Sunday, February 15, 2009

How to create a monster.

I can sum it up in six words: Let the dog sleep in bed.

When we first got Alice, she would curl up in an uncomfortably tiny ball at the very edge of the bed and would start fake-sleeping about half an hour before we went to bed. “Look, I’m so tiny and small, I take up no room at all,” I imagined she’d say. “Plus, I’m already asleep. Why not just let me stay?” Being suckers, we would.

As it got colder, we tried to get her under the blankets. “Oh, no,” Alice would say. “I’m not going under there. Instead, I’ll lay right on top of you, so when you move, I’ll fall off and steal all of the blankets.” This got irritating, so during one night where she stole all of the blankets, we started tucking her under her own special Christmas blanket. She's been fixated ever since.

At first, she had some interesting ideas of what it meant to snuggle up with the blankets. At first, she'd sleep on top of it. As she got more comfortable, she'd stick certain parts of her body under it. What part she hid under it varied.

On a much colder night, we threw her under the covers, and she stayed. She's been there ever since.

She started by our feet, but lately, I've woken up to find Alice tucked in nicely, sometimes with her head up by mine. Or, in other cases, her rear end. Her favorite place is between the Human Male and me (pretty much in every situation-- on the couch, walking around, eating dinner), an activity that’s earned her the nickname “Moment Killer”.

Last night, however, was a real kicker.

I woke up sometime early this morning—like midnight or three or the sort (like all great Valentine’s Day dates, I fell asleep around 9:30). I was sleeping on my side, somewhere in the middle of the bed. I went to roll over—only to feel little fast-kicking legs between my shoulder blades. I sat up and found Alice laying horizontally below my pillow, taking up literally half the bed. Yes, Alice was kicking me to move over. And she gave me a dirty little puggle look that clearly said, “Why did you wake me up, human?!”

Yeah, that got corrected quickly. Alice soon found herself back under the bed by our feet. That was until 6A, when I woke up and found her snugged up against me, head on my arm.

I’m beginning to think that Alice needs a night a week sleeping in her crate, just to remind her that while she’s part of the pack, she’s the zeta dog here. Now, if she wasn’t so cute…

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