Dog Fight in the Middle of the Night—On My Pillow


Ventura the Rascal

Ventura is known as the rascal, a real feisty little doggie.  He is a people-food fiend.   He can sometimes be a bully to his ‘brother’ Ted and ‘sister’ Twiggy.   They tell me that he doesn’t like a lot of people.  However, Ventura and I get along really great—especially when I’m not eating and he’s not begging and pushing past every barrier to get to my food.  Ventura loves to lick.  He licks my face ceaselessly.  He licks my clothes.  He licks my hands and fingers.   His ‘love’ is boundless.

Thus, I was not prepared when Ventura’s Dark Side unceremoniously came bursting out.  Maybe because I WAS ASLEEP!

Twiggy, Ace me

Hangin’ close!

Stepping back for a minute, I often don’t know about all the pets’ habits of the animals that I care for.  When I stayed here last summer, at least two of the three dogs slept with me on my full bed, but I don’t think I was ever told if that was acceptable or not.  They jumped on; I let them stay.  Animals are very good about letting me know their habits.  If they come in and make a bee-line straight to the treat jar, I figure they get a treat when they come in, so I give them one.  Like that.

Twiggy on pillow

Seriously?!  She loves sleeping on my pillow!

So one night last week, Ventura and big sis, Twiggy, were both sleeping on my full-sized bed.  Some nights, they sandwich me in, each on one side of me—as close as they can get.   Twiggy is a real snuggler and can’t get close enough to me.  I have often found her lying across the top of my pillow when I wake up.  One weekend morning when I went back to bed after their early morning outdoor jaunt, I put a pillow over my head—which Twiggy promptly sat her WHOLE BODY on top of!!

So, back to the story, one night I slightly remembered Twiggy jumping from the bed in the middle of the night.  Ventura had me all to himself.  Around 3am, Twiggy jumped up to rejoin us and Ventura was having none of that!  A dog fight ensued. A real barking, feuding, biting fight on top of me.  I sat up, yelling STOP!  STOP!  STOP!  They moved on to my pillow.  I tried to put the pillow between them.  Fail.  BARK, SCREAM, YELP!  I put my hand in the mix, trying to pry them apart.  I finally separated them and after determining none of us were bleeding, I put Ventura out of the bedroom and closed the door.  A lesson learned for him.

Little did I know Ventura was not about to learn any lessons that night.  He whimpered and howled and barked.  I was determined to stay firm and wait him out, even though I had an early morning meeting.  After about 20 minutes, I gave up and came out of the bedroom—only to step in a big puddle of warm pee.  Poor thing had been traumatized by his banishment.  After cleaning that up, I went back to bed, leaving the door open, but the adrenaline was still flowing and I couldn’t sleep.

I went to the living area and turned on the TV.  The temperature at this house seems to be set a bit higher than others, and the thermostat didn’t seem to show any display, even after I pushed some buttons.  [I later figured out that that wall appliance wasn’t even the thermostat at all,  after I saw the real thermostat on another wall.]  So I picked up a remote control that had up and down buttons, thinking this might control the temperature.  [This is a very tech-savvy property.]  I pressed what looked like an ON button and then a MENU button and probably a third button and SWOOSH! . . . the fireplace had a magnificent fire in it!  At 4am.   And I hadn’t lit it.  HAHAHA!

ace closeup

Ventura–while I am eating anything.

I laughed out loud.  Ridiculous.  I felt stupid and nutty and carefree!   This is one of those special moments when I just love being a nomad.  The world around me is slightly askew.  I’m always slightly on edge.  Nothing in my home life is extremely familiar.   I’m always searching for something: a sharp knife, a bigger mug for my tea, a towel, an electrical outlet closer to the bed, a remote control that I can manage, a light switch, a thermostat.

In the moment of searching the unfamiliar, my mind invariably asks, Where, Who, What, Why?  Intrigued, questioning, wondering, observing, living.

