Midnight Morning, Friday the 13th

Ginger’s been living with me for over two years. It took months before she’d go up on the futon, and I had to coerce her there. Even then, she’d only stay long enough until I stopped petting her and issuing her assurances that it would be all right. It took her months more, but she finally started to jump up on the futon at night to share it with Bouchard.

After she was diagnosed with cancer, I decided to start leaving her out of her crate when I was not home. I’d done that before, but had put up an ex-pen across the bedroom door. When I came home to find the siding of the door jam scratched and chewed and the ex-pen down, with Ginger and Bouchard running free all over the house, well, Ginger went back into the crate from then on, while the ex-pen and Bouchard stayed up and in the bedroom. Bouchard can be temperamental, especially with Luigi, so I don’t allow them to share space when I’m not home to supervise.

Bye-Bye Sofa!Well, Ginger’s gotten used to the futon. And she, like other members of the squirrel posse watched the bulk trashman take our beloved, but well-used sofa just two days ago. That means one less furniture piece for the siblings to share. There is the bed and the futon now.

Ginger’s never been on the bed that I can recollect. Recently, I moved some of the crates and dog beds/blankets around in the bedroom. Ginger does not like where I’ve put her bed. I moved a crate close to my bed. Anyone with a house that’s as thrifty on space as mine, learns to stretch furnishings for double duty . A crate is one of those. They make wonderful tables, and dog dens. Ginger’s bed used to be next to mine, now it’s next to the crate next to mine.

I tell you this as we came upon the stroke of midnight, Friday, the 13th of June, 2008. I slept, then I felt a poking nose from the side of the bed. I petted the head, and pulled my arm back in. Then, I thought the sheep I’d been counting earlier were back, as an arch of animal catapulted over the space above me and landed in the middle of the bed. I felt the ears. Ginger’s! She’s the only one at Fort Doberdale with cropped ears that flop.

We were none too comfortable. OK, I was none too comfortable. So I asked her kindly to get off, and I put a dog blanket right next to the bed. By the time I put her on it and reached up for the light, Ginger had jumped back into bed. I tried a second time to relocate her, and explain the bed was too small, but as I laid down, boink! There she was again.

Ginger’s nestThis was far too strange for me to fathom. Why would Ginger, who’s had a furniture phobia, suddenly be so demanding? Was she dying? I swear, that’s what I thought. I’ve never had a dog with cancer. I don’t know the signs. Maybe overly demanding was one of them. I then decided to move us around as best as possible so I could listen to her breathing. She breathed. So did I. Someone snored. And I fell asleep. I woke up. I fell asleep. This pattern was basically what took place during the entire wee hours of the morning and slid us right into the ringing of the phone alarm when I got out of bed with a stiff and painful shoulder. Ginger was still there snuggling the covers. She had a good night. So good, that she stayed in bed so I could take some pictures of her proud moment.

Tonight, I’m going to rearrange the crate and put her dog bed back next to my bed. I hope she understands the concession I’m making and sleeps with it instead of on me.


About Helen

I’m a Southern California living in South Florida. I’ve been here for 10 years as of October 1, 2007. No matter where I live, I’m a dog lover, and my breed is the Dobermann Pinscher of the Working Group. I am also fond of the Australian Shepherd of the Herding Group. My life revolves around my dogs, which is something those family members of mine don’t understand. So I’m an island in that respect, but have built friendships with those who are doggie lovers and respect the canine as much as I do. Some do rescue, some train in, compete in, and judge AKC trials. The common thread is our dogs are family.

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