I heard the rat a tat flap of my private post box (not a euphemism in this instance dearest pals, fret not, I remain secure and rattle proof thus far in middle age) which was installed due to the sensitive nature of some of my correspondence. I can’t recount the full horror when Hector inadvertently opened my subscription of ‘Clackers for the Uninhibited’, which was unfortunately the collectors edition with full colour photographs…it being the ‘Year of the Clacker’ of course. He sidled away with a furtive glint in his beady little eyes and wasn’t seen again for several hours.
I forced open a sleepy eye, slowly unfurled a limb from my duvet nest and extracted the contents. On opening my missive I discovered it was actually an internal summons…an official meeting had been called at Spindle Towers and attendance was obligatory. These meetings did not happen very often and they normally signalled that some household regulation had been breached in an audacious or unseemly manner. Previous reasons had been trivial matters such as:
1 mashed potato heat sealed to the kitchen ceiling
2. incorrectly loaded dishwasher
3. wiping sardine smeared furry chops on the duvet
Naturally I knew that my own conscience was as clear as consomme, so I emerged in a jaunty fashion and trotted through to see who was in the deep doo doo this time. Hector peered down through his executive pince nez at me, and I thought how creased and thoroughly jaded he looked. The Tiny Terror, who was doing an inelegant faceplant in her bowl of coffee, had a similarly frazzled countenance. My best guess was that realising how they had been short changing me on snacks, they were overawed with guilt and were about to make unfettered reparations in the nom nom department.
I was wrong. The cause of the meeting was me. Things were rather sombre (at times they were weeping gently with fatigue) as it turns out that I have developed a new nocturnal habit that has been waking them at night. I flicked through a number of scenarios in my mind… precarious tennis ball storage?
I was guilty of extreme sleep flumping. Naturally, as a self respecting hound I had eventually wheedled myself onto the bed, and it now seems that I had taken to standing up, shuffling over to either one of the loons, then dropping on my side, on top of them.
Think a cross between Big Daddy and a felled oak, this is the impact that a 23kg Spindlehound can have. I had no idea I had been doing this. Apparently it was utterly terrifying and also quite non-conducive to sleep. After giving it some considerable thought, I begrudgingly agreed that it would be stressful and discombobulating, and it was very unfortunate that it may have mirrored the effects of a major cardiac event for the receiving ‘flumpee’.
I listened carefully as I had to admit that this was not the way to conduct oneself at night. I had always pictured myself at rest as being graceful, serene, practically beatific in fact. There was an alarming turn of events when they said they were going to zip me up in a sleeping bag, or I was to be bundled into the wardrobe and hang upside down like a hound bat. The mental combat began and Sister Josephine was called over for tea and to act as an unofficial umpire and general calming influence. She was also rather forthright when she had her hands on a rolling pin.
Some time later, Sister J witnessed me signing a promise on the back of an envelope that I would cease to launch myself unexpectedly between the hours of 10pm and 7am. Trauma over, I scuttled away and left them both snoring and dribbling on the kitchen table. Sister Josephine was last seen ferreting through ‘Clackers for the Uninhibited’…
Pip pip my glorious pals