Sunday, June 13, 2010
Abby's Night Watch
(Before the remodeling, the door wasn't there, and Abby would be further back in the living room. That is about the way she would be positioned when I came home at night.)
When Abby was around 6 months or so, she developed a new habit or routine, if you will. During the daytime, she spent most if not all of her time around my mom since she was still in her ‘dependent’ stage of her life. She had passed through the ‘separation anxiety’ phase, but she still loved to be around me or my mom all the time, every waking hour and even while sleeping. I’ve noted a few times before that Abby slept with me in the bed. However in the daytime, she belonged to my mom. In the morning, after she had went outside and back in, Abby hung out with my mom. She would sleep by my mom on the floor by the couch while my mom read, or she would accompany her to the kitchen in her attempts to beg. She also was banking on some food dropping on the ground. That is when she would hustle over and grab up her prize. Abby loved people food. Abby also took naps with my mom. Napping was a daily ritual for my mom. She would get into her nightgown, go the bedroom and sleep under the covers. This is in contrast to some nappers who fell asleep in a chair or on a couch. My mom went the whole nine yards in her naps and Abby gladly accompanied her. Father too nightied with them (nighty is any form of sleep for the babies). Abby slept in the bed with my mom while Father stayed on the floor at the foot of the bed on the rug.
My mom let the babies out to play several times a day. When Abby was younger, she would demand my mom’s participation, but as she became older, lazier and more mellowed out she didn’t play with my mom as much, and what playing she did was with other dogs. Abby still wanted to go out, but she would inspect her yard, look and sniff around. In the summer, her activity level increased mostly because my mom’s increased. They spent a great deal of time in the pool. Abby liked to swim but not alone. She rarely swam by herself. However, if there was someone in the pool, she would most likely get in the water. If there were guests who were not in the pool but just standing around it, Abby would get in by herself then. I suspect she was showing off, and maybe trying to entice the guests into swimming with her. When she was ‘inviting’ someone in the pool, she would slip into the pool, push off the walk-in concrete steps and do a ‘small circle’ of a about a 3 or 4 foot circumference. After doing a small circle, she would stand on the steps and look at the guests like ‘Are you going to come in?’ It was cute the way she tried to lure people and even dogs in.
When night set, my mom would go inside and either continue reading or watch TV. It was about this time that Abby and her routine would diverge from my mom’s. Around 7 or 8 in the evening, Abby would no longer sit by my mom’s feet in the living room. Instead, Abby would lie in the dining room while facing the kitchen door leading to the utility room. This was our ‘main entrance’ to the house even though it leads to the side of the house. The reason it was our main entrance was that it was the closest door from where we parked our cars in the garage or driveway.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when this habit of Abby’s started, but she was past her puppy stage and was closing in on her first birthday. One can rightly ask why didn’t Abby lie closer to that kitchen door, after all she would be that much closer to me when I arrived home. Abby had her reason which I suspect was to keep an eye on my mom while at the same time, keeping an eye on the door. Abby always knew how to strategically position herself so she could keep her eye on more than one thing at a time such as people who were in different rooms or the corridor going from the back of the house to the front so she could monitor the movements in the house. It was a perfect fusion of brilliance and laziness, both of which Abby had an abundance of!
Abby was always there to greet me when I opened the door. She would hop up and waddle through the kitchen to greet me with her tail wagging and her face smiling. No matter how bad my day was, and there were quite a few in my third year of grad school, Abby always made me happy to see her. Once I returned home, her world was complete and we were all together, Abby, Father, my mom and I, just the way Abby wanted it to be.