Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bedtime Banter

Charley: It's not fair! How come SHE gets the nice big bed and the xpen in the mudroom?

Me: Because she's going to have puppies, and we need a safe place for her to have them.

Charley: Why can't she have 'em in the bathroom? I don't use that room.

Me: The cat uses that room for her litter box. Besides, there won't be room for a dog and sixteen puppies in the bathroom!

Charley: Well, I want that bed. And I want the xpen. And I am NOT A HAPPY CAMPER! Nobody asked me if I wanted another foster dog in the house.

Me: Charley, suck it up babe - sometimes we all have to put others first. Even you. You've been cared for all your life, and lots of dogs are not so fortunate. So sometimes you need to reach out a helping paw even when it means giving up something you'd like for yourself.

Charley: grumble grumble grumble.

Charley is once again terribly unhappy about the newcomer in our house. While jealousy is part of the issue - she dislikes my giving any attention, treats, or direction to Lucy - the bigger issue seems to be about BEDS. Whatever Lucy gets, Charley wants.

When Lucy came here from the shelter, I brought with me a very large plastic bed to use as her whelping spot, and I put it inside a couple of x-pens joined together and taking up part of the mudroom.

While I did have to move a large wardrobe from the room, and a few smaller items, I did not disturb the raised dog bed that Charley likes to sleep in. It is on the other side of the room.

But from the moment the xpen and large plastic bed made their appearance, Charley claimed them for herself. And at bedtime when I wanted to put Lucy in the pen, it became a struggle to get Charley out of there and Lucy in. Just as I'd get one where I wanted her, the other would move to the same spot.

Because Lucy somehow escaped her pen this morning, I decided I may as well make some adaptations to the bed situation while I was making the xpen more secure. So I removed the plastic bed, which Lucy seldom used anyway (prefering to sleep on the floor beside it) and built her a larger wooden bed. I reasoned that the plastic bed didn't allow Lucy to stretch out on her back quite as fully as she likes, and perhaps Charley would stay the heck out of the pen if I put the plastic bed elsewhere.

I spent the day using odds and ends of salvaged wood to build the bed and reinforce the x-pen. It was a beautiful day and Lucy enjoyed sitting in the back yard soaking up some rays:

and lying on the back porch with Sadie:

I made her big box more denlike with the addition of a sheet over the top - Lucy now has her very own canopy bed. Tomorrow I hope to add some netting to the rest of it, to prevent her climbing or jumping out of the x-pen like she did this morning.

But did the bed-swap solve Charley's problem ? Nope. As soon as I put my tools away, I turned around to find this:

Poor Charley. I can think of two reasons she is obsessing about this pen. The first is that when she was young, we used to visit my sister who lived right by a lake. She (Charley, not my sister) slept in the x-pen at night, and she lay on the lawn staring at the water by day - she loved, loved, loved it there. Maybe she still remembers the fun we had when I pulled out the x-pen for those trips. It has seldom been used for anything else.

The second possibility is the location - when we first moved here I located her crate in that spot, and that is where she slept. Some time ago, I moved it to the living room (it was too hard to get into the wardrobe with a very large crate in front of the doors), and she does use it there, but perhaps she is telling me she wants it back in the mudroom again. She has always been a mudroom sorta girl - from the time she was a pup, she slept in her own room near at the back of the house.

Anyway, Charley is sad and sulking and pulling every guilt string I've got. Lucy, on the other hand, is oblivious and continues to just enjoy life with not a care in the world - and not a contraction, a temperature drop, nor a sign of nesting. Just eatin' and sleepin' and moochin' and enjoying life to the fullest. Looks like our visitor is going to be with us for quite some time yet, Charley.


Anonymous said...

That certainly looks like one spiffy bed. No wonder Charley wants it.


Anonymous said...

Wow... Lucy and her puppy belly reminds me of "Soda". How many did she have again???????????? :-):-)