Saturday, March 17, 2007

A boy and his dog

It's 1 a.m. My wife and I are about to tuck in. It's a cold, snowy night. The kids are all asleep, the dog's been walked and is curled up happily on his dog bed beside the rocking chair in our room. Suddenly, we hear bumping from somewhere in the house.

I get up to see what's up and find our youngest son carrying a box of kleenex out of the bathroom. Matter-of-factly, he tells me he ran out of kleenex in his room and needed a new box. I follow him as he walks quietly back to his room.

He's been running a fever for most of the evening, and he's so congested that we can hear him breathing from the next room. The dog is now awake and has wandered into Noah's room, worried about his newfound buddy. He stands up on his hind legs and places his paws on the bed, stretching his little head to sniff out the little boy he only met three days earlier. He's already been in and out of Noah's room for much of the evening. Such an empathetic dog.

I hover over our son as I tuck him back into bed, asking him how he's feeling and ensuring he's not any worse than he was when he fitfully fell asleep earlier in the evening. We're all worried about him. His breathing is labored, and he can't fall back asleep. He talks to the dog, and that brings him a small amount of comfort on a cold, dark and uncomfortable night. He's worried that Frasier won't be comfortable on his floor. Such an empathetic boy.

I know that as soon as I head back to my room, the dog will follow me and little man will be alone. I quickly head back to our room and tell my wife my plan before I grab an extra pillow and comforter and return to Noah's room. The dog follows my every step.

I lie down on the floor and cover myself with the comforter. Frasier heads back to the bed to give Noah a final sniff before he plops himself down on the edge of my comforter and falls asleep. I talk to Noah in the dark until he drifts off, then I listen to him and the dog breathing in his darkened room.

A few hours later, I awake to find Noah has climbed down from his bed. He's now lying, blanket, pillow and all, across my chest. The dog is lying across my legs. I don't dare move lest I wake them up.

Morning comes and Noah wakes up with a smile. Still congested, still feverish, but happy that he's gotten to camp out on the floor with his dad and his dog. Frasier wakes up to find a six-year-old patting and hugging him. I get up very slowly to avoid further injury to my creaky and sore body. I wonder when I got this old. Then I conclude that a lousy night's sleep is worth it if it allows a sad little guy to have his dog nearby when he's feeling sick.

Parenthood...

Your turn: If you've got any sleeping-on-the-floor tips, I'm all ears. I may be doing this again in the very near future.

One more thing: If you're just joining us, click here and here for more background on our newly-arrived canine. I've also created a new label for any pet-themed entries, entitled, interestingly enough, Act of dog.

35 comments:

MorahMommy said...

I know you had an uncomfortable night sleeping on the floor...while I was sleeping in our bed. (A first for me as they usually wake me up!) But that's what memories are made of.

I know that our little man is still not well, but he happily told me how you and Frasier slept in his room. It made him so happy. It will be a moment you will both always remember.

Anna said...

Already Frasier is a most vital addition to the Levy household....I hope that your son is better soon. :)

Becky68 said...

Yes Sleeping on the floor is not comfortable & is worse the morning after, but you're right, your son will remember it.
Sounds like you've got your hands full with the new dog too!
Michele sent me.

Awareness said...

Carmi.......your words and your photo captured such a loving scene, and one I can relate to with compassion.

The cold/flu bug has recently visited my house. My son for the first time in a long time had a bout of croup on top of it. He's older now, so it's not so startling in the middle of the night when the "barking" and laboured breathing happens. But, still.....he is VERY close by when he is sick.

When he was a small I would often cuddle up with him in a large comfortable chair.....sitting up, with the humidifier blasting on us. Somehow we'd get through the middle of the night scary bits. My husband has also spent time on the floor, tucked on chairs and couches with both of our children.

And you know what? The dog is always right there........fretting and comforting.

ps.....the fever lifts after a couple of days.....and cough is a barky one, but then it does go away. That's what I just experienced with my family.

take care.........chances are, you're next :)

carli said...

