I called her name, drawing out the first syllable and frowning when my faithful canine did not appear. I shrugged and arranged the covers anyway, deciding to be grateful for the extra room in bed.
I woke at midnight, confused that there wasn't a warm lump behind my knees and wondering what brought me out of a deep sleep. I hurried toward the stairs when I heard the whimpers, calling Chienne's name and looking around frantically as I descended.
"What happened?" I asked her, already smoothing my hands up and down her sides and legs as I checked for obvious injuries. "Sore muscle," I guessed when she seemed to walk just fine but was clearly unable to tolerate climbing steps. It happens sometimes and I always fuss over her, but this is the first problem we've had in the house of many stairs.
I dutifully unfolded the loveseat and removed the mattress from the bed inside. I tossed it on the floor and went back upstairs to fetch blankets and pillows. I settled down with a quiet grumble - I don't like sleeping on the floor! - and huffed a heavy sigh when the dog picked a spot far across the room to rest.
"Fine," I told her haughtily. "I'm going back up."
It was 2AM - not too long after I'd left her alone - when she cried again. Once again, I hurried downstairs and was greeted by sad eyes and a slowly wagging tail. Resigning myself to a night on the floor, I told her she'd feel better soon, gave her an Advil, worried about giving her an Advil and put my top half on the mattress since she'd already claimed the bottom.
Growing queasy from the lack of sleep, I was miserably uncomfortable as well. I crawled over to start a fire, immediately cheered by the flickering flames and gentle warmth. I arranged spare pillows for my legs and deemed the pallet suitable for sleeping. I crawled back, stopping to pat the dog reassuringly and tucking her under a soft blanket. I continued my journey across the floor until I could settle my head on a pillow and flipped through channels since I was awake and uncomfortable.
I wrinkled my nose over juicers, frowned darkly at cooking devices that worked from the top and bottom and paused with some interest for the airbrush make-up device. I'm content with Bare Minerals though so I continued to move through channels. One of the home shopping channels had some ridiculous dessert - chocolate-chip-cheesecake-bread-pudding concoction that I would have totally eaten had I had one.
I don't remember falling asleep, but Chienne was gone when I woke. I made the loop around the first floor, unable to find the hound. I called and called, hearing her yip repeatedly as she made her way up the stairs from the basement. I moved to help her, but my attempts to lift her sturdy body made her yelp. So I winced and coaxed her up the last two steps and closed the door to prevent future errors in judgement.
We slept for a few more hours before Mom called, inquiring over our arrival time. I told her of her granddog's ouchie and decided she'd be more comfortable in my parents' single level home. I promised we'd make the trip today - I just have clean clothes to place in my suitcase - and patted the floor for my glasses.
"No good deed," I began and sighed when I picked up exactly half of the glasses - I had an earpiece and single lens, cracked cleanly where it should have connected to its partner in vision assistance. I walked up to put in contacts, Chienne crying pitifully all the while, and came back down to pet her until she relaxed into sleep again.
I've finished my coffee. I'm moderately awake. So it's time to pack up and head south - injuries in one animal, what is certain to be a foul disposition in the other (Mr. Sprout Does Not Like the car.) and a bit of Christmas spirit in tow.
(Post 1,000 comes tomorrow! Is there anything you want to know but don't? I'm thinking of doing a brief history of Katie, perhaps with photos, but remain undecided.)