It’s 2AM and I still can’t sleep. I’ve tossed and turned, waking Petey who curled up so tight next to me I feel like I’m sleeping inside a rolled up rug. He grumbles and shifts himself, and grumbles again, displeased with my sleepless frustration. Dogs don’t keep themselves up all night with worries. They don’t replay the previous day’s revelations and dilemmas over and over again in their mind until they are sick with panic and disgust. That’s a human thing. Petey doesn’t sympathize.
I give in to the restlessness and quietly shoo him off my side of the bed. He stretches and groans and follows me as I walk down the dark hallway. Nelson joins us at the back door; his sleepy puppy face makes me smile. I open the door to let them out and take in the clean, wet smell of our backyard. The rain has weakened to a drizzle and the pavement looks like a black, glossy lake. I listen to the repetitive tapping sound the leftover rainwater makes as it drips down the gutter. Everything seems magical at 2AM.
The dogs return to the warm house and I close the door. We walk to the living room and they join me on the couch. Nelson sits in my lap while Petey curls next to me, resting his head on my thigh. Are they concerned or just snuggly? It doesn’t really matter. That’s the thing about my home, I can be awake at two in the morning, but I’m never truly lonely. I don’t know if that realization pushes me to tears, but tears rush to my eyes. I can’t control the waterworks. They’ve been backed up for so long. An overflow was bound to happen.
The dogs don’t budge or fuss. They just stay with me until I’m done. Then we walk back to the bedroom and climb into bed. They find their place and I find mine, curled up between Petey and Drew, snug as a bug in a rug.