Wednesday, May 6, 2009

An Audience with His Lordship

The Doctor is In
© 2009 Leighann Lord

Before we officially adopted our dog, his Foster Mom made sure to tell us that "Rolie likes his space. Sometimes he just likes to go off and be by himself," she said. At the time, I didn’t think too much of this. It’s one of those things that you hear and don’t hear. All the dogs I’ve ever had were friendly, people loving pooches. I had no frame of reference for a dog who acts like a commitment phobic serial dater. So I kinda dismissed the comment and assumed she was kidding. She wasn’t.

Rolie’s favorite room in our house is the bathroom and that’s where His Lordship goes when he wants to be alone. It’s really no longer our bathroom, but His Office. Every night he goes in there and rearranges the bathroom rugs to his liking – a pile in the middle of the floor. I used to think this was a canine commentary on my decorating skills, but I’ve come to understand that he’s hot and wants to sleep directly against the cool porcelain of the tub.

One time my Husband got up in the middle of the night to use the facilities and found His Lordship actually standing in the tub. We’re still not sure how he got there. He’s a small dog – a Cocker Spaniel – and not a jumper. We think he put his paws on the edge to check things out, gravity took over, and he didn’t know how to climb back out. He stared at my Husband indignantly as if to say, "Hey, a little help here, Human."

His Lordship is rather proprietary about His Office. If we want to use it with any measure of privacy the door must be firmly closed. Unable to get in, His Lordship lies directly outside, nose pressed against the space between the door and the floor. It’s uncomfortable, but I’ve learned to live with the audible sniffing. As soon as I leave the bathroom he rushes in to scope things out like a distrustful landlord looking for a reason to keep my security deposit.

Much more unsettling is not closing the door all the way and His Lordship suddenly busting in like a gun slinger from a Western spoiling for a fight. Logically I know he’s just a dog, but the expression on his furry face makes me feel so deeply and throughly judged. He looks at me as if to say, "What the hell are you doing in my office? For god’s sake, Woman, I sleep in here. At least I have the decency to go outside." I’m not sure what’s worse, when he sits and stares, or sniffs and leaves.

His Lordship usually takes up residence late at night. He lies languidly against the tub or – more problematically – is wrapped around the base of the bowl. Using it then requires a sense of balance and agility that isn’t easily managed in the middle of the night.

Now you’re probably thinking: "Who’s owns who?" To be honest, I’m not sure. In sharing this story with people I’m often asked, "Why don’t you just wake the dog and shoo him out?" That’s a very good question. My answer is that like most old folks - His Lordship is in the neighborhood of 8 to 10 years old – he has a hard time sleeping through the night; and when he doesn’t sleep, we don’t sleep.

Well, actually that’s not true. I’m a very sound sleeper. Once I fall into the arms of Morpheus, I’m done. Game over. If someone sneezes in the house across the street, my Husband says "God bless you" and is up for the rest of the night. I guess if we had kids, he’d be the one on the night shift.

On the days when my Husband over sleeps it’s usually because he’s been up half the night with our resident furry insomniac. His Lordship has gotten much better lately, but I don’t want to take any chances. I still try my best not wake him, but given the size of the bathroom I may have start taking Yoga.

I’m a fool to put up with this, or am I? Science has proven that dogs can smell disease in the human body. This makes His Lordship an integral part of my alternative healthcare plan. And if The Dog Doctor is in, a privacy co-pay is not too much to ask.

Thank you for reading Leighann Lord's Comic Perspective

Please feel free to subscribe or visit for news, Leighann's TV ppearances, live stand-up comedy shows or to join the mailing list. You can also follow her on MySpace FaceBook Twitter!

No comments: