Oh, Sugarplums…

At Christmas time, about the same time the fake tree comes out, the lights go up and the Santa Frog gets to his spot on the mantel…my pets develop a case of the Sugarplums. 

It’s similar to Full Moon Syndrome – they just start acting crazy. Well, crazIER. Pets that adopted in any Johnson (or Beatty) household quickly learn that the line to unacceptable behavior is very, very far away.  Pretty much anything short of taking a dump on the carpet is fine.  And that is only not-okay if it stems from some sort of canine revenge. 

Okay, you’re thinking, it’s not December.  Who cares.  Because at 4am this morning, I was awoken by a singing collie dog.  With whatever is the Easter equivalent of Sugarplums.

Let me lay out the scenario for you.  I’m in Myrtle Beach with my parents – and bedtime means sleeping on the pullout couch/bed.  It’s a full size bed – super comfy – not your typical pullout couch that is totally uncomfortable and bumpy.

The only hitch in the bed is that when we are all together, we have three dogs (two collies and a beagle). And two of those dogs (collies) get super excited when they see an extra full size bed available. 

I’m pretty used to the company, actually. It always starts with Hacker.  Hacker is a 90 lb tri-color collie.  Think Lassie, but totally different colors, twice as big and not interested in Timmy or the well.

What does Hacker love?  A sleepover. She’ll wake up in the night, remember I’m here, and ‘hop’ into bed.  Imagine being jumped on by an errant rhinocerous.

For some reason, last night was a bit more animated.  Hence the Easter-Time-Sugarplums…Eggplums?  Bunnyplums?  Whatever they are…at 4am this morning…Hacker began her summer concert series. 

Hacker’s shows usually begin around 6:30am…they start with a doggy whisper and escalate into a full out morning song about her joy at being awake and still living with her rescue family.  (Hacker came to my parents after a breeder dumped her for killing her last litter of puppies…after he allowed her to breed too many litters in a given time).

A. Hacker starts everyday with a song. B. I am NOT a morning person.  C. It is actually impossible to wake up cranky when you have a singing doggy at your side.

Here’s the kinds of positions Hacker typically takes when sleeping.  There was very little this this morning.  By 5:00am…Hacker had moved to the back of the camper into my parent’s bed.  Where she went back to sleep…until my dad made the mistake of petting her.
Which started another round of song.
Eventually, of course, Hacker had herself so excited and riled up to start the day (again…it is not even 5:30am)…that an impromptu trip outside was needed. 

Which lead us to the realization that the early singing was actually more about a doggy bellyache than a morning concert series (do you need details? I think not).

So, now here’s the question of the day…what “I’m-not-feeling-so-good” dog expresses her angst with a happy song? 

My beagle slinks by the door when she’s feeling out of sorts – attempting to press herself through the crack.  The other collie contorts her face into a very sad/depressed/woe-is-me face.

Not Hacker….she’ll just sing it out.

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