I love watching my dog, Westley, fall asleep. He can get comfortable anywhere, to the point where I’m just jealous of how easy he makes it. Like a master lumberjack, he can start sawing logs with ease. On the bathroom floor, in one of his two beds, chin propped on the bottom of the coffee table, or on the ottoman which has been renamed the corgiman. His eyes snap quickly then drift into a slow flutter until they close, but never so tightly at first. He has to be aware of where we are at all times during the first and second stages of sleep. If I get up, his eyes dart open and follow me everywhere until he has to move his head. He’ll get up and follow me into the next room, grumpy that we’ve decided to uproot his dreamcycle. If I plan a meticulous escape and wait long enough, I can maybe sneak out of the bedroom and head to the computer to do a little work. I often fail my own plans. He can be too cute when he begins to dream. He begins to kick his little legs, sometimes has a quiet woof, and once in a while his tail will begin to flap with cute aggression. Such happy dreams assure me we’ve given him a good life.
Westley turns 15 today. He’s still running up and down the stairs, but his foot drags a bit in the back. I don’t think he can hear us anymore and his eyesight is growing weak. He’s starting to have accidents in the house so we have to limit his water intake at night. Somehow with dog dementia, he’s started to want to snuggle more at night, nuzzle his face into my hands until I scratch his neck and ears. He doesn’t like breakfast anymore but will eat his dinner eventually. He’s a bit easier to sneak away from now, too easy. We can walk right over him sometimes, even during the afternoon. He’s always loved his naps. I know soon I won’t have the pleasure of watching him doze off. Of seeing his little belly rise and fall with his deep breaths. Those little snores which are so funny. Right on cue as I’m writing this, he starts to snore and bark in his sleep and he’s just to the right of me, head buttressed against the wall. I don’t think I’ll be sneaking over him anymore. I’ll just enjoy watching my little boy snooze, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.