It's 8:15 a.m., I've been at work for over an hour, and can I please go back to bed?
Between the rain pounding on the side of the house, the dog whining, and the phone ringing, none of us got any sleep. Except the kids. Unless they're the ones waking us up with vomit and whatnot, they usually sleep through whining dogs.
I don't know what was wrong with him. For six hours straight last night he paced from one end of the house to the other, with his nails clattering loudly on the wood floors. I imagine this is the same sound you'd hear if you trapped a miniature but highly enthusiastic horse inside the world's largest snare drum.
I suspected he riding a sugar rush from the pre-Halloween candy he stole out of Gert's room earlier in the day.
Then the whining started. It was raining hard by this time, but he's not normally bothered by rain, other than his refusal to go outside and relieve himself when it's wet outside. Okay, so maybe he had to go.
Letting the dog out at our house is a process that involves walking out through the garage to get to the only door that leads to the backyard. So I pulled on a robe and skipped on my freezing cold tiptoes over the freezing cold garage floor through the freezing cold garage and opened the door to a wall of rain outside.
Finnegan looked up at me.
"Go potty," I said.
He hunkered and stepped gingerly outside. I closed the door behind him and stood bouncing on my cold toes. He waited, absolutely motionless, inches from the door, looking back at me through the window.
For six full minutes, we stared each other down.
Finally, I threw open the door and he rushed back through the garage, shaking himself with indignance.
I called the dog several rude names and went back to bed. In fifteen minutes, he was whining again.
All night long, Gary and I took turns checking on, comforting, and finally threatening the little rat bastard. I have no idea what his problem was. All I know is that when the phone rang at 4 a.m., I half expected it to be the producer of a reality show on sleep deprivation congratulating us for making it to the Final Two.
As I was getting ready to walk out the door for work, I noticed Finnegan napping contentedly in the living room. I walked over, and he opened one drowsy eye.
"The cat has instructions to meow at you every time you graze REM sleep," I said.
And then he rolled onto his back so I could scritch his belly. Sometimes cute is the best defense against crabby. Dogs know this.