Thursday, January 3, 2008

A 70-pound Dog Sitting on My Head . . .

. . . is not an experience I wish to repeat. Oh my, Christmas was interesting this year!

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted! In the meantime, things have been interesting.

This year, Christmas involved a loooong drive. But Mr. X had a business trip the week before Christmas . . . which meant that it involved a long drive for me. With Wonderdog. Mr. X flew in to meet us for the big family Christmas celebration, and then all three of us had a looooong drive back.

So, I spent the day of my departure frantically finishing up work, packing, and Christmas shopping. It was almost 10pm when Wonderdog and I were all loaded up in the car and ready to go. I wanted to make it just a few hours so that I'd be able to finish the rest of the drive in one day. The weather looked good for the next day, and I didn't want to wait another day and risk bad weather.

So, the drive began uneventfully. The skies were clear, the roads were dry, and we crossed the state line and arrived at our motel for the night at 1am. We've stayed at this place several times. They're dog-friendly, and the owners are very nice. So, I brought in the luggage we needed for the night, walked Wonderdog around the parking lot, and then we were in for the night. I put out her food and water, laid out her blanket, and brushed and petted her. Then I settled down in bed to read and go to sleep.

I turned the light off and heard Wonderdog panting and pacing around the room. After about 10 minutes, I felt the bed move, and looked up to see the dog standing over me on the bed. Hmmm. We're not dog-in-the-bed people. I know many lovely people who are (some siblings included), but we're just not. On occasion, though, when she's really freaked out in a strange place, we let her on the bed.

So, I figured--OK, I have a king-sized bed to myself, Wonderdog can have Mr. X's side of the bed, and we'll both get some sleep. But she didn't settle down. She paced, panted, tried to make herself a little nest on the bed, got up, walked in circles, lay down . . . I tried turning on the fan to create some white noise and petting her to calm her down, but it didn't seem to work. I was lying there with my eyes closed, when I felt something on my head. I thought maybe she'd leaned on me or put her chin on my head . . . but then I reached up and felt her tail. My 70-pound dog was sitting on my head. Then, she slid off and sat right next to my head. Then she walked around, panting, and then she did it again . . . and again . . . and again. I pushed her off, of course, but I couldn't help laughing at the absurdity of the whole thing. I think she was just using her front paws to bunch up the blankets into a little nest for herself as close to me as possible, so she kept backing closer and closer to me until she actually sat on my head.

Finally, it occurred to me that the D.o.g W.h.i.s.p.e.r.e.r (whose show I've seen maybe three times) says that you shouldn't give attention to an anxious dog because it just reinforces the anxiety. So, I tried not paying attention to her. After about half an hour, she got down off the bed and was quiet. I finally fell asleep after 3am, looking forward to a 12-hour drive in the morning.

At 5am, Wonderdog woke me up. She wanted out. Great. So, I took her out into the (DARK, CREEPY) parking lot. We came back in, and it all started again. By 6am, after she sat on my head for the 10th time, I was pretty desperate. I jumped up and said "That's it! You're going to the car!" because, of course, the dog can understand every word I say. We got into the car, she hopped into her bed in the backseat, and then she looked at me, pretending to be all innocent. Seriously, she hopped in the car and was immediately calm. I started the car to warm it up. I figured that, if I could warm the car up, maybe I could sleep in the hotel room and come out every 45 minutes to check on Wonderdog, re-warm the car, make sure the air was circulating, and all that. So, it wasn't the best plan . . . it was 6am, for heaven's sake! We sat in the car for a few minutes, with the heat running but making no impact on the icy interior. Then, in desperation, I remembered that the b.enadryl we give Wonderdog for her allergies makes her drowsy. So, I drove to the convenience store down the block, bought some b.enadryl, drove back to the hotel, grabbed a slice of bread from the CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST THAT WAS NOW OPEN IN SPITE OF MY 1 1/2 HOURS OF SLEEP, and gave Wonderdog a single pill. I don't think it did anything.

It was now 6:30. We went back inside, bringing her bed from the backseat, and she climbed into it and let me sleep . . . for three hours, at which point my sister called, waking both of us up for the day. Once we were on the road, I called Mr. X, who reminded me to be careful and to remember that I could always spend a second night on the road if I got sleepy. I told him "there is NO WAY I am spending another night on in a hotel with this dog!"

Thus began our Christmas odyssey, which ended with an evil combination of stomach flu and truck stops on the way home. I think that will be my last word on the subject of the drive home. But Christmas itself was lovely. :->

1 comment:

LifeHopes said...

Wow that is quite a night, and quite a Christmas! I felt tired just reading it. I am glad you made it to your destination safely.

Thanks so much for your advice on the ovulation after surgery stuff.


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