Whenever another relationship ended, I’d tell myself that at least I’d be getting back to my “single sleep.” It was something, as half a couple, I’d sorely missed and could now look forward to. There’s nothing like it. You know what I mean if you’re like me, a healthy sleeper not plagued by insomnia. If, undisturbed by another’s tossing and turning or snoring (or hey, oftentimes just breathing,) you fall asleep minutes after your head hits the pillow, not to awaken before your alarm sounds the start of a new day.
I’ve enjoyed eight blissful hours a night like this for several years now, but I’m sorry to say I think the party’s over. You see, my mom’s dog, Frankie, has been staying for sleepovers. Having recently moved out of my neighborhood, my mother and I are like divorced parents working out a schedule to share custody.
I’ve come to look forward to walks around my block with Frankie. We’ve met lots of other dogs and their owners, and we take in the sight and smell of the surf at least three days a week. Not wanting to give this up, I suggested he stay over every weekend. My mother was only too happy to get a break from the parenting, and immediately purchased a second dog crate for him to sleep in at my house.
Frankie’s a great sleeper, I’ll give him that. He doesn’t bark. He doesn’t whine. He doesn’t have accidents. He just sleeps. His first night there, I crawled into bed shortly after putting him in his crate in the corner of my room. My cat, Bella, joined me. Ten minutes later, I heard it. A soft snore coming from the crate. Another ten minutes went by and on the other side of me, a second snore, only slightly higher in pitch and with a little nose whistle. I listened to their harmony. Their little lungs must be exactly the same size because one’s inhale came two beats after the other’s exhale. They were perfectly synchronized. An hour later, they were still at it. My attempts to nudge Bella quiet had failed. And Frankie only stopped briefly, when after one loud, human-sounding snort, he woke himself up. I wonder if there’s such a thing as Dog Sleep Apnea.
Frankie’s snoring, I understood. He’s a Pekingese and, as such, has a rather pushed in face. But, Bella’s snores surprised me. Not only does she have an aristocratic nose, like a Siamese, but I’d never heard her before. Maybe, I’d never been awake for it, or maybe, she was particularly exhausted after being on high alert all day with a dog in the house. Either way, six hours is my new average on the weekends.
The going rate for companionship.