Hey guys, it’s Ben. My mom was supposed to put my picture here yesterday for all of you to admire, but she was too busy being terrifying.
See, a long time ago, mom and dad brought home this really scary plastic thing. Sometimes they would hang out in the basement, which I sometimes like because it means they look at the big TV for a long time while I get to snuggle on the couch. But then other times, the times I don’t like, they would stand in front of the big TV with this plastic thing that they said was some sort of “guitar.” I don’t know what a “guitar” is, but I do know that this plastic thing was scary. I don’t know if you know, but sometimes things made of plastic that seem harmless, like buckets, will start chasing you with no warning. Plastic just can’t be trusted, you guys.
Anyway, so my parents had this plastic “guitar” thing that sometimes they played with. And I didn’t like it at all. And then yesterday my dad came home with a big box, which usually means trouble. Sure enough, when he opened the box, he took out more plastic things. There was another one of those “guitar” things, and some other bigger, scarier thing that I do not like one bit.
They put all this scary stuff down in the basement, and can you believe they wanted me to hang out down there?
Yeah, no thank you, mom and dad. I got out of that dangerous situation as quickly as possible. And lucky for me, none of that plastic stuff chased me . . . this time.
My parents came to town over the weekend, and we spent Saturday afternoon soaking up the warm Fall weather at the zoo. I’d never been to the zoo here in the Springs, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. Since it’s situated on the side of a mountain, all the pathways and exhibits are surrounded by forest and it’s all very pretty and nature-y. Well, all except the random fake animals scattered on the hillside between exhibits. Those weren’t fooling anyone. Okay, the fake coral snake may have fooled one member of our party who may have gasped and said, with a hint of horror creeping into her voice, “Can’t it get out of there?” (“There” being the non-fenced-in side of the mountain just off the pathway.) But the fake snake certainly wasn’t fooling the chipmunk that was playing carelessly close to it’s not-alive (or sleeping, depending on who you ask) head.
But, anyway, the point of this post isn’t to make fun of the one member of our group who was startled by a fake snake. After all, I, too, have been startled by real-looking fake things. A few years ago, when going through a haunted house with Tim, he said very casually, “Look, a dinosaur.” And then half a second later I turned and screamed when a gigantic T-Rex leaned toward me and roared in my face. Tim still makes fun of me to this day for being so scared after he’d already warned me there would be a dinosaur, and to this day I maintain that nobody warned me the dinosaur would be gigantic, roaring, and moving toward me. I had every right to be scared. And after seeing my mom gasp in shock at the sight of a cement snake, at least I know I come by it honestly. (“It” being my tendency to be easily startled by non-threatening things.)
Oh, wait. I totally didn’t mean to give away that it was my mom who was scared of the fake snake. Um, shoot. Pretend I didn’t tell you that, okay? Let’s see . . . um . . . how can I distract you so you’ll forget?
Quick! Look at Tim making out with this giraffe!
Wednesday morning, 4 AM, I awaken, snuggled up to Smalls, under the impression that she has just licked me. As I slowly gain consciousness, I realize that Smalls has burrowed under the covers and the part of her with which I am snuggled up is her hindquarters . . . her wet hindquarters. And on the sheet, directly beneath her hindquarters, is a large-ish wet spot.
Trying not to panic, I grab my phone, using the light from the screen to illuminate the scene. Tentatively, I lean forward and smell the wet sheet. It doesn’t smell like urine, but what else could a wet spot directly beneath Smalls’s ass possibly be?
By now I’m in full-fledged panic mode, convinced not only that Smalls has peed the bed, but also that I have pee on me and have possibly been sleeping in pee for quite some time. I have gotten out of bed, Smalls knows she’s in trouble, and Tim is slowly starting to wake up and realize that something is amiss. I quickly fill him in on the situation and he sleepily gets out of bed so I can change the sheets.
As I pull the sheet off the mattress, of course, I remember that our mattress liner has torn over the weekend and we’ve just purchased a new one . . . which we have not gotten around to putting on the mattress yet. So now, not only has Smalls peed the bed, I have pee on me, and I’ve possibly been sleeping in pee for quite some time, but also all of this has happened on one of the two nights in nearly 3 years that our mattress has been un-protected, and now there is pee in the mattress. Fan-freaking-tastic.
