Hide and seek


Lex takes a nap after a rough night.

Lex takes a nap after a rough night.

Some days it’s hard to believe Lexie is almost 15 years old.

Other days, I can’t deny it. She struggles.

I’ve especially noticed her doggy dementia has progressed. Recently when a friend stopped by, Lexie growled and the hair went up on her back. This was surprising, and new behavior for her.

As we were setting up the spare bedroom for our new cat Cora, Lex had wandered in. Moments later, I found her stuck in the corner, unable to simply turn herself around.

Then something truly shocking happened.

A few days ago, we started watching Matt’s mom’s dog. The house felt like a zoo (three dogs and a cat, oh my!!!) but everyone seemed to settle in. Lex seemed nonplussed by the visitor, and chose to slumber most hours of the day.

In the bustle of activity, I must confess to not keeping tabs on each animal every second of the day. But sometime last night Matt and I discovered something awry.

“Did you hear that?” Matt said. I did. It sounded like three thumps coming from the side of the couch. I looked behind my recliner into the little corner cave where the dogs love to hide out. Charlie was stretched out on a dog pillow, twitching to a good dream.

“I think Charlie kicked in his sleep,” I offered.

Matt peered over the end of the couch, down at Charlie. “Hmm.”

We went back to watching TV.

About five or 10 minutes later, we heard some muffled dog noises.

“Is Lexie stuck behind the couch???” we both cried out at the same time.

Matt jumped up, and we both took an end of the couch, frantically pulling it from the wall. Lex stood there, somewhat bewildered and blinking in the sudden shift of light.

We guessed she had only been back there about 10 minutes, but that was enough to scare us and, no doubt, our confused pup.

When Lex initially was diagnosed with dementia, the vet told us there’s a medication that might be helpful. I put it off at the time because it all seemed so quick; I hardly believed the diagnosis to be correct.

But now I think I’m changing my mind.

This morning, I found Lex sleeping on her throne, with her paws tightly pressed against her eyes … as if playing a game of hide and seek.

My sweetheart is slowing down. I reached down to rub her ears then softly ran my fingers down her back.

She needs her sleep.

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Lights out


Zzzzzzzz. Snort, snore. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Dear mommy and daddy,

We had a really rough day. We had to get up early with you, then fall asleep at your feet as you watched the morning news. Lexie lucked out because she was allowed on the couch. I sneaked up there, but just as I was about to nod off, daddy screamed “Off the couch!!” The dog bed was almost as comfy.

When you left, I was sitting on top of the couch watching through the window as you pulled out of the driveway. I know you think I stayed in that spot for the three hours you were gone, but I had more important tasks to take care of. I took all five of my femur bones into the yard, and started plotting where I would like to bury them. You see, I’ve been studying the squirrels, and I think they’re on to something. I’ve seen them bury those nuts, and I think I’ve mastered their technique. I’ve been practicing in the yard. But each time I think I’ve perfected my approach, you come out, pitch a fit and fill the hole. Next time I’m practicing out behind the shed. You never go back there.

I could hear daddy’s truck from about a mile away (us dogs have amazing hearing!), so by the time you got home I was back up in the window. The only clue that I ever left the couch was the small pile of dirt I left on the cushions.

I don’t know about you, but I’m real tired. Lexie’s old and sleeps all the time. But I’m the little man of the house, and I had things to take care of. Like tracking down all three of the stuffed chipmunks. Just so you know, only one of the squeakers still works.

I want to go to sleep, but you both are wide awake. So I’m just gonna take a quick snooze here on the floor until we can snuggle in bed. But before I fall asleep, I’m going to check out the bathroom to make sure there’s nothing yummy in the trash can. You’d be surprised what I find in there!

Saving you sloppy puppy kisses. And I promise not to hog the middle of the bed tonight.

Love,

Charlie (and Lexie)

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Snuggle bug


Where’d Mom go? I guess I’ll keep her side of the bed warm.

I woke up this morning shivering. The bed sheets were gone. I felt around in the dark for a blanket, and discovered a small nest in the middle of the bed. Right on top, I found a snoring pile of fur.

“Charlie! Get off,” Matt barked.

Charlie lifted his head, sleepiliy looked around the room, then promptly fell back asleep.

The general rule is that Lex and Charlie sleep in their dog beds. Charlie’s bed is on Matt’s side, and Lexie’s is on mine. This worked out until we recently rearranged the room. Matt was a little snot and demanded to have the side of the bed closest to the window, so we swapped sides. This caused confusion because Matt still wanted Charlie to sleep on his side.

Lex would rather snooze on the couch.

The first night, I brought Lex up to check out the new arrangement. She sniffed the beds, scanned the room then walked downstairs to sleep on the couch instead.

It took some convincing with Charlie. Matt got him to the new bed location, but by the middle of the night I saw he switched to my side.

“Chaaaarlieeeeee! Come heeeeere!!” Matt begged. Charlie sighed, then buried his head deep in his bed.

By morning, Charlie had relocated between us. It would have been cute (and of course it was!) if he wasn’t such a bed hog. It’s hard to imagine how such a small pup could commandeer an entire queen-sized quilt, and build it into a small fortress. I pulled at the edges of the quilt, and they wouldn’t  budge. Somehow he had Superglued them in place. I wiggled my fingers under Charlie and tried to move him, but suddenly he weighed as much as a full-grown rottweiler.

I grabbed the rumpled bed sheet off the floor, and covered up the best I could. I snuggled in close to Charlie and Matt, shivered, then fell asleep.


The first several days we had Charlie, he happily slept between Matt and me in our bed. He would wiggle between us, roll onto his back and pass out. Waking up to puppy kisses is one of the most divine things in the world.

This continued for close to a week. Until Charlie got worms. Then he was relegated to the dog bed on the floor. He recovered from his ailment almost immediately, but the floor bed orders remained in place. Over time he would sneak up until we saw him, then sulk as he slid off the bed.

Charlie sleeps best in bed. Our bed.

It’s said that dogs sleep anywhere from 12-18 hours a day. As a growing puppy, Charlie has evolved into an expert napper. From the top of the couch, to laying in a sunbeam out in the yard, Charlie catches his share of ZZZZs.

But his favorite spot remains in bed with us. Preferably in the middle, paws outstretched, belly exposed. Soft puppy snores, paw twitches.

Sleep tight, Charlie. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.

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