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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mornings Were Lovely

As time passes, it makes remembering our little dog Paris slightly less painful. Those of you who have not developed a close relationship with a dog or cat, or some other type of pet, may think we are a little bit crazy. But our little girl was virtually our child. She came into our lives when she was eight weeks old, and we had her with us for twelve and a half years. When we went looking for a puppy, I had no inkling of getting a poodle. There she was, with her three sisters, all sleeping. The other three were curled up next to each other, and she was lying on top of the others. She always liked to be at the highest possible point. If there was a pile of laundry on the bed, she'd nestle into it. And she really liked to lay on the backs of overstuffed chairs!

When we got Paris, we decided that she would sleep in a crate rather than on the bed. Well, Miss Paris had other plans. After about two nights of her complaining loudly, Trent lost all of his toughness and brought her into the bed. Within minutes, she was quiet and asleep. He was worried, however, about accidentally rolling over and smooshing her in the middle of the night. I can understand his worries; at the time, she only weighed two pounds. I told him that she wouldn't let that happen, and I was right. Sleeping with a smart little poodle can be very interesting. Many nights when she was tiny, she slept on my pillow, right on top of my head. She liked to nibble my hair with her front teeth, something she loved to do all of her life. She then moved to sleeping under the covers, down by our feet. The blankets that we had at the time were very prone to static, and when she walked up to the head of the bed with the covers sliding down her back, little sparks of static would flare up. One night when this happened, I got a real kick out of it. Trent asked why I was laughing, and I said that apparently the sun did shine out of our dog's backside!

Paris had rituals for bedtime and waking up. Of course during the evening she had done her perimeter check, making sure that we were all safe from any and all intruders. When she knew that we were ready to get some sleep, she waited for us to lay down on our backs so that she could climb on top of us, lay down for a good scratching, and give us tons of kisses. Then she would curl up next to one of us and settle down to sleep. It never ceased to amaze us how much room an eight and a half pound poodle can take up on a king-size bed. Trent would be at one edge of the bed, and I the other, with the little princess stretched out crosswise. This way, she could even touch one of us with her head and the other with her feet. So practical!

Now for something a bit embarrassing. Trent is one of those people, much like Paris, who plays trumpet in his sleep. I hope you understand that I am trying to say, in a delicate fashion, that he toots in his sleep. I, on the other hand, do not. But when my body wakes up, my horn does, too. At a fairly young age, Paris had this figured out. She could be in the deepest sleep and be awakened instantly by my "alarm." I usually had my back to her at this point, sleeping on my side. She would jump up, wide awake, and tail wagging. She would get on her hind legs and stretch her neck over mine to give her mommy kisses. Most of the time it gave me the giggles, and like most dogs she loved it when her mommy and daddy made the Happy Sounds. She'd wag her tail even faster, and go crazy with the kisses. She made excited little noises because she was thrilled that I was awake. Overnight is a long time for a dog, so she was ecstatic when we woke up because she hadn't seen us in such a long time. After a few minutes of this treatment, either she would trot around me to lay down for tummy rubs, or I would turn onto my other side so that she could throw herself down on her back so that I could rub her velvety-soft tummy. Sometimes the tummy rubs would hypnotize us both and we would fall back asleep. But most of the time, I would just whisper in her ear to give daddy kisses. Then she would wake her daddy up too, and be ready to start her morning, especially if it involved going into the kitchen for something tasty to eat!

After breakfast and some play, Paris was ready for a nap. Being in charge of protecting the home and waking us up and supervising in the kitchen, followed by vigorous play, was hard work. She'd lay on her back next to one of us so that we could put our arm on her warm belly. But she was always ready for whatever interesting thing might happen next. She lived, as dogs do, with great gusto. All times of the day were special for our little girl, but mornings were especially lovely.

We miss you, Paris...