This is the point where I really start to get upset. It’s 4 AM, there’s pee everywhere, and I am pissed off about having been pissed on. So I think you’ll understand when I tell you that I didn’t react kindly to Tim’s attempt to “lighten the mood” with a joke while I tried to clean the pee out of the mattress. Instead of laughing it off when Tim oh-so-wisely inquired whether I was sure I hadn’t just been drooling everywhere, it’s possible I spat out something to the effect of “Oh, yeah, that’s real @#$% funny when you’re not the one covered in pee.”
We work out our differences, however, and put fresh sheets — and the new mattress cover — on the bed. And then, as we pull the comforter up, Tim notices another big wet spot on top of the comforter. The same comforter beneath which Smalls had been sleeping. “Huh,” we both say. There’s no way Smalls whipped her little butt up on top of the comforter, peed, and then got back under the covers and peed some more. Not when Tim had seen her pee outside right before bed, and the dogs’ nighttime water bowl is still full of water. We now have a very wet mystery on our hands.
Once again we set about smelling the wet spots, convincing ourselves that this wetness definitely is not urine. It is a relief, to be sure, knowing that I haven’t been sleeping in pee and there is not pee in our mattress. But we are still very confused about from where these wet spots have originated. And at 4 AM, neither of us is at our best when it comes to deductive reasoning.
In the end, we decide I must have gotten a drink of water (from the glass I keep on my nightstand) in my sleep and spilled it on the bed without realizing. Spilling the water on Smalls must have woken her up and caused her to shift around, thus waking me up and leading me to discover the wet bed. How I had managed to do all this and replace the empty water glass neatly on the nightstand with absolutely zero recollection of the incident is beyond me, but there is no other explanation we can think of, so we climb back in bed, let Smalls know she’s not in trouble, and try to get in a couple more hours’ sleep before having to get up and go to work.
Sixteen hours later, Tim and I are chilling on the couch, watching TV. Smalls has jumped up onto the back of the couch and fallen asleep in her favorite spot on top of the back cushion. I turn around to look at her in all her sleeping puppy cuteness.
And this is what I see:
Smalls has been sleeping less than ten minutes, and she’s practically drowning in her own drool. In addition to the line of drool you see dripping down the couch cushion, there is an large puddle underneath her snout on top of the cushion.
I turn to Tim and tell him, “I think we’ve solved the mystery.”
And what a relief it is to know what really went on that night. The puddle in which I woke up at 4 AM was a puddle of drool. Smalls must have slept part of the night on top of the comforter and part of the night underneath, leaving pools of drool in her wake all night long. Sure, drool is a little gross, but it’s about 1,000 times less gross than pee, and for that I am glad. It hasn’t been an issue since, which leads me to believe Smalls just had an extra-drooly 24 hours and has now returned to her regular, minimal-saliva state of being.
Several incident-free days later, and we’ve all returned to sleeping easy at night without any fear of waking up in puddles of urine.
Tim: So, what do you think? Are you going to vote to raise the gambling limit from $5 to $100?
Audrey: Wait. What?
Tim: It’s on the ballot. To raise the maximum bet at Colorado casinos.
Audrey: The maximum bet is currently Five Dollars?!
Tim: I think so, yeah.
Audrey: What?! So why don’t we spend more time at Colorado casinos? That’s . . . Five dollars? That’s ridiculous!
Tim: I know, right?
Audrey: So, what you’re telling me is that we could go to Cripple Creek, play the $5 blackjack table, and be considered high rollers?
Tim: I think so, yes.
Audrey: We need to go! Now! Before the maximum is raised!
Tim: Free drinks and comped rooms, here we come!
Ben spends much of his time in the yard racing up and down the length of the fence, barking at the neighbor dogs. The other day I noticed that Ben and the neighbor dogs have been plotting a way to play together without that pesky fence between them. They’ve been digging from both sides of the fence, and they’d dug deep enough that the bottom of the fence was exposed. Another week of uninterrupted digging time and they likely would have had themselves a bona-fide tunnel.
Unfortunately for the dogs, right after taking this picture I used that shovel you see in the background to fill in Ben’s side of the tunnel — tossing in a few of the, uh, “lawn ornaments” that Ben and Smalls leave around the yard in an effort to discourage any future tunneling attempts. Given Ben’s propensity for rolling in poo, I’m not sure this tactic will work, but at least he’ll have to start his side of the tunnel from scratch if he does decide to dig again.
And be sure to come back here on Sunday for the thrilling tale of “Smalls and the Mystery Wetness: Adventures at Four AM.”