As if I did not have enough to to do, Lucy Piglet decided to help me with the bed. It was Monday and bin night, so I had all the vacuuming to do as well, but the linen needed changing and I could not put it off anymore.
Changing the bed linen is such a pain in the neck that I normally do it on the weekend, but it was just as well I had not. Sunday, I had sat bolt upright in bed at a sound that will be instantly recogniseable to dog owners everywhere. It is highly distinctive but difficult to describe. Imagine a big man having the Heimlich manoeuvre performed upon him and trying to suppress an ‘ugh’ every time his stomach is compressed. Now speed that up. That noise, that rhythmical suppressed burp is the sound of a dog about to vomit, and a dog who was sleeping on the bed.
That noise can rouse me from the deepest sleep to wide awake like a bucket of iced water. I went to grab the culprit, Lucy, who was looking miserable at the end of the bed, but she seemed to calm down for a moment. My husband, having been woken by the kerfuffle, got up and took Lucy outside for a breath of fresh air. As he brought her in, he spotted what I had missed: that she had been a little sick but right at the end of the bed, where the duvet curls over the edge and away. I got up, sponged it clean as best I could (don’t judge me – it was 2 am and I had work the next day) and we all went back to sleep.
I stripped the duvet cover the next morning but decided to complete the job when I got home. Lucy, clearly guilty from her stomach upset the night before, was determined to help. By sitting in the middle of the bed.
No one could accuse me of going low maintenance in winter. We have an electric blanket, a fitted sheet, then a flat sheet. On top of this I have a cheap comforter that I bought last year, which is covered by a thick cotton throw. On top of this is the duvet. No one is getting cold in this bed.
The duvet was already stripped so I pulled at the cotton cover. Lucy timed her jump so I could pull it off like a magician with a tablecloth and she remained where she was. Next was the comforter and ditto. The sheet, I pulled back and she followed it, running away from the giant wave moving down the bed until finally turning to jump over it. The fitted sheet was easy, as it curled as soon as it was unhooked from the corners so she could move around that without any gymnastics.
Archie watched all this from the safe distance of the floor. Archie does not trust bed linen as he once found himself under a duvet that had been thrown on top of him and he could not find his way out.
So now the whole process began in reverse. I almost had Lucy pinned under the fitted sheet before she snaked her way towards a corner and climbed out and on top. Then I threw the pillows onto the bed. The sheet, then the comforter she avoided with ease. She was really liking this game – delighted every time she breached a new layer. She lay on the bed waiting for each new challenge with her tail wagging. Unlike Archie, her Jack Russell creds mean that she is confident in a tunnel and soon I was back at the top layer, covering her completely with the duvet, which she bounced out of seconds later.
I had wondered what had made her sick the night before, but she was clearly back on top form now. She had not eaten much dinner on Sunday, either.
It as only when I went to take them for a walk the next day that the possible cause was revealed. I grabbed the bag I always wear to walk them. It is handy for carrying poo bags and a spare lead and treats in the form of strips. I normally keep these treats zipped up in the front pouch and I throw the bag in the back of the car with the dogs when I head back home with them after a walk.
When I picked the bag up, it felt lighter. I checked the front pocket. Empty. All the treats had mysteriously disappeared. The treats that now I came to think of it, looked vaguely familiar to the pile I had cleaned up in the middle of the night.
That is the thing with Lucy, she is not just good at beds and tunnels, she is awfully good at zips, too.