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!
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.
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!
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