April 4, 2009
Jane: It started, as most "bad" habits do, innocently enough.
We'd just returned from the hospital after meeting with a series of physicians to discuss a family medical crisis. Exhausted, emotional, plagued by "what ifs," I retired to our bedroom for a nap.
But with my mind spinning and my body tense, rest eluded me. Then I noticed the gentle breathing of Buddy, our black Lab, who'd entered the bedroom with me. I impulsively tapped on the top of our comforter and said, "Buddy, come on up. Come on up, boy."
Buddy looked shocked at my unexpected invitation. After all, we had a rule about "no dogs on the bed." Wearing a guilty expression, he reluctantly jumped up and settled next to me, wondering if he was "naughty." So I rubbed his rich, soft fur to reassure him. The funny thing was, the more I stroked and petted Buddy, the more he reassured me. As my racing heart slowed and my anxiety lifted, I became able to focus and pray about my concerns. Buddy's presence soothed my weary, worried heart in a way nothing had before.
Buddy gave me a gift that afternoon. I like to call it the gift of love wrapped in fur. His was the exact comfort and distraction I needed. So from that point on, Rich and I bent our rigid rules, and throughout the remaining years of Buddy's life, we invited him onto our bed.
Then Boomer entered our lives. While Rich was away on a business trip, I decided to invite puppy Boomer to jump up on our bed, and let's just say full-grown Boomer now doesn't wait for an invitation. Jump up he does, repeatedly, during the night. Like an 80-pound dive bomber, he lands on legs and hips and bellies, then snuggles into a comfortable position (for him) and snores. On and off, on and off, on and off, that's the pattern. That is, until the wee morning hours when he decides it's time we get up to feed him. Then, looming over us, he licks us until we do his bidding.
Some might think we're nuts. Some just might not "get it." After all, there's the fur. The mess. The heavy breathing (not ours). And I admit, when we're achy or sleep-deprived, we think we're nuts, too.
But the truth is, when life wears you down, your canine companions are there, quick to offer you their gift of love wrapped in fur. So we welcome it into our lives, because everybody can use a little more love.
Now, there's just one thing: What will we do when Daisy gets big enough to jump on our bed, too?
Posted by Rich, Jane, Boomer, and Daisy at 7:02 AM