GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!
As I open my own eyes and emerge from my sleep, their energy is ignited.
Toby barks at me with youthful vigour – it’s a rude awakening indeed.
“BOL! BOL! …Good morning, Maxmom!”
Soon, Tammy’s wet, cold nose finds her target - in my neck.
“Uurg,” I cringe.
The “King” spurs her on with his little happy dance at my bedside.
I grab a pillow and pull it over my head
“Go away, dogs.” I mumble.
My attempt to garner more sleep is futile.
The trio are determined. They become progressively more impatient and noisy as they sense my reluctance. They’ve been up for a while now and have already made their early-morning garden calls. They’ve become masters at mobilising the ‘Boss’ at the crack of dawn.
“No sleep for the wicked,” the "Boss" constantly complains.
Now the pooches have returned to accost me – and extract me from my dreams – to demand personal attention.
I know what they are after :
It’s a pretty container which houses their early morning doggie-treats.
I keep it on my bedside table – bad idea!
The tin is within arm’s reach. I planned it that way, so that I don’t even have to open my eyes in my sleepy stupor.
As the dogs continue their campaign, I turn my weary head towards the alarm clock.
It’s a gadget which is becoming more redundant by the day - replaced by my faithful canines.
Geesh, it’s hardly 5.30am!
“Go to sleep, Dogs!” I flop back into my pillows.
My command is futile. Their wake-up calls are getting earlier every morning – a bit like the seasonal sunrise.
I don’t blame them – it’s gorgeous outside.
The dawn is sprinkling dusted sunlight over the pale green leaves on the trees in my garden.
Birds twitter their joy and the water-feature reminds me that it will soon be time for early morning swims again. For now though, I want my sleep, so I curl up tighter, trying hard to ignore them.
The pack is not deterred.
Toby and Tammy begin a noisy play-session a few feet from me.
The “King”, too, becomes more and more persistent – his tiny paws whip up a little patter of African rhythm on the edge of my mattress. I sign and resignedly reach for the tin.
The dogs are instantly alert as my hand grabs the tin. I now have their full attention.
“Down,” I say, and our Goldens instantly drop to the floor.
Somehow, I manage to manoeuvre myself into a seated position and position some pillows comfortably behind my back. Toffee refuses to respond to my command. He’s proceeds with the task of raking doggie-tracks onto the side of my bed.
“You guys are impossible!” I sign, exasperated.
I lift the lid of the small container and make a noisy rattle as I fiddle for one of the biscuits. All three tongues lick their noises in unison. They’re ready.
“What’s taking you so long, Maxmom?”
“First Toffee,” I say and hand the little Maltese one of the morsels.
He takes it carefully and retreats, to his throne in the corner of the room – away from the bigger dogs – to savour every crumb.
Eleven-year-old-Tammy doesn’t waste any time. The biscuit disappears in one easy gulp and she stares at me blankly – pretending that I didn’t give her one in the first place.
“Here’s yours, Toby,” I offer the biscuit to my Sweet Hooligan.
But I see that he’s about to give me a puppy-snap.
“NO! Take it nicely!” I command.
His expression changes to one of total calm and devotion.
“That’s better,” I say and I hand him his treat.
He then moves slightly backwards to allow Tammy the last say.
My fingers do a quick twirl at the bottom of the container. There’s one last biscuit left there.
“Okay, my girl… you can have the last one.” I hand it to her and she takes it gently this time.
As if by magic, all the dogs move off immediately.
I slump back under the duvet and begin to ponder the perplexing question...
“How, on earth did they know that there were ONLY four biscuits at the bottom of the tin?”
Sending lotsaluv to all our friends across the world,
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