Tonight after the ten o’clock tubing I decided to try and get a little nap before I was up for the night with the puppies. The older kids (thank God for homeschooling) could sleep very late in the morning, so they volunteered for the ten-to-two shift.
I went upstairs and laid down in one of their beds, because I can’t yet sleep in my own. The whelping box is at the end of my bed, and every time there’s a tiny grunt I bolt up and yell muzzily, “What’s happening! Is everything OK?”
I put my head down, but all I could think of was worry. I put on classical music, but that just made me think of Mozart dying alone, so I turned it off. I finally gave up and went to the top of the stairs and told Doug that I needed to have him come up and talk to me so I could go to sleep.
He creaked up the stairs and sat on the bed next to me and told me about the TV series he was watching… for about sixteen seconds. Then he fell asleep against the headboard. I manhandled him down into a more graceful position and with a great sigh of relief stuffed myself against his arm and closed my eyes.
I woke up three hours later, Doug snoring peacefully, and for just a second refused to think of the puppies and just listened to the sound of breathing. His, mine, and the hissing one down… what?
Yes, there was definitely a third set. And my knee was sweating mysteriously. I reached down and felt the only smooth head in our dog household – Bramble. Bramble, who NEVER comes upstairs unless forced. He had crept up sometime after I fell asleep and curled himself inside my knee. I rubbed his ears while he groaned in pleasure, and felt very teary about dogs, and how they understand when we need comfort, and how much I really do love Bramble, and how he somehow always seems to do something wonderful in a crisis.
Then I really did have to get out of bed, so I lovingly used both hands and an elbow to shove Doug over enough that I could get up. I sat and reached for my jeans, which had been discarded on a chair when I got into bed. I blearily pulled them on.
And discovered that Bramble had peed all over them before he got into bed.