Friday, August 3, 2012

Sir Darby's Close Call
Linda White (aka Regina Duke)

“My little dog -- a heartbeat at my feet.”  Edith Wharton
I awoke in the middle of the night to a terrifying sound. One of my papillons fell off the bed!

Half a second later, as I fumbled for the light, I realized no one was screaming in pain, thank goodness. But when I could finally see my little Darby, he was favoring his left front leg.

Needless to say, the entire household got up to make sure he was okay. This morning, he is running around as usual, as if nothing had happened. But it made for a worrisome night.

And who is to blame for this near disaster?

I am.


Because Darby has me wrapped around his little paw, and over the last several months, he has manipulated me into letting him sleep on the bed. This is something I thought I would never do with my little dogs. Why? I was afraid they would fall off the bed!

So now I must decide whether or not to return to night time sleeping crates. 

The rest of the night was uneventful. Darby went back to bed, next to me. But he did take a moment to glance around and make sure there was more than a papillon’s body length between him and the edge. 

Perhaps I gave in and let him on the bed because he made bedtime into such a struggle by refusing to get in his crate. Like many doggy parents, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to let him stay on the bed. And secretly, in my heart of hearts, I love it when my dogs share my bed. 

But now I must weigh those pleasures against the potential danger of another fall.

As I sat in the living room, anxiously watching Darby’s every move, looking for some sign of injury, I realized that my “baby” is almost seven years old. For a papillon that is about middle age. When did my little guy get this old? 

Based on past experience, it is obvious he will be a grumpy old man. As the years go by, he tests me on different fronts. Resource management helped solve our problems with attention and performance in the competition ring. But the creative Sir Darby has now decided that he has a lovely voice, and he has begun using it to get my attention, and sometimes I’m sure he is simply voicing his opinion.

As cute as I find all of this, I must do my job as his caretaker and make the decisions that will be best for him, even if he disagrees.

I guess I’d better put a new bed in his night time crate!

If you would like to read more about Sir Darby, check out his book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! His face is on the cover. Sir Darby by Linda White. And don’t miss Loving the Sensitive Dog, my book about his brother Buster, on Amazon. Visit my website for more about my cozy mysteries and my romances!

This post also appears in a local newsletter for Imagine Your Dogs training. 

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