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The Almost Perfect Dog. (Or So I Thought.)

January 12, 2008

I’ve always thought our greyhound, Gracie, to be the perfect dog: she’s sweet natured, affectionate, clean, obedient (most of the time), and makes barely a sound sleeping in our bedroom at night on her “Rolls Royce” of a cushion. On occasion she’s been known to make the dog dreaming noises that most dogs make: the staccato whimpering sounds accompanied by erratic leg and /or tail twitching. But this wasn’t often and all I had to do was place my right hand close to where she’s curled up on her pillow and make some loud clicking sounds with my thumb and third finger. If these didn’t wake N, they usually quietened Gracie.

Two nights ago Gracie must have eaten the equivalent of a couple of greasy pizzas laced with extra cheesy toppings; no, of course she didn’t, but her night of wild dreaming made me think she could have. (Isn’t heavy food before we sleep “supposed” to give one a barrage of nightmares, or is that just an old wives tale?) No matter how many times I clicked my fingers or called her name she kept returning to her nightmarish movements keeping N and I awake for hours.

Last night exhausted after a long productive day for both of us, plus the shortage of sleep from the previous night, N and I were hoping to put some zzzz’s back into the sleep bank. Nice idea and it worked for about an hour. We were awakened by incessant sniffing sounds from all around the room as “her ladyship” patrolled what seemed like every square inch of the space as if she’d never been in it before. I sat up and watched her; she was on a mission that only a dog with a long pointy nose would be.

Each time I told her to go and lie down (which she did) and turned off the bedside lamp, she arose to continue her pursuit (like I said, obedient most of the time). It didn’t help that as tired as N and I were we couldn’t stop laughing, unfortunately that seemed to spur her on to sniff out crevasses she had not yet looked into. (Okay, I’m anthropomorphizing.) In between our guffaws we started to notice scratching sounds emanating from somewhere in the walls. Oh rats, not mice! Of course, Gracie had been on “watch” while we were sleeping and was trying to discover the source of the sound; a new experience for her.

N’s first response was to bring out the artillery: nasty mouse traps, which luckily I believe we don’t possess and if I have any say in the matter, never will. Being a paragon, I’ve always used live traps and even though in our cold Midwest winters taking mice back outside is often a death sentence, it’s the only fairly humane solution I can think of.

Over the course of a winter when my ex, young son and I lived in the country, I released back into the woods, one at a time, 17 mice captured in a live trap. It was either 17 mice or one stupid (or smart?) one that kept returning. I thought to put a mark on its back with a marker to find out if it was indeed the same one, but never got around to it. Our three cats and three dogs must have been semi-unconscious as they were obviously off duty; which I don’t think Gracie will ever be.

As to tonight’s adventure; I’ll keep you posted.

Copyright © 2008

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