Watchdog for Hire

Lounge Dog

Originally uploaded by jamiemom.

I’m considering renting out Bailey for the next month or so in order to get some sleep. For the past three nights Bailey’s bark has jolted me awake like clockwork at 1 a.m. This is all a strategy for her to get to sleep on the upstairs couch as opposed to the downstairs couch (you think I’m kidding, don’t you?) because we’ve been a little more generous in her fraternizing with the upstairs couch lately, being in the Christmas spirit and all. I’m the lightest sleeper in the house so as soon as she starts barking….and it is a singular staccato bark, once about every 5 minutes…I wake up, grit my teeth, and quietly rush down the hall and downstairs to Bailey’s lair and hush her quietly (usually waving a shoe wildly) but forcefully, because I don’t want to wake anyone else. She is usually standing and staring at the couch as if it is possessed while Jack, our quiet, handsome, and darn near perfect anti-Bailey, is looking at her like she’s nuts. Then I go back to bed, get comfortable, and start to doze and 10 minutes later it starts all over again. I know she’s using her barking powers to mentally torture me until I cave. But I’m just as stubborn as she is so we usually play this game for an hour or so. Finally, she gives up and goes to sleep because I must look perilously close to shutting her out on the patio and in the cold (and I would do that if it worked, but then she scratches on the sliding glass doors and they are much closer to our bedrooms and therefore closer to earshot) and I fall asleep. If you’re feeling sorry for Bailey, mind you that she and Jack have a veritable doggy palace downstairs complete with high-speed wireless Internet , two computers (a PC and a Mac), cable TV, a dartboard, Trivial Pursuit, and a gas fireplace.

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