The other day Bear decided to grow up. I have no idea what inspired him to do such a thing, he never seemed to have any interest in the idea before, he’s made that rather clear.
But, lo and behold, he’s done it. The first sign came one Monday morning as I was getting ready to leave for work, turning off lamps, pouring my coffee, and picking up my bag….
Before I continue, I should explain that normally, Bear is confined to a certain space in the house while I’m away, for his benefit and for mine. Some dogs require (and do better) with a ‘place’ that is their own rather than free reign of the house or yard. While Lo has adapted beautifully to full freedom, keeping her post as watchdog 24/7, Bear still does better with a bit of structure.
Baby gates are beautiful things indeed. Even when there is no baby involved….so to speak.
In many ways, Lo is her own structure, she was sort of born that way. Bear, on the hand, will remove all items from shelves, pull duvets off beds, remind the wall that this is still his territory, and otherwise express his anxiety by making a nuisance of himself and finding whatever mischief he can possibly discover, uncover, or recover.
But I digress. As I was getting getting ready to leave that day, preparing to lead Bear to his captivity, I turned to find him there, curled upon the floor where he was intended to go. Not only that, he had dragged his bed and blanket with him and had already begun to close his eyes, waiting for me to close his gate.
He had, in every sense of the word, put himself to bed.
Every day since then he’s done the same, and when I smile and laugh and ask him what he’s up to, he just looks up at me with his ridiculously droopy eyes as if to say ‘I’ve always been so wise and, come on now, please.’
This was sign number one. Sign number two was a bit more subtle and took me longer to notice. After I moved, Lo decided to shift from her place beside my bed to the livingroom couch, keeping watch for any person who might pass by my place. While I can’t say I always appreciate every grunt and growl she utters as I’m trying to fall asleep, I do appreciate the sentiment.
But instead of following her lead to go sleep on on his most prized possession (aka, The Beloved Couch) Bear has chosen to take his place beside my bed on the floor. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, he’d rather be on the couch.
I really only noticed this because of his frequent attempts to check on me in the middle of the night for no good reason at all, other than to ensure my continued existence.
And maybe for the fun of giving me a small fright and making me jump out of bed rather quickly.
His way of doing this is much like that of a horse, staring into your face in the dead of night and snorting on you until you wake up and percieve you’re about to be eaten alive by a monster. There’s nothing quite like waking up to that, let me tell you.
So, ok, he’s not all grown up yet, but despite his mischevious moments, he refuses to leave my side at night. Even when he wants to get up and succeeds in getting me up, he’ll only move from that spot if I walk out ahead of him.
And then, of course, he makes a beeline to the couch and heaves a heavy sigh, sinking into the Bear-shaped crater that was once a level place to sit.
It’s all rather curious, and while I really don’t know why he’s decided to grow up, I can’t complain. Despite my doubts as to whether or not he actually wanted to be one, it seems he’s finally decided to be a dog.