It’s six a.m. when my alarm begins the obnoxious beeping that signals another work day. I crack open an eye just long enough to locate the snooze button, smack it, and snuggle back under the covers in a vain attempt to pretend another early morning isn’t happening. On the floor in her “bed” (a shaggy white 100% extra large cotton bath mat) next to me I hear FurGirl stir, make a noise that is the doggy equivalent of a moan, and settle back in. She, too, is hoping this is really a weekend.
After several more slaps of the snooze, I reluctantly swing my feet to the floor. This is FurGirl’s signal. She stirs again, stands, stretches her front paws as far as possible in front of her while poking her hind end high into the air, and yawns. She then straightens up, trots to the door and waits expectantly.
Time for her morning potty.
I pull on my robe, sleep walk over to the door and open it. She canters toward the back porch with me half awake stumbling behind. I open the back door and give her the command,
Fully awake now, FurGirl springs out the door and hurls herself at the metal spiral staircase as if reaching the ground were a timed Olympic event. I’m never quite sure if she runs or rolls down those stairs, the noise could indicate either. But, whatever, I swing the door shut and begin my morning routine.
A few minutes later, as per usual, I revisit the back door and give a little whistle, FurGirl’s signal that potty time is over. Most of the time, within a few seconds or a minute she’ll be climbing back up the staircase and then trotting back in the house.
For whatever reason, today is not the usual day. A minute or more passes…no FurGirl. I sigh. Walk over to the window. There, a floor down and a yard and a half over is FurGirl. Not pottying. Lollygagging.
I sigh again. It IS a beautiful day.
Life, however, must go on. From the window, I whistle again and give a few quick sharp claps. FurGirl glances up ever so quickly at the window and then back down at the ground which she is sniffing intently, rapturously.
She hears me, she just isn’t listening.
I begin to get annoyed. I cross the back porch again, open the door, and begin whistling, clapping and calling FurGirl’s name. I glance back at her through the window and see she is in full-blown denial mode, my calling and clapping having absolutely no impact whatsoever. She is now doing the “Ain’t life grand!” wallow in the grass, all four paws pointing at the sky as she spastically and ecstatically wiggles on her back.
“[Expletive Deleted], FURGIRL,” I shout, louder this time, and begin clapping like a madwoman again.
I am startled from my cacophony by a noise in the family room. It is MisterT, bleary eyed having been roused from sleep by the commotion.
“WHAT in the HELL is going on here?” he hisses.
“FurGirl is ignoring me,” I say dejectedly stopping in mid clap.
“For the love of God, people are trying to SLEEP around here, would you mind shutting the hell up for a minute?” he says and then heads back toward the bedroom, giving a quick whistle just as he disappears through door.
From my vantage point, I have a perfect view of the effect of that particular whistle on the dog. She freezes in mid-wallow and springs into an upright position, all four paws on the ground now, her eyes wide with panic. Her face says,
“Oh NO! It’s THE MAN! Dear God! THE MAN is NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, awake this early! I am so, SO screwed!”
She blazes back toward the house at top speed, and frantically claws her way up the metal steps.
By the time she comes through the door, however, she’s in her best “I’m a good girl” form. Her tail points jauntily at the sky, her ears are cocked attentively as she trots by smartly (nothing to see here!). Breezing by me as if I were invisible, she sails back into the bedroom.
By the time I get there, both FurGirl and MisterT are back in their beds. FurGirl is pretending to be asleep.
“Oh, I’m just SURE”, I say surveying the scene with my hands on my hips.
“You need to get control of your bitch”, MisterT remarks sleepily flipping over as he pulls the covers to his chin.
“Gee, thanks, Smarty-pants.”
Little Miss Not-So-Innocent.