Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Man’s Best Friend

Not everything I post will be wildly profound. Trust me.

This will beย one of those times. TRUST me.

If you live in my neck of the woods, you experienced thunder storms last night. All through the night. Earth shattering thunder that sounded like it was slowly springing from some massive heavenly coil and when released, its vibrations shook the very foundations of the house. And lightning that lit up the room like violent random laser shows had been dropped from the sky. For someone who can suffer from insomnia, once something shocks me awake, it can be hard for me to get back to sleep at all. But it wasn’t just the storm.

It was the dog.

Who? ME?

Who? ME?

A lot of animals are afraid of storms, Rally wouldn’t be alone in this. But instead of finding a cozy corner to hide in, or sleeping on my bed, she goes to the kids, to stay with them. Yes, it’s sweet. Yes, she’s adorable in her loyalty. Why she does it? Her herding instinct from the border collie part of her? Her labrador part that loves and protects kids? Unsure. But here’s the part that kept the insomniac at the back of the house awake. ALL night.

To get to them, she has to use the bare wooden stairs.

So in the relative quiet, minus the odd ripple of thunder, you hear, “Tap. Tap, TAP TAP, Tap.”

And then nothing. This is the part that sends my spent brain over the edge. Because she’s stopped.


Like a song that takes a random pause when you know the rest of the song needs finishing. She stops. Why? Oh, taking a rest. Gazing out the window across the room. Surveying the kingdom. I DON’T KNOW. But she does. And now before I can try to sleep I have to wait for more tapping as she completes her climb.

But that’s not the best part.

When she gets to the top, she’s stuck on a narrow landing because she discovers both doors to the kids rooms are closed. And this is her own fault. If you don’t close them, she sneaks up there to eat things. Out of the garbage. Out of school bags. Dust bunnies under the bed don’t stand a chance. The border collie part of her built to scavenge for food in case there’s no next meal? The lab part of her that IS simply a walking garbage disposal? I DON’T KNOW.

So now she’s stuck. She’s kid-less. Shelterless. So what is there to do but to come back down.

I’m just falling back to sleep, my friends. And every click of her nails echoes on the stairs. “Tap. TAP. Tap. Tap tap-tap…….” then nothing.

Oh you know it. She’s stopped Half. Way. Down.

Since I can’t stand the charade anymore, and my dysthymic irrational irritation levels are spiking like the shock waves from an earth quake in L.A, I charge out of the bedroom, across the house, and demand that the furry lurking shadow come down the stairs and LAY DOWN.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we do this routine a grand total of five times. Once, she misses a step and crashes into my decorative fern which now looks like IT tried to climb the stairs. Once I whacked my foot on a table leg and had to hop back through the house. Once my husband collided with the door in the hall trying to get to her before she started up the stairs again. But she kept trying the minute she thought we were gone. And the stilted infernal “Tap. Tap. Tapping…” would begin again.

Attempt number five worked like a charm. She finally had success. Why? Because in my sleep addled brainlessness (yep, that’s a word cause… I just used it, that’s why!) I hollered over the thunder “For the love of all that’s good and holy in this world, would someone OPEN YOUR DOOR!!!”

A door creaked open. Shuffling ensued. A giant canine SIGH floated down through the ceiling over head. And it was over. She was where she needed to be. Which was true, because if she and I had crossed paths one more time, I would have lost my mind. No jury in the world would have convicted me, people.

Man’s best friend huh?


  1. Poor lady! I’m glad you were finally able to go back to sleep. Poor puppy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Christine Duncan

      May 13, 2014 at 9:17 AM

      “Poor PUPPY????…” LOL We love her, and they say animals can help with all sorts of illnesses and disorders… but am wondering if chronic depression isn’t one of them, hahahaha.

  2. This sound all very familiar!

  3. Poor you and yes, poor wee pup. lol
    I’m so glad that, for all their other necrosis, being ‘fraidyCATs isn’t one of them.
    All 3 cats slept quite soundly through the storms that raged last night.
    How do I know this? Because with my chronic insomnia, I was awake.
    The good news it, I enjoy a good storm, so while I may not have slept much last night, the more the storm raged, the calmer and more relaxed I felt.
    Enjoy your nap, you deserve it!
    The people rest.

    • Christine Duncan

      May 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      LOL… “The people rest”… love it! Yes, sometimes I envy you your cats ๐Ÿ˜‰ I knew you’d be enjoying that storm, half thought about texting you!

  4. Jennifer Jackson

    May 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I remember the dog my parents had. Murphy. He would sit beside my dad’s side of the bed and pant and shake when there was a storm! It used to drive my dad nuts cause all he would hear was the click click click of his panting! lol He couldn’t sleep when the storms hit! Luckily, my dog doesn’t seem to care about the storms!

    • Christine Duncan

      May 13, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      Yep, the panting would drive me round the bend too, I think, lol! Good times, right Jen? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. I had Bud at my head and Riley at my feet under the covers!!!

  6. Have you considered putting a runner on the bare wooden stairs for such times as these??
    I love your stories Christine!! You make me laugh and sometimes that is all that is needed at that time.
    Thank you for this story!!

    • Christine Duncan

      May 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      LOL… it’s true Lori, we’ve been saying we need a runner now for years!
      Am so glad this story has entertained and given a chuckle, a hearty laugh is like good medicine ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hey Christine take your best friend to munchies and barkery.Enjoy a great coffee and let your pal do some sniffing.Introduce yourself to Rosie,she’s great.It is in the same strip mall as goodness me.Only rules are well behaved and no peeing on the floor.Those rules don’t apply to you.Lana

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