Sleep

There are two types of dogs

Apologies for the hiatus. We’re back.

Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. If you are new here then let me introduce you to Peggy and Steve. You’ve now met the two most important dogs I know. Today we’ll talk about two dogs. Let’s all take a deep breath and direct our focus on a dog for a moment.

As we’ve documented in these pages, Peggy and Steve are different animals. Living together has merged certain parts of their personalities. Peggy has picked up on Steve’s expressive, often dramatic paw use. She now bats at Steve’s face to initiate play fighting and impatiently taps the forearms of any human brazen enough to stop petting her for more than 2.7 seconds. After close study of Peggy, Steve has come to realize how to appropriately value canine commodities. He now treats any plastic spherical object with a deep, obsessive reverence. The process of becoming family is the slow, unwitting accrual of the good and bad habits of those you love.

But Peggy and Steve also offer proof that there are two types of dogs: Those with an instinctive understanding of how to use pillows and those who don’t.

Once Steve left puppyhood he abandoned childish things, which included the cold, hard floor. Always a fan of the high ground, Steve sought the couch for his repose early on. Lithely launching his bird-like frame onto our furnishings, Steve would take stock of his new vantage. He would look left, then pace right. Like a bird making a nest, Steve would circle on the couch until he saw an appropriate head rest. It was as if generations of breeding hard-wired him to appreciate a well-placed throw pillow.

Peggy, however, gravitates toward the coldest, hardest surfaces. Her immense, hulking frame generates and radiates intense heat. In the summer, she is repelled by thick, fabric-laden surfaces. She takes her mid-morning, late, morning, early-afternoon, late-afternoon, and post-dinner naps in the middle of the hardwood floor like a chicken nugget dropped from a child’s plate.

Peggy has a discerning taste in flooring. In the winter months, she enjoys a nice, thick fibered carpet, preferably in a spot tucked away in a corner to conserve heat. She takes to wood floors for the spring and fall seasons. And in the dead heat, she summers in the cool terrain of tile flooring. For maximum luxury, she seeks out a bathroom, in order to place her chin on the bracing porcelain (EDITOR’S NOTE: This isn’t my favorite from a sanitary standpoint).

Steve’s summer look is more refined, though always dramatic and wistful:

When temperatures cool down, Steve opts for extra head and body support. Achieving maximum support is crucial in the months where sunlight is scarce. Occasionally, he rests his head against a soft surface with such force that his ears stick up awkwardly.

When Peggy does venture to the couch, Steve takes advantage of the new, limited use cushions.

Peggy, prone to scoff at tradition, opts for an innovative approach to furniture. Hers are not garden variety placements but aerodynamic beta tests. A new frontier in relaxation.

Also, sometimes she hides under the stairs.

Occasionally, though, the two will chart the same nap course. The pair will likely run off to conspire, before forgetting their purpose. The meeting will devolve into play fighting and long bouts of snarling; Peggy will tire and seek her repose. Steve, ever the gentleman, will concede and, lacking options for socialization, take his cue. Joint naps ensue.

The process of becoming family is the slow, unwitting accrual of the good and bad habits of those you love.

Your faithful correspondent,

Charlie