Those of you who have read our ABOUT post may recall that we promised the occasional discuss how pets “lower (raise?) your blood pressure.” This post addresses that parenthetic insertion.
Again, as mentioned in the ABOUT, we have two big dogs. We refer to them as the Big Dog and the Little Dog but to clarify, the Little Dog is little only in comparison to the Big Dog. I say this since most people consider an 85 pound dog to be BIG. But, in comparison to the 150 pound dog, she’s relatively little.
You may get the impression that we like large dogs. And we do: for various reasons. Among them is the fact that some of our non-bipedal neighbors are bears. It’s a simple maxim of country life, “Got bears? Get big dogs.”
That aside, The Girls (as they are collectively referred to) are sweet pups. They’re playful, cuddly, and very smart. The Big Dog is also very good at putting the Little Dog up to doing the grunt work, like awakening the humans when she needs to go outside. I’m convinced they whisper to each other and I know I’ve seen the big one nudge the little on toward us. Which brings us to the ‘raising your blood pressure’ part of this post.
Let me start by saying, I am not a morning person. I can do a wonderful imitation of a lump under the covers. The alarm needs to be set a half hour to forty-five minutes before I need to arise. Even then, I tend to wander around like a slow speed pinball, bouncing off of things, faulting, and occasionally even tilting. But there are times when I can come to full alert and function in .006 seconds or less.
This morning was one of those times. I can’t be sure but I thought I heard vague canine whisperings from the far end of the bedroom. The next thing I knew, the Little Dog was ebulliently wiggling at me. (She’s a golden retriever. They are ebullient about everything.) Goldens are forever “releasing their wiggles” as it was so aptly described in Nacho Libre. One quickly learns that goldens are perennially excited by mundane things like dust motes floating in the air, sun beams, gravity continuing to work – you get the picture.
Understanding this, and being a good dog dad, I greeted her, blearily. I’m pretty sure I patted her, or at least I tried to pat part of her as it wiggled past. Being a golden retriever, she was distracted by and satisfied with this human interaction and returned to her bed. I returned to my dozing.
The next thing I knew, the Big Dog was there, sighing with exasperation and bouncing the mattress with her nose. Let me tell you, the nose on a 150 pound American mastiff is an undeniable thing when it is moving rapidly mere microns from your face. Did I mention it’s also very wet? Ah. Well. It is.
The Big Dog only stirs from her bed when there is a pressing need. Any of you who have pets know what I mean by a pressing need. It’s something you ignore at your peril although with a 150 pound dog, it’s more like extreme peril.
Hence, the awake in less than .006 seconds reference. Upon arising I discovered my own pressing need. (Note to self, no more drinking five glasses of iced tea in the evening – no matter what the temperature is.) I made reassuring noises as I rushed to prevent my own accident in the house. The Big Dog, flanked by her smaller companion, wagged her tail in understanding sympathy. Or so I thought.
When I reentered the bedroom, I found both dogs, curled up on their beds, eyes closed, looking for all the World like some obnoxious kids pretending to be asleep in a 1950s or 60s movie. When I spoke to them, somewhat sharply I will admit, they both slowly raised their ‘sleepy’ heads and through squinting eyes gave me that, “What? I was sleeping.” look.
Muttering to myself, I decided against resuming my recumbent position and shambled out to the kitchen to make the day’s first water of life (coffee). As I wended my slow, bouncing off the walls way down the hall, I’d swear that I heard dog sniggers and Colleen patting their heads and telling them what good girls they are.
Do you think I have a reason to be worried or am I’m just being paranoid?