Sleepless with Sammy


Illustration by Jenny Lamont

In which DD wonders if she is the only one awake doing tug-o-war with a mad Morkie in the dead of night

Anyone familiar with my previous diary excerpts or who follows my evening ramblings on our Facebook page, Happy Tails magazine, will already know that our sweet (well, when she feels like it) Sammy is a “bit” of a clothing thief; a hoarder of note who can’t sleep unless she’s cuddled up to something – preferably an item previously worn by one of the humans in the cottage.

It started from the day we brought her home – possibly, although I will never admit this to The Dad, enforced (and maybe even inadvertently encouraged) by me literally removing bits of clothing and giving them to her… only because I thought it was so cute to see her clamber off with a large item of clothing in her mouth.

Clever Sammy never, ever damages any bits (except for that one time that Sheba got involved and a sock tragically lost its life)… No, she only “captures” it and carries it off somewhere for safe-keeping. This can be in her basket, under the couch – which she sees as her “lair” – or sometimes brought onto the bed for that little extra “mommy protection” from the other animals. I’ve been known to wake up to a discarded pair of underpants carefully placed – a little too close for comfort – near my face; one time I pulled the duvet up and had to duck for the surprise slip-slop sandal that nearly clobbered me on the head! Incidentally, the other fur kids don’t give a damn at all about items of clothing or even understand all the fuss and possessive growling emanating from Devil Dog (aka Sammy).

Just last night on going to bed I had generously selected ONE comfort t-shirt (this was The Dad’s favourite and fairly new t-shirt… but shhh, I won’t tell if you don’t) for Sammy and had carried it upstairs and lovingly put it on Sammy’s little bed. When she didn’t follow, and hadn’t arrived by the time I got out of the shower and hopped into bed, I realised that she was far too distracted by keeping guard over the treasure trove of clothing she’d already collected from the boys downstairs!

Arrgggh. I battle to sleep without her and then find myself sleeping with one ear open. At 03h00 (I remember this because I knew that I only had three more hours to sleep) I heard her totter upstairs… She couldn’t find a perfect spot to sleep (Sheba had stolen her place and, seemingly, it was too hot on the bed) so she decided to go BACK downstairs, but this time with aforementioned t-shirt, which she had PULLED away from under Sheba (no mean feat for a small but incredibly determined little Morkie!).

I lay and listened to her making her way downstairs, holding my breath and willing her safely down with every step. But, alas, she got only half way and then got cold feet. I don’t blame her… she’s only pint-sized and has a Dad-sized t-shirt in her mouth, which is dragging over her two front feet with which she has to master the staircase! 

So, I was forced to heave myself out of bed and gingerly make my way to her (those stairs are scary steep). Then we had The T-shirt Tussle. She refuses to let go. I refuse to let go. So there we are are, stuck on the step, in the dark, in the middle of the night (well, close to it). I eventually had to grab her little beard and forcibly remove the t-shirt from her mouth. Then I held onto her collar (this is important as she would simply super-dog after the t-shirt if I hadn’t) and tossed the t-shirt down to the bottom of the stairs… I counted to 3 and THEN let Miss Muffet go. She had no problem hotfooting it down there to “save” her t-shirt.

In the pool of gloom at the bottom of the steps all I could see was a little white dog shape and a whole lot of frumpled white t-shirt being dragged off to her lair to join the other odds and sods placed there by her – the odd faded slip-slop, one high-heel shoe (they see more of Sammy than my feet), a bedraggled ball, some smelly socks, a much-chewed rope toy and sometimes even a lost pair of underpants. Sammy holds back at nothing! When we first adopted The Twins (Arty Cat and brother Lewie), we worried that she would “kitnap” them and put them under there too.

And then I could go back to bed. Grrmmmppff. James can’t believe the shenanigans during the night (easy for him from under the cosy duvet) and he is of the notion that Sammy is just attention-seeking. LOL! While part of this might be true, I have to be there for her. And I know, I know – I AM putty in her paws.

Next time, I’m limiting Sammy Bear to ONE comfort item AND offering it to her to keep downstairs.