Mornings are best spent with extra time in bed. Every day I get up at 5:45am, not because I want to or because work requires it, but because the dogs want outside. Since the dogs are outside and I’m more or less awake, this is a good time for me to wake up the barn children (horse and chickens). Since I am primarily not a morning person, I don’t usually get dressed (because dressing in barn clothes at this time of the morning would require me to then get undressed after barn chores, then redress for work clothes 5/7 of the time.) So I simply put cold Carharts on over my nightgown and slip bare feet into my Bogs then head for the barn.
Morning chores aren’t too difficult. Open the barn door, toss the chickens a scoop of cracked corn, lead the horse to pasture, fill water buckets, clean the stall, and toss hay into the pasture now that the grass is going dormant. By then Opie and Dudley (the dogs who made me get up) are waiting anxiously to get back into the house. They each get a biscuit then we all get back into the nice cozy bed for some cuddling before the alarm goes off letting me know it is time to get ready for work.
Opie is a fabulous cuddler. He relishes those moments where he is snuggled up with his human getting his ears or belly rubbed. Speedbump has always taken a post at my shoulder, occasionally even pushing her way under the covers. Then came Dudley. Speedbump no longer has much interest in getting on the bed. Mostly because Dud refuses to leave her alone, regardless of how she retaliates to his tormenting. Op is resigned to any attention he can get without Dudley chewing on him.
This morning as Op and I were laying there enjoying the nice toasty warm bed, we were pounced on by “the Dudley.” He felt no need to stay on the opposite side, he wanted to make sure he wasn’t missing anything so he placed himself unceremoniously between Opie and I. He attacked my hand under the cover as I was rubbing Opie’s belly. He attempted to chew on Op’s foot when it started moving as I found that perfect scratchy spot on his neck. The only way to get him to behave (other than throwing him back outside) was to pet him with one hand while trying scratch Op’s neck with the other. When I stopped petting Dudley, he chewed my hand. I know it is negative re-enforcement to start petting him again in order to get him to stop chewing, but really, you see what you come up with at 6:15am! Dudley finally settled down a little, he was snuggled between Opie and I, Op had a paw across him, I had a hand on him and Dudley laid his head back resting it on my chest, ears flopped straight out, closed his eyes and our little family was quietly enjoying each other’s company. Then the alarm went off.