Cash, Zane, and Cade

Monday, March 8, 2010

Call It Sleep

Carrie is a dog person. I too am a dog person. My Dad raised dogs when I was a kid. We loved them. However, in my adult life I had never had a dog. I was gone all the time, and I didn't feel that it was fair to a dog to leave it at home with nothing to do. So, I have two cats. They are named Stan and Jackson. One day, about a year and a half ago, we had just gotten home from doing a series of shows. This was when Carrie was traveling with the band. I came into the living room and found Carrie online looking at dogs. She is a Boxer fan.

Carrie: I want a dog.

Me: No.

Carrie: I want a puppy. Look at this one. (shows me a boxer mix on the internet)

Me: There is absolutely no way we are a getting a dog. Period. End of story. We have two cats, we are never home, and we have a backyard with a pool in it that has limited space for a dog to run around. You have to train a dog, spend time with it, and I don't want one tearing up the yard. It's just not going to happen. Forget the whole dog thing, put it out of your head, and save it for another day. Perhaps someday, a long time from now, we can think about getting a dog, but absolutely no way are we getting one now. Forget about it.

About an hour later we were driving home with our new dog that we named Tess Riley Krug. She is a boxer mix. The one Carrie showed me online.

Okay, so I really really love our dog. She goes everywhere with me, and is very well trained. I actually don't know what I ever did without her. A dog is extremely loyal, and always up for anything. Wanna go for a ride? The dog does too. Wanna lay around and watch baseball? So does the dog. It's been really nice. She and the cats even have an uneasy truce.

However, I messed up big almost immediately. See, we had to have this big portable kennel that was going to be where the dog slept. Each night we would put her in there and eventually she would go to sleep.

This lasted for around four days.

I went back into the bedroom one night, and Carrie and Tess were laying in bed watching TV.

Me: OH NO! NO WAY! The dog is not going to sleep in the bed.

Carrie: But she likes it.

Me: I'm sure she does. (Tess is sprawled out on my side of the bed of course.)

Carrie: Look at her. She's tired and wants to sleep with her Mom.

Me: No way. It's not going to happen. I don't want to hear about it. We bought the kennel. The dog is supposed to sleep in the kennel. This will not stand. The dog is not sleeping in the bed. I don't even like the dog lying on the bed. I will not have this. Forget about it. In fact, get her off the bed now. I'm serious. I'm putting my foot down. End of story.

The dog slept in the bed that night and has every night since.

The kennel is on the back patio and after it rains, I dump the rain water out.

Good investment. A rain catcher.

Tess has grown into a very muscular 65 pound dog. She sleeps at the foot of the bed, on my side of course.

This way, when she runs in her sleep, she can kick me. She also wakes up periodically, and spins around and flops down directly on my legs. If she is not under the covers to her satisfaction, she will literally lift them up with her nose, crawl under them, spin around and pull them off of Carrie and I, flop back down, and sigh very loudly.

Every night when I come to bed, I have to move her out of my place and try and secure some real estate of my own.

It's never easy.

Normally, Carrie is a very light sleeper.

Pregnant Carrie is even worse. I have mentioned this before. She is uncomfortable and has trouble falling asleep, and if she wakes up, she has an even more difficult time going back to sleep. A Carrie without adequate sleep is, well, let's just say interesting to deal with.

I on the other hand, can sleep underneath a stage while a Rock band plays a show at full volume right above me. This is something you learn to do being a touring musician. If you plan on surviving, you need to learn to sleep on a floor in a Motel 6 room with a party literally going on all around you. You put earplugs in, throw your jacket over your head, and hope for the best. So, given a real bed and a quiet house, I can be asleep in about 3 minutes dog or no dog.

