For the past couple of days, the dog and cats have been getting up early. Or, more accurately, they have been getting me up early. Sophie has this little trick she has learned during her time in our family. At night or in the early morning when she has to go out, she jumps up and bounces against the edge of the bed with her front legs. That is a good thing, as it has averted I am sure a number of times where we might have found "presents" from her on the floor in the morning. Her usual behavior during waking hours when she has to go out is to simply stare at you with "that look" and then hope that you notice her. Late night and early morning are different...so, all would seem well. She needs to go out while we are still abed, so she hits the side and rouses daddy from sleep just enough to get him to the door so she can do her business.
Now, these past two mornings, she does the old hit-the-bed routine to get me up; we go to the door and then....nothing. She just stands there in the family room and stares at me. I am missing something, right? Sort of. You see, she has reassigned this behavior. It now means, "Get up and feed the cats and me...and then take me for a walk." Fun. Particularly when this happens again and again at 5:30 in the morning. Compound that with my own poor choice to stay up late watching TV the last couple of nights and you can imagine that daddy is not so happy with Sophie's new trick.
I must admit, with due grace, that it is my own blessed fault. If I was just willing to take responsibility for getting her out for her evening walk and for getting myself to bed in a timely way then I would not have caused this new behavior to arise.
My penance? Well, this morning I committed to a longer walk with the Sophster. I will also make sure I turn off the telly this evening after she gets a good, long walk.
Still, looking down at her brown eyes this morning, I must surrender to that slightly patient, yet incredulous look she offered-seeming to offer in her own doggish way...."What do you expect, dad...I learned this from you!"