Every night before bed, I spend about half an hour just relaxing under the covers with a book. I might give my email one last check, see if anything’s happened on Facebook since last I looked (usually not) and then, when my brain has wound down enough that I think I can sleep, I set my book aside and get up to turn the light off.

This is the moment when my household’s nightly drama begins to play out.

My small plump dog usually dozes on top of the covers near my feet while I’m reading. Now and then, I force her to cuddle with me, but for the most part, we just enjoy the last half hour of the day in solitary peace. However, at the moment I reach for the lamp, no matter how deeply she seemed to be sleeping, my rotund puppy whips her head up and stares at me with madness in her eyes.

She’s not afraid of the dark. She’s afraid of missing bedtime.

She races up and down the bed, waiting for me in the dark. I can’t see her, but I can hear her. As my eyes adjust to the darkness and I turn the sheets down, she zips up and under them, moving faster than her round body should allow, tunneling all the way to the bottom. Then, as I slide under the covers myself and prepare to pull them to my shoulders, she begins the long ascent to the top of the bed, fighting tooth and claw, scrambling over me from side to side, leaving red, raised scratch marks along any portion of bare skin until her nose just breaks through to fresh air.

Then, sufficiently “tucked in”, she puts her head on my pillow, smacks her mouth a few times, sighs in contentment and settles in for a good night’s sleep.

You know your dog is spoiled when her main daily anxiety concerns bedtime.

But goodness, she is the best little spoon I’ve ever cuddled.

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