Racing the beagle

Every morning, as soon as my feet hit the floor, it’s a race. My opponent? A beagle.

By the time I get up, after doing my stretches, my husband has already taken Lady to the kitchen for her food. Unthinkable–to her, anyway–that the first thing on her daily agenda would be anything besides eating. As soon as she eats, it’s out the door for potty. (She stands near the back door and stares at us, daring us to delay.)

That all sounds like it should take a decent amount of time. I should be able to get up, get my robe on, streak to the bathroom for ablutions, and then quickly get the bed made. It doesn’t always work out that way. Lady eats in 30 seconds flat–I don’t think she chews any of it–and takes about the same amount of time outside. Then she’s inside again–and heading for our bed.

My goal: to get that bed made before she’s back in it. Most of the time, I can hear her nails clicking on the kitchen floor as she heads in my direction. Then silence as she pads across the carpet in the hall. More nail clicking as she hits the spot in front of the laundry room. I’m now feverishly tugging at sheets, stacking pillows, pulling up the comforter as she  comes through the door. It amazes me that she can cover so much ground and still look like she’s only ambling. Usually, as I give the last tug, she makes the leap onto the foot of the bed (where she sleeps when we’re in it), walks up the length, and flops down on our pillows.

Photo by George Sawyn

I give her a smug look, tell her what a good girl she is, and head to the kitchen for my own breakfast. She can lie on the comforter. It’s our sheets I’m frantically trying to protect. I prefer my sheets to be plain cotton. No fur lining, thank you very much.

Yesterday, Lady wised up. Yesterday, although I won the first lap, she won the race. But she cheated.

I dutifully sprinted through my routine, and I managed to get the bed made before she returned. My mistake was in turning my back on her.

Thirty minutes later, with breakfast finished, I headed back down the hall toward the bedroom to find my earrings–and stopped short. Lady was curled up, sound asleep, looking oh-so-comfy, under the sheets and comforter and on top of my exposed pillow. She’d discovered that if I can make a bed, she can unmake it.

The only alternative, I suppose, is to shut the bedroom door. But have you ever had to gaze into the big brown eyes of a disappointed beagle? I’m not sure I have it in me.

It’s not necessary to cancel future races. I concede defeat.


About Monica Sawyn

I'm a retired newspaper reporter/columnist, and although I still freelance, I miss the weekly column I used to write. I still "see columns" in everyday life and need a place to put them after they're written--thus, this blog. I'm Catholic, have been a Benedictine oblate since 1977, and live with my husband and our beagle in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. When I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, sewing, taking photos or walking the dog.
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