Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How an Oriental Rug Brought Peace to the Midwest

While Cooper appears to be the only dog on a mission to scratch, dent, and otherwise destroy my new floors, Little Mac has not been a fan of them from the very start.

Remember, Little Mac is ten years old now and although she appears remarkably agile when she is leaping on the sofa or hiking lakeside trails (I call her my little mountain goat), she is getting up there in age (Not to worry--she will still live forever.  I imagine her twenty years from now bald, blind, and very, very angry, with just enough teeth left to make her even more fearsome.).  The new floors have obviously left her with little traction and she is much less sure-footed than she was on the carpet.  I've seen her hind legs slip out from under her as she skidded across the floor (and I giggled only a little before trying to comfort her with a kind pat on the head--of course she growled at me).

The main change that the new floors created for Mac is that she no longer jumps up onto the loveseat.  This was her perch.  Her hangout.  Her happy place.  The three of us (David, Cooper, myself) would have "family time" on the sofa.  Mac would sit alone on the other side of the room, hanging out on the love seat.  She had her favorite corner and when she was feeling really feisty, she'd climb on up and sleep on the back of it.

With the new floors, she evidently feels like she can't get the lift-off she needs to jump up there.  So the loveseat is out.  Her happy place is gone.  She has had to resort to actually using the dog beds that we have scattered all over the house.  (Because I like having one more freaking thing to move everytime I vacuum).

We've kind of enjoyed keeping Mac where she belongs (meaning off the furniture) but it created a bit of a headache for us as well.

You see, in spite of her desire to maintain her personal space, at night Little Mac relocates with us to the bedroom.  She has her own dog bed in there, too.  (Cooper shares our bed, of course, because he is a codependent mama's boy.)  Our room is not especially large and once we filled it with the bed, two nightstands, a small dresser, a big dresser, a laundry basket, and a small chair, there's not a whole lot of space left.  So Little Mac's bed is right in front of the closet, next to David's dresser.  We have sliding closet doors so we put her bed in front of the stationary one.  It seemed like the sensible place for her to sleep.

And for years, it has worked just fine.  Mac would sleep there all night.  Then, when David got up in the morning, she would get up and relocate herself to the love seat, remaining there until I got up an hour or so later to let both dogs out and feed them breakfast.

Since we put in the new floors, though, Little Mac has been choosing not to relocate herself to the dog bed in the living room.  Now that she won't jump up on the love seat, she just stays in her bed in the bedroom.  Which you wouldn't think would be a problem, right?

But Little Mac is crazy.  And one of the things that makes her crazy is her exceptionally large personal space especially in regard to her bed.

(Cooper has no personal space.  Cooper's favorite place to sleep is in my crotch.  Seriously--he loves the lap.) 

Little Mac's personal space at bedtime/naptime/rest time/pretty much anytime has approximately a four foot radius.  Break that invisible barrier, and she will growl.  Continue to advance and she will suddenly go into what appears to be attack mode--barking, growling, spitting, and lunging.  Fortunately for our safety (and her life) she does not actually lunge at the invader, but instead attacks her bed, leaping on it, biting it, and shaking it back and forth.  It is as though she is demonstrating what she would like to do to the invading human.

Cooper respects Little Mac's bed space.  When they wrestle and play and tear through the house chasing each other, Little Mac will sometimes turn and run for her bed.  That's like base.  The instant she gets on her bed, Cooper knows the game is over.  He quits chasing and pants at her from about four feet away, hoping she'll want to come play again.  He loves Sister.  And he fears her.  Just like the rest of us do.

Anyway, the whole freak-out about someone coming near her bed is very noisy and very obnoxious. And now that she is no longer relocating to the loveseat when David gets up, it is happening in our bedroom.  Every morning.  At 6:15am.

Imagine waking up to that every morning.

David gets out of bed.  Mac growls a warning.  David walks toward the closet door.  Mac freaks out and begins growling and biting her bed.  David opens the closet door.  Mac has a serious spaz attack..  David gets something from the dresser.  Mac totally loses her shit, with ever-increasing intensity.

David began laying out his clothes the night before.  Mac still freaks out the moment he gets out of bed.  Attacking her bed, growling, barking, spitting.  Because maybe he would decide to walk near her bed or GOD FORBID open the closet door. 

Something had to be done.

Short of a dog lobotomy, there was clearly only one solution:  give Sister back the carpet so she can move her ass to the love seat in the morning.

Back where dogs don't belong.

And that is how an oriental rug has brought peace to the midwest.

Mornings are much quieter around here.  I like it.  And so does Little Mac.

1 comment:

  1. Just read this, after awaking from a dream about you and an oriental rug!!!

    And in case you are wondering what else your future holds, there was a little girl, a table full of freakishly huge vegetables-- beach-ball sized tomatoes! Carrots like rolling pins!

    I must go now, to drain my IRA and bet it all on black.