Thursday, November 8, 2007

Two's Company, Three's a Crowd

Lesson Number Three: Don’t Start Something You Don’t Want To Finish, part 1

Jim’s frequent Navy cruises to Cuba, the Mediterranean, the Virgin Islands, and other points unknown were a big factor in our decision to bring a dog into the house. Although nothing could have replaced Jim’s presence, Bijoux filled a little lonely space in me and gave me something to concentrate on and take care of in Jim’s absence. When we brought her crate up to the bedroom, it was with the understanding that the floor was the closest she would get to us in the middle of the night. That was until Jim went away for the first time after Bijoux was reasonably housebroken. She no longer had to be in the crate when we were gone during the day--she had proven herself trustworthy to have the run of the house. It was only at night that we wanted to make sure she didn’t roam.

I put her in the crate, just like I had done every night since she had been with us. I got under my own covers and looked at her. She sat at the wire door, cocking her head to the right side, and then to the left. I told her to lie down. I told her to go to sleep. I tried to roll over and ignore her, but it just wasn’t working for me. Each time I turned in her direction to see if she was laying down, she would wag her tail and whine, and those puppy dog eyes would plead with me to let her out.

Those eyes! It was not the first time they would get the best of me, and it certainly wasn’t the last, but I remember this night like it was yesterday. I gingerly opened the door, pushing aside my inner voice that was trying to stop this from happening. Bijoux tentatively came out of her crate, looking at me like the sucker I was. Remembering the passage from Superpuppy about how dogs typically don’t urinate where they sleep, I reassured myself that she would be fine in our bed. Although it took her a while to settle down from the excitement of the battle she had won, she finally plopped down next to me and fell into a deep sleep until morning. (I, however, slept poorly.) This was the first night of the next thirteen-plus years that she would share our bed.

Click here for part 2!