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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

The Nocturnal Routines of Confused Scotties

mintyco1My dogs are mad at me. In honor of Mother’s Day, the Scottish Terriers got to stay with me as my son and I wind up our several months of remaining more-or-less at the dacha while he completes his final high school tennis season.

It’s heady stuff, but what do the dogs know? They lick their paws, if not their popas, and glance at me from under their bushy eyebrows.

“Harumph!” they throw themselves down in a heap on the floor, as ifth to notify me that any minor change in their schedule is not exactly to their liking.

“Come here, my big babies,” I cajole, scooping one under each arm and carrying them to the couch.

a8238bda3efd77c41bd66d8288458a1dThey lounge like bookends on either side of me, allowing only a laptop or research book on my lap. Misha and Grisha want me all to themselves, and they’ve got me—feeding them, tickling their tummies, stroking them, brushing them, feeding them, walking them, tossing the bone.

“Harumph!” the two Scotties moan and groan doing their foghorn imitations, wanting to let me know that they miss the rest of the family, even though I’m utterly delightful myself.

At night, they’re unsure of what to do without Benedetto on the scene. JoW9YfDwUsually, Grisha-the-smaller sleeps on his legs, with Misha-the-larger on my legs.

Hmmm… how did it happen that way?

Around 9:00 pm, Petya offers to walk them for the last time of the thevening. He’s exhausted from his grueling training schedule and wants to go to bed. One month from now, he’ll be graduating, so he’s pushing hard in a number of areas.

Great, I consider, if we don’t walk the dogs later than this, then they might need to go out at 3:00 am. Yet, when they return, they nudge me with their noses and inform me in no uncertain terms that they’re ready to plop down for the night.

“Alright, alright,” I let them herd me to bed, but not before grabbing 9hISIkIXsome work, so I can make up for lost time while all of the others are out of town.

By now, it’s only 9:30 at night, way too early for me to go to bed, but I’m exhausted and can always work from my mobile bed-office. After all, it’s daytime somewhere in the world. The two little guys fly onto the bed, jostling for who might win the coveted between-the-legs spot in which to curl up, the other relegated to snuggling by the side-of-the-leg.

thAs usual, Misha wins, with Grisha edged out. Occasionally, but not often, it happens in reverse. As they say, you snooze, you lose. Grisha-the-smaller is miffed.

After about 10 minutes, he hops off the bed, wandering the house, searching for Benedetto. Grisha finally settles for his favorite squishy chair not far from the bedroom door, hopping up on the back and plunking down like a headrest.

I rise once in the middle of the night to check on everyone: Petya sleeping – check; Grisha sleeping – check; Misha taking up half the bed, sprawled perpendicular so that I have no space – check; me missing out on my beauty sleep – check. A huge owl hoots outside, but at least I can’t hear the frogs that one of our daughters insist keep her awake at night. I eventually drift off after quite some effort, and, before you know it, Misha wakes me to start my day.

Generally, between 5:00 and 6:00 am, Misha has to check on everyone. If Benedetto is up and already at work, the dog Scottish-Terrier-13trots to my husband’s study. Usually, he simply wants to be petted and acknowleged. By now, dawn is yawning, as well, and I see in the dim light that Grisha has moved to the family room, ensconced on yet another seat back, snoring soundly.

He jumps up to join the Pied Pipers’ Parade. I turn on the light and show them: no Papa. He’s not here. They’re confused and befogged by early-morning grogginess.

“Where is he?” they turn to me, questioningly.

“He’ll be back. Wanna go outside?” I ask with far too much enthusiasm for this time of day.

scottish-terrier-0031I get their leashes and they slowly stre-e-e-tch their way to the back door. Out we go into the humid morning air as the pair sniff, and twitch, and lift a leg. All is quiet, all is calm, a few birds chirp as the three of us step across the dew-damp grass. The lizards will be up later to bake in the sun.

We head back inside to start some coffee and breakfast. I take my shower and Petya rises, while the two dogs settle down for another nap. All of this nocturnal activity has tuckered them out.

Morning breaks and I let them speak with Papa on the phone. They are reassured and sink down into their beds with a sigh, knowing that all will be well.

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