Now that it’s winter, getting up in the morning has become extra super painful. I have trouble hauling my sorry carcass out of bed at the best of times on a workday, but winter means the alarm clock starts making seagull noises while it’s very dark outside and I’m forced to trade my warm and cozy duvet for whatever the weather has decided to throw at me on a particular day.
Sherman doesn’t appreciate waking up at the butt crack of dawn so I can go to work. Actually, since the sun doesn’t come up until long after I’ve brushed my teeth and curled my eyelashes, I suppose I’m getting him up before the butt crack of dawn. It’s disgusting. Generally, Sherm ignores all the crazy sounds my alarm clock makes. The most energetic response the alarm clock generates out of that dog is a sigh, a fart, and, if he’s feeling particularly ambitious, a lick of his undercarriage.
Lately, he’s just blinked at me painfully when I’ve turned on the overhead light. I talk pretty much constantly to my dog, as I’m sure most dog people do, and today’s conversation sounded like this. (Please note that I’m imagining Sherman’s responses, and that I don’t actually believe my dog speaks to me. That would be nuts.)
“Morning, Shermy Merm.”
“Time to get up, handsome.”
“It’s morning. Time to go out for a pee.” I fake enthusiasm. It’s a skill I’ve had forever.
“Get up. Let’s go. Wakey wakey.”
“Nope.” This is the part where he pretends to go back to sleep, totally ignoring me and fooling himself that his skinny tail can hide his face.
“Hey, pupster. Wake up! Time to go outside!”
Snore. Fart. Sigh. (The dog, not me).
“What?” He reluctantly opens one eye. If looks could kill, they’d find me dead in my fuzzy fuchsia housecoat.
“It’s time to go outside. Momma has to go to work,” I am wheedling by this point, so work has as many syllables as “rollercoaster.”
“Nah,” he groans, rolling to his side and stretching out his legs like a champion jumping horse clearing a gate for the win. “I’ll just hang out here. You go to work. I’m cool.”
“Dog, you need to get up. If I don’t go to work, you don’t eat!” I reach for his collar, prepared to escort him out for his squat and sprinkle if he forces me to take action.
“Eat? Did you say eat? I could eat.”
“You want some breakfast, pup?” His ears lift just a little and the end of his tail thwacks his bed once. I’ve got him now.
“Breakfast sounds good,” he heaves himself to his feet, stretching in that incredibly satisfying manner known only to dogs, yogis, and mountain lions.
“Let’s go outside handsome.” I shoo him through the house and toward the backdoor, where he realizes how cold it is in the backyard and looks at me. “Outside!”
He looks at me like I’ve asked him to pee in the toilet: from the hallway. “You said ‘let’s go outside’ woman. I thought we were both going. I don’t wanna go out by myself.”
“Sherman, out!” he looks at me in disgust.
“It’s cold and it’s dark and I really don’t have to pee that much. Where’s my breakfast?”
This is the part where I ease him out the door with my knee on his rump, and, realizing I’m one hundred percent serious, goes reluctantly out to take care of business. I feed him, put him back out to take care of any new business, and then we hang out while I get pretty for work. Right before I leave, I tuck him into his kennel so he and the furniture are safe while I’m at work.
Sherman goes back to sleep, and I go out into the cold. Who has the better end of this deal, really?