Midnight Snack for Two

Alex and I raid the fridge.

Sometimes you just need a midnight snack.

The other night, I couldn’t go to sleep. Neither could Alex, the precious beagle who takes up half our king-sized bed. Usually sleep isn’t something that evades Alex. After all he’s a hound, an expert. But for some reason, he just couldn’t drift off. I couldn’t tell if he was just restless or if something was wrong. Half-awake, I watched him flip and flop until he finally just got up and left our bedroom.

Alex didn’t always sleep with us. He quietly wiggled his way into our bed. Now that he’s there, you can tell that he doesn’t intend to ever leave. He even has his own baby quilt. Occasionally, he sleeps with our son. But usually, after his last trip outside to potty with exhausted bloodshot eyes, he starts herding us toward our bedroom. Once he achieves that, he jumps and dances his way on top of Vince’s pillow which starts a game that they play each night. Vince pretends to be mad, picks him up, puts him into the middle of the bed, wrestles him into his spot, then snuggles and tucks him into place. Alex loves every minute of it. Once settled, it doesn’t take long before sweet beagle snores start coming from under the baby quilt.

But that night, the snores didn’t come. He got up and tried a different spot. He twisted, he turned, he scratched, but he just couldn’t make his nest. I laid there very still, hoping he’d go to sleep. It doesn’t matter who is in our house, I have to be the last one awake. Once everybody is alseep, I can go to sleep. My mother used to tell me that I did that because I didn’t want to miss anything — important or not.

When Alex got up, I thought about following him. But I didn’t because I thought maybe he was just getting a drink of water. So I waited. And I waited. After a few minutes, when he didn’t come back, I got up, concerned that he was into mischief. He loves digging in our plastic recycling bin and chewing on iPhone cords. I expected to find him gnawing away on something.

I found him sitting in the middle of Sam’s room, head cocked as if he was surprised I was up. He was sitting by one of his food bowls. His main food and water bowl are in the kitchen. But he has a couple of cat-sized bowls in Sam’s room for water and snacks. When I realized that his snack bowl was empty, I knew what the problem was. He needed a midnight snack, and frankly, so did I.

“Come on Alex, let’s raid the fridge.”

After a through investigation of the contents of our refrigerator, I managed to organize a ham sandwich for me and a handful of potato chips for Alex. We sat quietly together on the kitchen floor, each enjoying our midnight snack. One of the best things about being a dog owner is that dogs aren’t complicated. They are content to simply hang out, no conversation needed. Don’t get me wrong, Alex is a great communicator. He definitely holds up his share of any conversation.

By the time I put my plate in the sink, I could tell he was getting sleepy. The walk back to our bedroom was a little slower, and with more determination than eagerness, he jumped up in the middle of the bed. He stretched out and let out a huge sigh of pure doggy peace.

As I closed my eyes, sweet beagle snores were just beginning. . .

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