Since Carrie has trouble sleeping, I try and be hyper aware of how loud things are when she is in bed. I generally go to bed after she is asleep. I come into the bedroom, and quietly try and move the dog out of my spot and to the foot of the bed. If this goes well, I try and quietly slide under the covers and lay on my side. Apparently, I snore if I lay on my back. Carrie does not generally snore. However, it has been allergy season in Texas which means that almost everyone has sinus problems and even the best snore a bit. The other night, I used the Voice Memo feature on my IPHONE to record her snoring. It was hard, because I had to start recording, wait for the light on the phone to go off, and then hold it over her head and try to get a good mic placement for optimum recording. I finally got a 30 second sample that was decent. I like it when I know she is asleep. At least she is resting.

There are other issues.

Jackson is a very loud cat. In the middle of the night, just when I know Carrie is asleep, the dog is happily under the covers, and things seem okay, it happens.

Jackson: MEOW!! MEOW!! MEOW!!

I don't know what his problem is! He has food! He just walks through the house yelling. I don't get it. I get up and he is usually standing in the middle of the living room. I do that loud whisper thing.

Me: Jackson! Stop it. SHUT UP!! Seriously, what are you trying to do? You want to get given away? It's coming. Seriously, shut up!

I go back to bed and he finally quiets down.

Then the "Tess Show" starts.

Tess stands up in bed, dragging the covers off of Carrie. I leap into action.

Loud Whisper again.

Me: Tess! Lay down! Please!

I pull the covers back onto Carrie.

Tess starts that shake thing, like most dogs do if they are wet. She does it completely dry and it's really loud even if she isn't wearing her collar. She comes up and puts her face in mine. She can't talk, but I think this is how the conversation would go:

Tess: Hey idiot. Wake up.

I try to act asleep.

Tess: I know you are awake. Get up and let me outside. I'm serious.

She jumps off the bed and makes a loud thud. Then she starts stretching. Then she yawns really loud. Then she does that loud shake thing again.

Tess: Don't make me go over on her side of the bed. I'll wake her up. I don't care.


I get up and let her outside. I sit down in the chair and wait. A few minutes later she literally smacks the glass door with her paw.

Tess: Hey idiot. Let me back in.

I open the door and she walks right back into the bedroom, gets on my side of the bed, and lays down.

I move her to the foot of the bed and we start all over.

The worst is when Tess hears something outside. This is both a good and a bad thing. If someone even walks by the house on the sidewalk, Tess goes crazy. There is absolutely no warning. If the doorbell rings, this sets her off like you wouldn't believe. I like it, because she always lets us know if someone or something is in the front yard. This makes Carrie feel safe. It is inconvenient when I am home and we are sound asleep. All of a sudden....


Leaps off of the bed and runs to the window.


Carrie: What is her problem?

Me: I don't know. I'll look.

Usually it's a cat or another dog in the front yard.

Any noise will wake Carrie, and I am loud. All the doors squeak. The cats run around like maniacs. Tess is up and down. People drive by the house and you can hear doors slam. Helicopters sometimes fly over head.

We do our best.

I get up very early, and the older I get the more of a morning person I become. Carrie does not share the same love of the morning that I do. She would rather wake up, give the morning the finger, and sleep until the sun is high in the Texas sky.

I'm sure the three boys will keep quiet and let their mother sleep.


Anonymous said...

Totally off subject, but saw your twitter post about crib sets. Thought I'd throw one out:

Anonymous said...

Mike & Carrie--- Keep em coming.. I'm havong a ball reading this. I believe the next few months MITE be a little more interesting??? But It's just a wild guess? Shani B.

Anonymous said...

sleep will become a word you have to look up the definition for in the dictionary in a few months..just saying:)

Anonymous said...

Mike, Love the post, keep them coming. I was playing on the internet tonight, and looked up diaper services in Austin. There is a totally awesome and pretty reasonably price place that offers classes for new or expectant parents on how to use the diapers, best brands to buy, and about there diaper service. They are like milk men...haha. You leave the dirty one on the porch and they come early in the a.m. an leave a sack of clean folded diapers. Check it out. here is the website:

The Lowry Family said...

Love reading about your journey! You are a wonderful writer but I would LOVE to see pics too! I know privacy is a must but just try to put some pics in there....Please! I wish all 8 of you (pets and all) best wishes on this fabulous journey you are documenting!

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