My weekends with the dog

Rigby in dad’s bed

This is pretty typical for me on a weekend.

I want to sleep in but from about 7am onwards Rigby will let me know he’s waiting for breakfast. Sometimes he’ll just be restless and if I’m determined (or sleepy) enough I’ll ignore and outlast him till he settles down with a sigh. Other times he’ll stand by the bed looking at me. He can do that for 10 minutes without blinking an eye.

Eventually, I’ll sit up and he’ll be fully aroused at this point and excited, often leaping up at me to express a pleasure he just can’t contain. I’ll pull on a pair of track pants and a t-shirt and pad out to the laundry, flicking on the espresso machine on the way through.

I’ll measure out a heaped cup of dry food for him while he looks on intently. While he gobbles that up I’ll open the back door so he can venture out afterwards and do whatever business he needs to do.

I’m reasonably awake by now and so I set about making my morning latte. The machine hums and whirrs, the concentrated juice from the ground coffee pools in the mug like a rich syrup before I set about frothing the milk. With the coffee made it’s time to collect the newspaper.

Rigby follows me to the door with his ears notched hoping for he believes it that I’m about to let him out. I open the door and he’s off! He gallops down the concrete driveway to the front pavement. He’ll look either way before visiting the tree conveniently located there. I’ve caught up by now and allow him his sniffing and digressive investigations while I collect the plastic wrapped sections of the paper. He’ll notice me then and bound to me and using his initiative will take one of the papers from my hand. He’ll trot back towards the house proudly, tail wagging, leading me to the front door.

For the next hour or two, I’ll lay in bed and read the paper from cover to cover and will sip my coffee. Rigby is snuggled up close. Sometimes he’ll contour his body perfectly to the curve of my body – he’s expert at that. He’ll rest his head on my leg or hip and watch me as I read or will outside or will abruptly sit up to give some urgent attention to whatever part of his body needs a prolonged lick or studious nibble. Then he’ll settle back contentedly, just happy to be close to me.

Eventually, I’ll decide it’s time to get up. By now I’ll have listened to the news and learned what’s been going on overnight. Generally, it’s about 9am, or a little after. The cue for this is reaching to my bedside table for my glasses. As soon as Rigby sees that he knows it’s up time. He’ll stand and watch and then jump down from the bed as I swing from it. Sometimes he’ll get fascinated by my feet and will seek to give them a lick as they come from under the covers.

Out of bed he’ll precede me into the lounge room and then the kitchen. He knows the routine very well. His tail is wagging and he’s watching me very closely with eager anticipation of what comes next. I put my empty – or near empty – coffee mug upright in the dog bed he never sleeps in (but which he’ll often adjourn to to eat something) and he’ll stick his snout in it to lick the last dregs of coffee. He loves his coffee.

That pretty well ends our weekend morning rituals. I’ll check my email from there, or go have a shower, and so on, before taking him out for a walk around the block.

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