Saturday, April 29, 2006

A new low in dog ownership

It was not a great night for sleeping here last night. I went to bed early and watched an episode and a half of Grey's Anatomy (my new guilty pleasure, thanks to N!), then fell asleep. I woke up with indigestion, thanks to the brownie sundae I had for dessert, at about 12:30. An hour later, I was still awake, fussing in my head over which doula to choose. (We met with two and really liked them both; D and I, of course, lean in different directions about which one we prefer.) So at 1:45 or so I took my pillows and waddled downstairs to the guest room, where I took some Tums, read for a while and then went back to sleep.

And then the sun rose, and Jelly started her morning wandering. The wandering is why we banished her from the bedroom in the first place, but when I'm downstairs there's no way to escape it. If I shut the guestroom door, she noisily sniffs underneath it and tries to pry it open with her paw. If I leave it open, as I did last night, she paces in the (vain) hope that I will get up, put her out and, most importantly, feed her. I did none of those things. Nor did I sleep. Instead, I listened to her toenails click, click, click across the wood floors until D got up at about 7 and took care of her. I closed the bedroom door and hoped I could go back to sleep. Twenty minutes later, I was up for good.

And a few minutes after that, as I sat blearily in the chair by the computer, willing myself to take a shower, half-blind Jelly wandered over to me, managing to plow right into Rocky in the process. Rocky jumped and snarled, and Jelly, startled, started barking her fool head off.

And that's when the words came out of my mouth: "If you don't stop it, you are going straight to the pound."

Granted, the dog is mostly deaf, nor is she particularly fluent in English, so my words meant nothing to her. But D came downstairs and said, "Did I just hear you threaten Jelly with the pound?" He was surprised, and a little amused, that the daily occurrence of Jelly stomping on Rocky, then barking like an idiot, pushed me to those melodramatic words. And me? I just felt guilty. The poor thing came within a day or so of being put down nearly two years ago -- she was picked up as a stray in Brooklyn, then held in a kill shelter somewhere in New York until a rescue group devoted to another breed sprang her just before the deadline. She is old and infirm, with a wonky tail, arthritis, a heart murmur, mammary tumors, the near-blindness, the near-deafness... Really, she does pretty well for such a sad sack. But this morning, it was all I could do not to strangle her.

This does not bode well for my sleep-deprived interactions with a fussy infant.