“Why can’t you be more like your brother?”
Yep, those words came out of my mouth this morning around 5:00 when Mele thought it was time to get up and play. She decided to tell me by rushing to my side of the bed and impaling my wrist with those claws of hers. Coconut stayed on his bed cautiously watching to see what would happen.
“Shhhh. Go to bed. It’s too early.”
All that did was to make her run to dad, perch on his side of the bed since she’s not allowed in, and begin scratching and wagging her tail, hitting the door so hard that sleep was not an option.
Back and forth she ran ready to start her day.
My pleas for Mele to be more like Coconut fell on deaf ears and down we went for their breakfast and play.
It’s annoying to have had one dog trained to get up at 6:30 or 7:00 and then to have to go through it all again with dog number two. But then I remembered Coconut’s first few months. He too scrambled to the bed as fast as possible with his tail wagging like it was set to the highest setting on a metronome. “Get up, get up! Hello, hello, hello!”
Faking sleep was no longer an option but right before I struggled out of bed I thought of my friends who had just a few days ago had to make the worst decision a loving dog parent must make. Their sweet dog was tired and ready to go where dogs go when they have given everything possible to their person. It was time.
I thought of that beautiful dog and that grieving family and I realized my dogs wanting me to get up that early is a tribute to me. They love me, they want to spend as much time with me as possible. One day, hopefully not for many, many years, I won’t hear their claws on my floor or their tails banging on my closet door. I will be able to sleep as long as I want to sleep.
Mele is her own self making her own way in her new home. She has to check on me multiple times a day to make sure I’m here. Maybe, just maybe, her coming to say, “Good morning! Come play! Let’s eat! Get up!” is her way of asking, “Are you sure I can stay? I really love you. Do you love me?”
So, Mele doesn’t need to be like her brother. It won’t be much longer until she’ll snuggle into her bed like Coconut and let us decide when we get up. She’ll trust more, her anxiety will slowly recede. Until that day I need to remember that she is not Coconut. She is her own self with all her quirks, and she has quite a few. She loves me in a way that only she can love.
Today is National Random Acts of Light Day. Every single day thanks to my dogs there are many random acts of light and they all are designed to make me thankful I took the plunge and adopted not one but two dogs.
We have so many dogs who want to wake you up in the morning way too early. They want to check on you and ask, “Am I welcome here? Do you really love me? Do you promise not to leave me?”
To be loved by a dog is to be loved in a special way. I can promise you that if you come to visit us you’ll be in the right place to find love. You’ll never regret it. Even at 4:30 in the morning. Trust me on this.