Last weekend we dog-sat Deb’s boss’ dog, Emma. Emma knew Deb from the office; whenever Emma would come to visit her “dad,” she could count on “Aunt Debra” to have treats (although sometimes Aunt Debra would be a little busy, and Emma would have to remind her which desk drawer had the treats — humans can be so forgetful sometimes!) and Deb was considered a member of Emma’s pack.
We both had dogs growing up, although I am also experienced with cats. Deb made me swear long ago that we would never get a dog, never get a pet — “Not so much as a hermit crab, Jackster!” — because it would be too painful to bear when we inevitably outlive them. But having a canine guest for a weekend would be okay.*
Emma was a wonderful house guest. At night she liked to share the bed with us, picking her third in the middle so she could be available for ear scratches or belly rubs — you know, in case anyone felt like giving them. Our first night without her was a little strange, although it meant I could snuggle with my wife again.
Or I would have been able to, if I had spent enough time on my side of the bed to warm myself up a bit after I crawled in.
DEB: “WOAH! Your legs are like ice!”
ME: “Should I just angle myself to avoid lower body contact?”
DEB: “Please! And careful with skin-to-skin.”
ME: “Wait! I know! I can warm you up with subsonic warm tones.” <makes loud low rumble tones>
ME: “Low frequency sounds make you warmer. High frequencies cool you off.”
DEB: “That’s a thing?”
ME: “It might be a thing.” <makes loud low rumble noises>
DEB: “That’s okay, I’m fine. You’ll hurt yourself.”
ME: “Want me to cool you off with ultrasonics?”
DEB: “Why would I want you — never mind, go ahead, I know you want to.”
ME: “I just did. You couldn’t hear it. If Emma were here, she’d be shivering right now.”
DEB: <shakes with silent laughter>
ME: “Do you wish you’d gotten married to somebody normal?”
DEB: “No, honey, I’d much rather be married to YOU.”
*And maybe, she thought, this would help with the blues feeling she’d been having since her mom died last year. Deb looked after Mom for several years after Dad died, and essentially moved in with her after Mom was diagnosed with cancer. Deb thought maybe she just needed someone to take care of for a little while to help fight the depression she’d been feeling. “It was nice having Emma, but it didn’t really help.”