She circles once, twice, three times and then plops down in the crook made by the angle of my legs. She draws in a deep breath and lets out a long exhale. It’s time for bed. After a long day, this routine prepares me for sleep. For some people it’s white noise, or lavender vapor billowing from a diffuser, or meditation. For me, it’s the feeling of Josie’s back pressed against mine. Her breath regulates mine. It lowers my blood pressure, slows down the thoughts in my mind. Despite the crowded space of two adults and a lab in a queen sized bed, her presence brings me comfort and peace.
As of late, Josie’s been moving more slowly in the evenings. She sheepishly slips into the laundry room at bedtime to sleep on her dog bed. My heart is sad. The bed feels strangely empty without our 70 pound lab to fill the open spaces. Is she preparing me for the inevitable? She is almost 11. I don’t even want to thing about it.
Last night as I was preparing to go up for bed, she was standing by the stairs. Come on, Josie, bedtime. She followed me up. My heart was happy. I will savor the times I have left with the bed hog.