Blow-up air bed?
Sleeping bag?
Another dog you can leave in his room?

I hope your guy feels better soon. . . and that it's not (gasp) an allergy.

daisy said...

When my daughter was small we had a chow chow that couldn't rest if she were sick. He'd run from her room to ours to make us get up to check on her when she sniffle or cough.

Stacy said...

air mattress. :)

kenju said...

I suggest an air mattress...lol. It will make it a little more comfy for you. You brought back memories; I've done that a lot in the past. What about a vaporizer? and some nasal spray?

kenju said...

Here I am again. As you were leaving a comment for me - I was here!

It was a California Pizza Kitchen brand, Carmi, and they are really good. I don't know if you can get them, but try and see if they are available near you. They are much less greasy than pizzeria fare.

utenzi said...

Michele sent me over this time, Carmi.

Your new addition is cute as Hell. I love him. The thing I like most about Schnauzers is an odd thing--they usually have a little involuntary growl when you pick them up by the midsection. Cute as can be.

I had plenty of experience at sleeping on the floor when I got divorced. She got the bed. :-( My girlfriend suggests buying an air mattress but I think just a closed cell mat for a sleeping bag would do the trick. Even better would be your son getting better real fast so you can stay in your own bed. Good luck to you and MorahMommy in this!

Shari said...

I couldn't help smiling while reading the whole post. I am so glad that you've finally found a new addition to your family. I still have to think about getting another one.

I'm only 19, too young (in our conservative society) to have a kid, but I've had my share of sleeping-on-the-floor moments. I don't have any tips I can give except to make yourself as most comfortable as possible.

I hope your youngest son gets well soon. I'm actually being attacked by the same virus. :)

Irish Church Lady :) said...

Great story and memory for you.

I say just let Frasier sleep on his bed.

The last time I remember sleeping on the floor in my kids room was when my then 17 year old daughter consumed too much alcohol and was puking all night. I was concerned about alcohol poisoning or her choking. I called the Children's Hospital poison control and they said just to monitor her. That I did. Sorry - don't mean to put a damper on your post! LOL That's what memories are made of!

Kaycee said...

I hope that Noah is feeling much better!
Frazier looks like his is a wonderful family dog. My uncle and aunt have two Miniature Schnauzers named Hans and Heidi. I just love to visit my "cousins" because they always seem to remember me. Of course, I play with them and give them lots of attention.

Tracy said...

What a dog! What a dad!

MorahMommy said...

Hopefully you won't be sleeping on the floor tonight...both little boy and puppy should sleep through the night.

Here via michele, but I would be here anyway!

Karen said...

You're a good Dad; Frasier is very lucky.

Blond Girl said...

Carmi!!!!!

First, I have to comment to your post. You remind me of my Champs - a daddy with a heart bigger than his need for comfort. Bless you for staying with Noah - and may he feel 100% soon.

OK, now I am free to continue on with my heart attack in session. I was playing meet-n-greet when I made an amazing discovery. I met morahmommy. Here, almost verbetim, is the comment I left at her site (please forgive me in advance for leaving such a long comment). Ready? Hang on!
--------
Oh. My. Gawsh!!!!

OK, this might seem odd, but follow along with me here.

You know the B.C. comic? If you've read it with any regularity, then you've seen when a rock stands up and cries out something like "Clams gots feet!!!" (for an example, go here: http://www.comics.com/creators/bc/archive/bc-20070214.html

OK, so I came here, bidden by Michele to go and say hi. I enjoyed your post and thought, "what a nice blog. I think I will bookmark this one and read some more now. I love reading mommy blogs and she seems cool." So, I continued reading. I was reading this post and you said "Carmi". Now, I have only heard that name ONCE ever in my life. My eyes flew to your profile. London! Onterio! I threw up my arms and exclaimed "Carmi's Wife gots a blog!!!!" - much like the rock in B.C.

