Canine Alarm Clock

So my beloved

(aka Kevin) has a beagle named Gir, as I may have mentioned before.

Depending on how charitable one is feeling, Gir is either the pinnacle of breed specialization, a creature whose every thought, instinct, and fiber is dedicated to one purpose only, namely tracking game, the apotheosis of a species who can follow a scent for miles across hill and dale and back again…or he’s a furry four-legged idiot.

I incline to the latter, I must admit, but he’s a sweetheart nonetheless. He loves me, but this is no great endorsement, as Gir appears to love everything onearth, including rocks. “Excitable” does not quite begin to cover him.

On any given night, Kevin and I will be lounging around, watching TV or reading, and Brandon, the border collie, will begin bouncing around the bed like a maniac. “Does Brandon need to go out?” Kevin will say, in that goofy tone that otherwise rational beings reserve for their dogs, and Brandon will redouble the bouncing, ears flagged up, delirious with joy at the prospect of OUT.

“C’mon, Gir,” the man says, pulling on a bathrobe, “let’s go out.”

So addressed, Gir stands on the bed, watching this process, the very model of alert propriety, until Kevin and Brandon have left the room. Then he immediately flings himself into the spot left vacant, stretches out, and begins snorting and wallowing around on the blankets and if possible me, SNORTSNORTSNORT, seeking petting and occasionally flapping his ears wildly in a manner that resembles a small brown-and-white plane preparing for takeoff.

After a minute or two, realizing that he’s down a dog, Kevin may or may not return, grab Gir bodily, and haul him off to the dreaded OUT. I could probably assist in this process, but I’m generally too busy trying to recover from a sudden ATTACK SMOOCH, wherein Gir launches himself like a guided missile and drives his damp beagle nose into my face, or if I’m unlucky, my throat. He has a regrettable tendency to use his snout as a bludgeon.

Still, he’s a good dog. Just very very enthusiastic, and dumber ‘n a sack of hammers.

T’other morning I was awakened from a sound sleep by Gir, who had decided that it was wallowing time, which meant that there was suddenly a beagle on my chest, snorting madly and rolling around, as if I were a pile of herbivore poop he had suddenly discovered in the bed. I grunted and flung him off, as well as one can fling something beagle sized with one arm. He returned instantly, SNORTSNORTSNORT. The herbivore poo was fighting back! How wonderful!

I rolled over. Kevin was face-down in the pillows, sleeping the sleep of the just (or at least the carnally exhausted) which meant that I was making eye contact with a fairly large tattoo of a Korean dragon, who was not particularly helpful. I looked at the clock. Six-thirty AM. God help us all.

“Hey,” I said. The dragon looked inscrutable. Gir braced a paw on the side of my head and wiggled ecstatically.

I poked the dragon in the eyeball. “The beagle’s going off.”

The dragon stirred. Kevin levered himself upright, gave me a heavy-lidded look, whereupon Gir rolled off me and into him, and began an upside-down dance of joy, as his FAVORITE PERSON IN THE WHOLE WORLD was awake! Yay!

“Oooof. So he is. C’mon, Brandon, let’s go…”

They went OUT. I went back to sleep.

This morning, at around seven-thirty, I got up to go to the bathroom and staggered back to bed. Kevin, who is a snuggler by nature, wrapped himself around me while still in a semi-conscious state, put his lips against my shoulder, and murmured a phrase that will probably not go down in the annals of romance– “Did the beagle go off yet?”

“Not yet.”

“Oh, good…”

I suspect that one may stick.

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