Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Sleep of the Deaf

There is something fascinating about the way Faith sleeps. Like any dog, she'll pretty much plop down and fall asleep when there's nothing to do. Unlike most dogs, she can't "keep half an ear open" when she does. If something thumps the floor she'll look around, but otherwise her sleep isn't readily disturbed by things going on around her. If you'll pardon the expression in the current context, she's a sound sleeper.

If Faith wakes up alone in a room, she'll immediately search the house to see where everybody went. That seems to be disconcerting to her, so I try to make sure I touch her to wake her when I'm leaving the room for longer than a moment. Keep in mind that she's asleep, and she has no idea that someone is approaching. Getting touched unexpectedly - even gently - is pretty startling. And (very much as you might expect) there is a startle reflex in that first moment of wakefulness.

What I find amazing is how quickly she processes the fact that everything is okay. And the fact that there's no aggression or fear in her in that moment. By the time she's fully alert, which is very fast, she's already snuggling into the hand that's touching her.

Maybe I'm projecting, but there's a level of trust there that humbles me. No so much trust in me, as trust that the world is going to be okay. There are days when I really wish I could do that...

Trevor, of course, insists that he can sleep just as solidly as Faith can. At least when he's not stealing bath mats. But as you can see, the scamp is cheating. He's not looking at the camera. Oh, no.

Did I mention bath mats? He's taken to sneaking off with them when I'm taking a shower. And he knows perfectly well what he's about, too. Makes a point of ambling slowly and looking over his shoulder until he knows I've seen him with the damned bath mat in his mouth, then walks out with it. So far they've ended up in the kitchen, the family room, and my office. He's a mix, sure, but his sense of humor here is all border collie.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Temporary Forever Home

Too tired to play
We're having a great time at our new house (as you can see)! We get a brand new place to run around in. It has lots of places we can go in circles around at high speed, and lots of reflecting windows for Faith. Oh. And new quilts to en-fur!

Our Person has finally separated from his wife, which seems to be good for them both. We get to see our Little Person four days a week. The rest of the week we help our two-legs work by sleeping on his feet under his desk and bringing him balls when he's really trying to concentrate. Best of all, nobody here things of us as "big stupids".

A week after we got here, we went on an unauthorized adventure. Our person left a sliding glass door slightly open, and Trevor managed to open it. So he goes dashing out, tosses his head cockily at our Person, and with a telepathically projected "phbbttt!" heads off to check on marks all around the neighborhood. Being the responsible Border Collie in the family, I of course follow him, nipping at his ears and neck, trying to herd him back inside. So the big dummy takes off. So I follow him, still trying to herd him back to the house.

The thing about Trevor is that it's the principle of the thing. Given 20 minutes to leave messages on suitably selected trees and bushes, he always comes home. Mainly because that's where the food is in his puppy pea brain. But also because dogs aren't equipped with a digitus impudicus, so trotting back home with a look of attitude is his way of flipping our two-legs the bird. Which, now that I think about it, is probably preferable to him actually bringing our two-legs a bird. And I generally follow him around, so our Person was pretty sure I'd be back too, bragging on how brilliantly I had herded my furry reprobate brother back to the house. Not this time.

But a nice stranger in a car intervened. Trevor, the goofy lummox, made a dash for home. I decided to get in the car where it was warm and dry and I could distract a new person while driving. He looked at my tag and delivered me to mom's house. Where the cat dissed me, so I peed on mom's floor. Then my Person came and got me, and we had another ride in the car. Did I mention I like riding in the car?

- Faith

New tags are on the way. Anybody got suggestions for how to get dog urine scent out of marble? Nature's miracle isn't cutting it, and I'm afraid that bleach might damage the marble.

My son seems to be taking the separation pretty well. Once he figured out that he was going to have time with both parents and all of the pets (dogs here, cat there), he gleefully and mischievously turned his attention to planning his room. I need to get his new bunk bed painted pronto, so that the dogs can en-fur his bed too!