Today started as most mornings start. The wife and I are sound asleep in our king bed. How dog people survive without a king sized bed I don’t know.
The pack starts to stir. A grumble from Bruin.
A whine from Abby.
Bode starts to pace from mom’s side to dad’s side.
Stella (Beaner) is strangely quiet, but I feel her breath on my face.
I make the mistake of opening my eyes. Stella has her chin on the bed inches from my face. My eyes opening is the like the opening face-off in hockey. The action begins!
Stella tries to lick my face off. Bode levitates onto the bed and plants his front feet on my stomach. Bruin starts bark/whining. Abby garks, her peculiar super high pitched deaf dog bark.
“Settle down,” I mumble and push Bode off of me. That just excites him more, he launches off of me and sprints down the hallway barking. The pack follows, he must know something!
I roll back over and try to sleep again, mentally closing the bedroom door to shut them out. What works in dreams doesn’t work here. Bode leads them back through my mental door. He’s voicing his joy of another day, loudly. Abby’s still garking and Bruin is whining his excitement. Stella grabs my wrist and gently pulls. Bode leaps onto the bed, somehow not landing on the wife.
“Okay, okay you mutts.” The insult doesn’t seem to faze them.
“I’ll feed them,” I tell the wife who is pretending that she’s still asleep.
I sit up on the side of the bed and try to don my sweatpants and slippers. Abby dances on my pants making the job so much easier. I need to push her away five or six times.
I head for the kitchen. The pack shows me the way, telling me how happy they are.
I collect their food dishes, which also double as their water dishes, and dump the water.
Bode grabs one of his frisbees and starts doing laps around the dining room table, his pre-feeding ritual. Sometimes I pause by the counter and count his laps–eight is the record I think–but not this morning. As I approach the door to the garage, he stops lapping, drops the friz and stands next to the door, snout pointed at the knob, just in case I had forgotten how to open it.
The food bin is just inside the door. I scoop a cup, heaping for Bode, into each bowl.
Back to the kitchen, more ritual. I line the bowls up on the counter. I give Abby her anxiety pill. I add Bruin’s joint powder. Today they get a little bit of turkey from a leftover sandwich. I mix warm water with the kibble.
Bruin first; he’s always had a stand for his bowl. He’s the oldest and deserves to go first, plus, he’s a slow eater now. His spot is at the end of the kitchen near the dining room.
Abby is next and she knows it. She dances into the guest bathroom where her stand is. She’s separated from the others because as a rescue, she developed food issues and needs her meal security.
The kids, Stella and Bode eat in the kitchen. They get their dishes at the same time, on the floor. But they sit and wait till I release them to eat and then they wolf their food, finishing before Bruin and Abby.
I take them outside to do their business when they finish, Bruin follows when he’s done and finally Abby. Abby, in spite of her food issues, is a slow and delicate eater.
I rinse their bowls and put them out with water.
I head back down the hallway and they lead me to the bedroom door, asking to go in and jump on mommy. I tell them ‘no, mommy is still sleeping’.
They follow me into the “office” and lie down while I write about them.