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Saturday, January 30, 2010

One Dog Night

There's an old Australian story that when the bushmen got cold sleeping out in the open, they would curl up with a dog to generate warmth. Colder nights required two dogs to keep toasty, and the absolute freezing ones were called 'three dog nights'. Last night in New York City would have been considered such a night, with the lows dipping well into the teens. Thankfully we have modern heat and plumbing to take the sting out of the temperature, but it was still bitterly cold.

Now I'm a finicky sleeper to begin with. I get accustomed to one bed and then can't sleep well in anything but that bed. So pet sitting, while a great source of income and a nice mini-vacation from Queens, generally takes its toll on my energy. Every owner has different requirements for their dog when they sleep. Some dogs require a lift up onto the bed, others have their beds on the floor next to the human bed, and still more spend the nights in their cozy crates. My current charge is content in either his crate or on the bed. Since I'm such a light sleeper, I opted for the crate, at least for the first part of the night.

I am used to waking up around 5am to feed my cat (she's high maintenance) so I was up, and figured the pup might want to run out and relieve himself. We bundled up and braved the cold only for as long as it took for the pooch to pee and poop. When we got back, I figured he'd enjoy cuddling up on the bed, so I invited him in the bedroom. I was not aware that whippets are burrowers! He nosed right on down into my knees and made himself quite comfortable under the comforter. Within 3 minutes, I was completely overheated and sweating. How is it possible that this skinny little dog made practically of skin and bones could generate SO much heat? But alas, he'd made himself at home and who was I to disturb his slumber? I made do.

So out in the open bush of Australia, maybe you need three dogs curled around you on a night like the last, but here in Manhattan, with a down comforter and a clanking radiator, one dog is plenty, thank you very much.


  1. how many dogs does callie count as?

  2. she's 2.5 dogs. or maybe 3. her head counts as at least 1 dog.