Remember how I mentioned a couple days ago that Frank finally deigned to sleep on the air bed? Well, it goes beyond that … he’s now decided it belongs to him!
I should have recognized it when it began. About a week ago, Frank started heading straight for the air bed when we came in for the evening. He wouldn’t even wait for me to take his leash and collar off. At the time, I guess I was just grateful that I could simply reach down to unfasten his collar instead of having to stoop all the way over … or lie down on the floor before taking it off him.
Anyhow, he did the same thing last night. But I had different plans. Instead of stretching out on the floor for an hour or so … catching up on news and baseball scores … I thought perhaps the best thing for my aching hip would be to go straight to bed (even though it was only about 9:15pm when we finally made it in).
This meant I had to make up the bed, which is quite a process. I layer 1/3 of each comforter (one on top of the other), with the balance of one falling over the front side with the excess of the other one pushed against the far back side. I then lie on the layered portion, pull the back comforter over first, followed with the excess of the front one pulled over the top. This is made somewhat difficult by the fact that there’s about a 15% “lean” to the bed from back side to front. Unfortunately, that was the flattest piece of ground I could find, but it is what it is. (And yes, I could make the bed in the morning. I don’t. That’d be too smart!)
I used to describe this as a “Jeff burrito” … given the nighttime temperatures though, it’s more like a cold wrap. That sleeping bag purchase can’t come soon enough!
Of course, I had to move Frank off the bed, which involved picking him up since he wasn’t going to move of his own accord. I lay the front comforter down, get it all spread out … and then here comes Frank, leaping up past me as if he had a hard day at work and couldn’t wait to hit the sack (I was with him all day – he didn’t!)
So Frank winds up in my arms, accompanied by a “No. Frank, No. Stay down.” I begin with the back comforter and haven’t even gotten it fully spread out before Frank makes jump #2. This time, he lays at the far back corner of the bed, on a pile he’s quickly made with the back comforter. He’s smart – he knows I’ll have to reach for him back there and won’t have the leverage to easily pick him up. But I do.
This time, I’m a bit more vocal – “I said NO, Bud! You stay down, understand?” Of course I’m greeted by the blank “dog stare” … those of you with dogs know exactly what I mean. He’s trying to get you to believe that the only word he recognizes in those sentences is “Frank,” but I know better!
I get the second comforter squared away and then proceed to climb into bed. All I get out of my mouth is, “Frank, you can …,” before I see he’s already jumped and his front paws are two inches from landing. I appreciate the respect, Roomie.
But then, Frank goes for the spot right behind my knees and lies on top of the pile of comforter that I was just about to throw over us. And that’s when this cute, little, 30+ lb. beagle goes into “immovable object” mode. And THIS transpires:
J: (patting on the bed in front of me) “Come on, Frank. Let’s go. Up here.”
F: Dog stare. He’s lying down and grinning at me with his head in the air.
J: “Hey. I mean it, Bud! Get up here. NOW!”
F: A quick glance out into the tent. Back to the dog stare for a few seconds, grin disappears … and then he looks away from me and puts his head down on the side of my knee. Basically, he’s saying, “Yeah, I understood you the first time, ‘Bud’ … not gonna happen.”
J: “You little son-of-a-bitch! You’re moving, whether you like it or NOT!”
Frank hates when I call him that, because he knows that’s exactly what he is! He doesn’t hear it often … I remember the second time I called him that and he gave me a look like he was thinking, “You know, it doesn’t matter how good I am – I’ll still be a son-of-a-bitch to everyone!”
So now, I have to try and extract him. I’m on my side with one arm propping me up; he’s at the back of my knees; the air bed is moving in response to my trying to reach him … and the result is that I have zero leverage with which to pull him up and over my legs with my one free hand. This is made all the more difficult by the fact that ole’ Frank has completely relaxed his body. He’s now decided he’s not going to offer me any help and has become dead weight. Total dead weight!
I don’t want to get out of the bed because that’d mean I’m back at square one – having to remake the bed and fight Frank all over (which would probably mean we’d only wind up back in these same positions). So I picked up the covers he was lying on and pulled them up over him. If I couldn’t leverage with my arm, I was damned sure going to do it with something else!
I gotta give him credit – he’s a dog that remains true to his convictions! He didn’t give up until his ass was at about a 45 degree angle above his head. At that point, he decided it was best to walk out of it rather than be tossed head over haunches and possibly off the bed! He walked up to where I was (giving me a dirty look the whole way), but then plopped down right in the middle of the bed … two-thirds of which was mine … and put his head down right smack dab in the middle of the pillow. Then he closes his eyes as if he was saying, “Okay. I’m up here. Satisfied? Good night!” If his Humane Society paperwork didn’t say otherwise, I’d say, “Man, this dog has some balls!”
I pushed him towards the front side; scooched myself over so that I was lying on double comforter (which isn’t all that easy with a bouncing air bed at a 15% tilt); and wrapped us up in our little coccoon. I finally picked his head up off my pillow … even when I moved him, he struggled against me in order to keep his head where it was! As a compromise, I gave him the other, smaller pillow I usually have against the small of my back. In return, he gave me a look as if he was saying, “Can we go to sleep now? Please???” and put his head back down on his pillow.
At this point, I go to put on my C-pap mask … the machine has been going this whole time and because of the man vs. beast mattress tussle, has now shifted to a place on the bed where I can’t reach it without pulling both sets of covers away so I can turn around.
Covers are back secure. The mask is on. I put my head down, look forward … and see Frank with his head craned back, looking at me with disgust.
“Fuck you,” I said. I felt that was the appropriate comment to make..
Frank pondered that for a minute while still looking at me. He then turned his neck … put his head down … and let out a big, disgusted “PFFFFtttt” from his jowels. He was snoring in less than 5 minutes!
It’s a dog’s life. Yeah. Right.
(Of course, the next morning I awake to a head butt and my face being showered with dog kisses. At least he doesn’t hold a grudge!)