OK, by now I know you think I'm cracked, but I can't tell you how cool this is. I've admired Carmi's blog for two years now and wondered about the woman who is his homeside support and so obviously a wonderful wife and mother - and I found you completely by accident!

OK, so I've made a complete fool of myself, but I can't help it. I love meeting people and I adore love stories and I enjoy behing able to find both halves of a whole.

But of course, I have to make a total complete fool of myself, so now I'm going over to Carmi's place to have a cow over there. See ya!

MissMeliss said...

You are such a great father - you almost make me wish Fuzzy and I had kids.

And what a sweet dog. He knows, as you soon will, that puppy kisses make everything better.

caramaena said...

Such an empathetic dad.

I'd suggest either air mattress or if you ever go camping, perhaps look at getting a swag.

srp said...

I had this picture in my head all night; a small boy, his dad and his dog all bundled together on the floor asleep. You cannot create a better memory. Frasier is already his dog, his companion, his faithful friend and his protector. And your little boy has given him what he wanted the most, love and hugs. Frasier will make being sick less traumatic and getting well easier for him. Somehow I don't think you'd change any second of that night on the floor (except to ease your son's fever and congestion).

I predict that Frasier will soon be a fixture at your son's bedside (if not in the bed with him). They have both found new best friends.

I hope your son is feeling better soon.

Linda said...

Air mattress....that's all I can say.

I kept one inflated when we were in Germany, as the floors were all wooden. My son would get REALLY sick, and I needed to stay close by to help him (and hold the bucket). I spent too many nights on his floor.

If you don't have the space for an air mattress, I guess several blankets or a sleeping bag as padding beneath you might work....

Frasier sounds like he is going to be such a great addition to the family. And kudos to you for not waking them up!

reddirtroad said...

Carmi, I was going to remark on what a great father you are, but all the other have said so first. Your family is very lucky.

Carolyn said...

That was beautiful, Carmi!

Beverly said...

Thank you for sharing such wonderful moments with us. You describe them so well.

AverageMom said...

That is truly a beautiful story, Carmi.
I slept on my daughter's floor for a few weeks once, and the only advice I can give you is to put a few blankets UNDER you, to help with the morning creakiness.
And love every second of it, because it only takes a weekend to get over the lack of sleep, but the memory will be there for a long time.

craziequeen said...

Keep a mattress under Noah's bed, so you can pull it out when you want to sleep on his floor.....:-)

And, of course, the new doggie is a very important new ingredient in the Levy recipe for family life....

cq
Michele sent me this time....

Deana said...

You are such a compassionate person and parent. I've been reading to catch up on Frasier's arrival in your life. It seems that he has become a huge part of your lives very quickly. They have a way of doing that. I am so sorry about your son's illness. I hope he is much better soon and that you guys continue to bond with your new addition!

Sharlene said...

Thanks for this post, Carmi! It really made my day.

Sara said...

Love this story! Made me remember sleepless nights growing up when I would go into my parents room with my duvet & curl up next to the dog bed, amazing how a dog can make you feel better!

Beverly said...

By the way, I love the title of the topic, Act of Dog. It took my a couple of minutes...dyslexic, you know. :-)

IndyPindy said...

Awwww, I wish your wife had been able to take a picture of you three asleep on the floor! It sounds like Frasier fits in to your family beautifully!

photowannabe said...

Inspite of your son's sickness you managed to tell the story in a very warm and interesting way. I'll echo everyone else and say ...Super Dad and I'm sure your son's Hero.

Shephard said...

I think the empathetic boy got it from his empathetic dad.
~S

ChaCha said...

awww Carmi you warm my heart

Terri said...

My children were all raised with dogs and I feel it contributed a lot to making them the responsible, compassionate, empathetic people they are today. Well done on your part, Dad, for providing that for your children.