I have never really been a morning person. My mother recounts that as a child she would attempt to wake me and then place my beaker of coffee (well, hot milk with a few coffee grains in it. I don’t want you to think she was caffeinating a small child) next to the bed, whereupon a hand would snake out from under the quilt, feel for the beaker, seize it, and yank it under the covers. Succulent slurping noises would follow before the hand reappeared to return the empty beaker to the bedside table. Such was my ability to perform this task in a zombified state, that on occasion I would complain that she’d brought me an empty cup.
These days an even more Herculean effort is required – partly on account of me failing to teach my dog Max to deliver lattes to my bedside, but more to do with the painkilling meds I’m on for my knees, which conspire to make it next to impossible to wake in the morning.
I have three alarms. Yes, three. I have both the radio and the buzzer set on my clock radio, yet another alarm set on my phone AND a lamp on a timer the other side the room, so that on winter mornings it’s not black as pitch when I wake up. On pre-lamp days, as I pried an eye open my body would say “For God’s sake woman, it’s quite clearly night time”. Then, as a final fail safe, I have the ultimate safety alarm. On work days my Mum (bless her) phones me to make sure I’m actually awake. Yes really.
This weekend however, I have discovered an alarm call which simply cannot be ignored. I am dog sitting Demon Dog. Max is a later riser than me. Whilst I get up and shower he will remain curled on the bed, snoring blissfully, not stirring until he hears breakfast preparation noises in the kitchen. On Sundays he will occasionally enquire whether breakfast is imminent, but a mumbled “Sod off” is sufficient for him to snooze a bit longer.
Demon Dog is not the brightest spark in the box, but for the merest hint of food, I think he would leap through flaming hoops, yipping with excitement at the prospect of a biscuit. He usually breakfasts at 6.30am. You can see where this is going can’t you?
At 6.30 yesterday morning I was awoken by a persistent snout shaking my arm. The “Sod off” command failed dismally, and nuzzling progressed to loud yips and attempts to leap onto the bed. Demon Dog may only be a Scottie, but he weighs about the same as a freight train. The day before I’d nearly herniated trying to heave him into the bath tub, and the threat of him landing on my stomach was enough to have me bolt upright in bed in milliseconds.
Today, the dogs plotted a joint attack. Demon Dog duly began his arm shaking and loud yips at 6.30am. I rolled over, pried an eye open, and found Max staring down at me with his snout mere millimetres from my face, effectively waking me with a cardiac arrest. By 7.30am I was breakfasted and sitting at my PC, the prospect of dozing off again after said cardiac arrest being nil. Where are the dogs? Little sods have gone back to bed.