Simply put:  A dog fight on my pillow in the middle of the night  lets me know I’m truly living.

“It’s not in the life, it’s in the living.”
― Raheel Farooq








Month in the Woods: Mini-Crisis Rescues

I had my mettle slightly tested this first week of a month-long gig taking care of two/three dogs and a feral/friendly outdoor cat.  Well, I didn’t really have my mettle tested, but I found out that I could have had my mettle tested.

So here’s the story.  I have returned to the second home where I stayed on my Great Adventure.  Last July, this setting offered me respite to stop and breathe after the whirlwind of selling and leaving my home.  It’s a very private property surrounded by trees and nature.  There is a main house where Husband and Wife live with doggie Ted and a smaller house where Mother lives with two doggies Twiggy  & Ventura (names always changed to protect their privacy) with Kitty outside.

Wife and her Mother are vacationing and I am living in the smaller home with two doggies and when Husband leaves on business trips, I am also taking care of third doggie, Ted.  Slighty complicated, but that’s the setting.  [I will post more about Ted, Twiggy and Ventura later!]

Kittie1I feed Kitty twice each day on the front porch.  (He sleeps in a heated kitty house but loves being outside during the day.)  He is always there waiting for food and is an affectionate cat.  I arrived here Tuesday evening and on Friday morning Kitty was not there for breakfast.  Kitty is ALWAYS there for breakfast.  I texted Husband who said he would look for him and I left for work.

We texted later and it seemed that Kitty had gotten into a skirmish of some sort and he was lethargic and skittish and there was too much cat hair on the porch.  For the next two days we texted coordination of care for Kitty as we watched over him and kept him in the warmer garage at night.  A trap was put out the first night to see if a raccoon was the culprit, etc.  [He’s fine now but needed some watching and TLC for a bit!] Kittie2

I did become aware that if Husband had not been home, I would have had to step up and assume total responsibility of care.  It’s one thing to write down veterinarian information on my form, but it’s another thing altogether to have to deal with a medical crisis with someone else’s pet.  I hope I will never have to call in to work for a pet emergency.  But this brought the possibility closer to reality.

Then as that mini-crisis ended, I was cooking dinner last night and the smoke alarm started beeping.  No big deal.  I waved a towel at it; put a lid on the pot.  Beep…beep… beep.  Sigh.  Got a chair.  I’d never seen this kind of alarm before.  Beep.  I found the button to push to reset; it was disguised, but I found it and pushed it…several times.  Beep.  I tried to pry the cover off.  I couldn’t twist it, I couldn’t pry it.  I didn’t want to break it.  Beep.  I waited.  Beep.  Waited some more.  Beep.  Stood on the chair and tried everything again.  Beep.  I knew the inevitable had arrived.  Beep.  I had to do what I HATE to do.  I had to ask for help from a man—the Husband.  Something I had to do rarely—well, somewhat rarely—in the 26 years I lived as a single female homeowner.  Beep.

But I felt embarrassed.  I texted Husband—again—who of course texted back to wave a towel and push the button.  Sigh.  Beep.  He didn’t understand that I wouldn’t have contacted him if I hadn’t already done those things.  Beep.  He came over and pushed the camouflaged button and realized that it wasn’t working well (the battery had just been changed one week before).  He twisted it off (Hrmph!) and took it with him to take apart.

So, the question remains:  what would I have done had Husband not been in residence?  I would have had to keep working on it until I figured out how to get it off the ceiling even if it meant breaking it.  I wasn’t prepared to break the alarm knowing that he was home.   Again, as embarrassing as it was for me, I was very happy to have back-up in both of these two situations. sunset4

P.S.  I’ll post more on doggie antics later.

P.S.S.  This was this morning’s sunrise when doggies didn’t want me to sleep in.

P.S.S.S.  That is Twiggy in the driveway—after she sat on my head while I was in bed. Literally.  HA!