Morning Ritual

Up, take shower, dress, come downstairs for breakfast. Often the dogs linger, sleeping in while I eat. Later they wander downstairs, go outside with me as I water the plants. After I come inside, I wait till they’re curled up on the couch before I creep upstairs to make the bed, which is still warm from their fuzzy little bodies. Carefully and slowly I pull the covers up. I’m never quiet enough. Sadie always hears the sound of sheets sliding over each other, and I hear the jingle of her tags as she bounds up the stairs and leaps onto the bed, ready for DOG WRESTLING. And then it’s a wild five minutes of her growling and snarling at me, baring her substantial Jack Russell fangs, as I try to wrap her in the bedclothes. She sounds fierce, but with an undertone of laughter. Yes, dogs laugh. It’s buried in the tone of their play growling. You just have to listen for the nuances. When her teeth connect with my hands, they do so with a gentleness that wouldn’t bruise a flower. She lunges for me with her mouth wide open and her lips drawn back, and right before the fatal, piercing bite, pulls back just enough that she doesn’t hurt me, her bite as gentle as if she were play biting a tiny puppy. No. Gentler. I’ve seen her play with tiny puppies.

Finally I get her wrapped up, and she fights with all her muscular terrier self to escape, and I pretend I just can’t hold her, and she gets a paw free, a muzzle, her head, her fierce biting bangs,and then all of her, and I roll her around on the bed till she grows floppy and lets me rub her belly, her eyes all crinkled with happiness.

Can you imagine she almost died 10 months ago?

Finally we’re both ready to start our morning.

3 responses to “Morning Ritual

  1. Oh, how wonderful!!

  2. There’s something about Jack Russells. Feisty – in my experience they’ll take on dogs twice their size. But so much fun as well. I’m sure she does indeed laugh.

    You must cherish the time with her all the more now .. . wishing you many mornings like this.

  3. mm: Yes, feisty’s a good description. She’s also, more than my first JR, a lap dog, loving to be right by me at all times. Right now she’s stretched out along my leg as I type this on my bed. Every time I look at her I remember how close she was to dying. When I take her to the vet, everyone crowds around her. She’s called the “miracle dog”!

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