring out a solution. The issue is, I am NOT a small woman. Titan is 130 pound dog. I honestly don’t know how this is comfortable for him. To add humor to all this, Zipper immediately leaves his post by my feet to crawl up and lay along my arm. Now that his tormenting Titan is over, he wants back up closer to me. The problem is, now his head and Titan’s head are right by each other. Titan moves A LOT. I could see it happening. Titan moves, wakes Zipper up, and Zip attacks him. So much for me going back to sleep. I notice they are actually touching. Zipper lives by his own set of rules. You can’t touch him, but he can touch you.
Luckily, they both seemed to have a mutual understanding and I finally fell back asleep for about 45 minutes. Even now, as I type this up, I am using the mobile app so they are comfortable. There has been numerous shifts on their part but they are happy because they get to be near me.
In the end, that’s what we are here for isn’t it? Their happiness? I am pretty sure they believe it is.
I really need to sleep in my bed tonight!
A little post note…as I was finishing typing this up, getting ready to get up and log on to the laptop to clean it up and correct any spelling, I thought it would be funny to share that Bella decided it was her turn to lay with me so she pushed the other two away. Once she was up, it was clear Titan wasn’t happy. He’s trying to hard to find out how he can get some love as well!