I used to love it in the mornings, especially after the nights that I slept on the couch. I slept with dogs around me. Lizzie often lay on the table behind the couch, Sheila always lay down on the floor next to me, and usually whatever foster dog we had would be sleeping on my feet (or, in the case of the chihuahuas, somewhere on my body).
When morning came and the dogs realized I was awake, Sheila would lick my nose and I would sit up. Both Sheila and Lizzie would get on the couch with me and take turns rubbing me with their heads or rolling over on their backs for tummy rubs. The fosters would get into the act too and it was the one time of the day when all three (or more) of the dogs were really friends. They licked each other, shared my lap or whatever part of my body they could get to and I almost didn't want to get up because it was just all so very sweet. Never was able to get it on film because that would mean getting up to get a camera. But I loved those morning love-ins.
And then Polly arrived.
Polly is the most loving little dog, as I've said before. But she is also the Napoleon of the house, the tiny tyrant.
At night I get into the recliner and she curls in my armpit, her head across my chest. She gives a big sigh, then lifts her head, looks at me, licks me on the nose, gives another sigh and goes to sleep. Sometimes she gets up in the middle of the night, but always comes back to curl up under the blanket with me.
She will sleep as long as I do, but the second she knows I'm awake, she wants breakfast NOW.
I reach down to lower the footrest of the recliner and the other dogs come in from the living room (because they sleep on the couch now) for the morning love-in. Polly flies off the recliner in full attack mode. I'm not sure if it's an actual attack mode or if she's just happy to see them, but it looks more like "that's MY person and don't you touch her." She leaps and jumps up on them, barking constantly, and then gets into the OTHER recliner and barks at them from there. In the meantime, Sheila and Lizzie are ignoring her and putting their heads against my legs and I'm trying to give them a lot of body stroking and wish them a good morning.
Once I actually put my feet on the ground, there is to be NO time for the bathroom, or checking e-mail or brewing coffee, I have to be in breakfast mode NOW. Polly barks and barks and barks, and now Sheila has realized that Polly has trained me well, so she is in breakfast mode too and she begins to bark. Lizzie doesn't bark, but she begins leaping at my legs (as does Polly) and leaps and leaps and leaps over and over again until I have actually touched a food dish and put it on the counter.
Sheila sits at her spot over by the back door, waiting, often leaving big gollops of drool on the floor as she imagines the delictable food morcels that will come (if you enjoy kibble mixed with cottage cheese).
It all finally calms down when I get the food bowls on the floor and everybody is eating for those 15 seconds that it takes them to devour the food. Then peace reigns again until dinner time, when she comes to let me know, in no uncertain terms, that it is time for dinner and she wants her dinner NOW.
I was cooking dinner tonight -- stuffed pork chops -- and Polly was standing at my feet hoping I would drop something edible (she loves living with a klutz)
I watched her tail going a mile a minute and I thought about that little girl who came to us back in January of last year, a skinny thing ("feed her whatever you can get her to eat," was Ashley's first order to me). I remember how she was so afraid she would hide if anybody with 2 or 4 legs was near her.
I tried to imagine what it must have been like for her being alone on the streets. We have no idea how long. She was obviously starving, because she was so skinny, and she obviously had her share of encounters, probably both with 2- and 4-legged creatures. I know that some of her quirks are because of her breed, but she obviously has been affected by her time on the street, and who knows what before that.
I'm glad she has found a forever home. I'm glad it's us, because I would always have worried that she might be mistreated again.But I do miss the morning love-ins.