Sleeping Service Dogs

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Sleeping. Rally does a ton of sleeping. No matter where we are-airports, movie theaters, restaurants or classrooms, the instant his stomach touches the ground and his chin hits my foot, his eyes close and his snoring fills the room.

And boy can he snore! Sometimes I wake up and marvel at how loud my roommate has become, only to look besides my bed and realize the source of the heavy breathing, sighs, groans and lip smacking is in fact, emitting from my dog. 

“Wow! Your dog can really sleep anywhere!” My friend often exclaims, peering down between my feet to where Rally can be usually seen sawing logs and drooling on the tile. “I thought German Shorthaired Pointers were supposed to be super super hyper!”

I can only assume that the vast majority are, but my dog-blessedly-happens to be extremely “chill”, as someone put it. “Chill” is a great way to describe Rally. Hardly anything fazes him. This is useful when a car backfires or someone skateboards close enough to pluck the whiskers from his face. The only time I’ve ever seen him look remotely startled was the one time an ant bit his nose. He hopped up, spun in a few circles to stare accusingly at the offending insect, and then went back to sleep in another, ant free spot. 

Sometimes he dreams funny dreams. I watch his legs twitch and his paws extend as he pursues imaginary rabbits and hurtles after ghostly birds. Other times he has frightening dreams, and those are the nights when he whines and whimpers until I nudge him awake and let him bound up  beneath the covers with me.

Rally is a bed hog–as well as a cover hoarder. He has his own huge, comfy bed right besides my own-in fact, I’m certain he has more blankets than I do-but his preferred routine is to wake up at dawn, meander the apartment for a few minutes, drink some water, check to see if some kibble has magically appeared in his bowl, and then hop up into bed with me, where he sniffs and huffs and groans until I scoot over and make room for him. 

Rally doesn’t just lie down. He flumps down. With a great sigh. As if his legs have abruptly given way and the weight of the entire world was pressing down on his head.

He always starts on a tiny portion of the bed, but before I know it I’ve curled up around him and given him my pillow and pulled blankets and comforters and quilts about the both of us. Sometimes he gets too hot and will retreat back to the more comfortable climate of his own bed, but lately, with winter in it’s deepest and snow on the ground, he’s been happy to snuggle against me and go back to sleep until my alarm goes off. Then I’m up, taking a shower, getting dressed, collecting my school supplies, and he’s still lingering in my bed, reluctant to leave the warm haven until I hold up his leash and usher him out of the door. 

Sometimes, if he’s very lucky, I’ll take a short nap when I’m home, and then he’s in seventh heaven. Occasionally he will chew on a bone or contemplate life’s mysteries while I snooze, but mostly, he joins me at the foot of my bed, opening an eye to check that all is well before resuming his nap. At this very moment, in fact, he is lying across my feet, all eighty pounds turning my toes blue, but I don’t have the heart to push him over because he is snoring and all is well with the world. 

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