Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Withdrawal is a Mutha

Yesterday I started to draft a witty, endearing entry on babies and puppies and the idiosyncrasies of the Unitarian Church (We prayed to the Easter bunny. The heck?).

I didn’t get very far. And today. . . .well, today my brain has crashed from a combination of withdrawal and sleep deprivation. Because once again, I am on a diet. And because puppies aren’t always all that cute.

Let’s start with the diet, shall we? This time, I’m trying a modified version of South Beach. Modified because, quite frankly, I don’t see the purpose in giving up fruit for two weeks. I think the reasoning has something to do with insulin levels. But, well, fruit is good for you. It’s high in fiber and vitamins and low in calories and fat. And it’s yummy. And if I’m going to give up just about everything that makes life worth living, I’m letting myself eat some damn fruit.

Feel free to place bets on when I fall off this diet.

As for the sleep deprivation, that’s courtesy of Rowen, who is fearless in a thunderstorm but becomes a basketcase if a gentle breeze rustles the cord to the vertical blinds. Rowen simply refuses to sleep with the bedroom window open. I refuse to hand over my entire paycheck to the electric company. And Austin right now? Is hot. We’re supposed to come close to, if not hit, 100 today. Which means that even at night, the apartment is stuffy unless I open a window or turn on the air conditioning.

Besides being neurotic, Rowen is spoiled. My fault, I know. But she’s gotten used to getting into bed with me at night. She usually doesn’t stay there all night---and sometimes she doesn’t bother getting in at all---but she expects to be invited up regardless. But when it is 90 degrees and I’m getting only the slightest breeze through the window, I’m not inclined to invite her or any other warm body into my bed. It’s too hot and my bed is too small.

So with not being invited into bed and having the window open, Rowen was in a mood. First, she tried staring me down. I’ve learned to resist that trick. Then she tried a sneak attack by squeezing herself under the nightstand (which is the same height as her) and through the approximately six-inch gap between the top of the nightstand and the mattress. Which she did manage to do. How, I will never understand. She, however, did not manage the “sneak” part of the attack. One, because she plotted her attack with her nose resting less than an inch from mine, so I could kind of smell her coming. Two, because although she apparently possesses more gymnastic skill than I thought, she does not have a bit of grace and set both the mattress and the nightstand rocking as she wriggled up.

Her triumph was short lived, as I pushed her straight off the other side of the bed. So then she started with the pawing, wherein she only puts half her body on the bed (because that’s not really breaking the rules, right?) so that she can paw at my arms and head, apparently believing that I do want to let her into the bed, I’ve just misunderstood her earlier attempts and if she just makes her intentions very clear, I’ll give her the “up” command. Instead, this got her a time out in the crate.

After being released from time out, Rowen finally gave up on getting into the bed but decided that if she couldn’t rest peacefully in the bed, neither would I. So she started a maniacal pacing. She would start each round with a drink of water from the bowl in her crate at the foot of the bed. Then went to the sliding glass doors in the living room (where she had to bang into the blinds each time) then back into the bedroom, into the bathroom, then past the bed again to her cowering corner (a tiny, barely accessible corner of the bedroom, blocked in by books and the nightstand and nowhere near big enough for her to be comfortable but apparently safe from the scary breeze), where she would sit for a second or two and then repeat the entire sequence. She did this for at least half an hour. I tried to ignore her; I even took her collar off so I wouldn’t have to listen to the jangle of her tags.

But, eventually, of course, I relented. I shut the window and turned on the a/c. About two and a half hours after I initially went to bed.

Any bets on whether I learned my lesson or whether I’ll spend another two hours trying to discipline Rowen only to give in to her demands? Maybe if I give her a peanut-butter-filled Kong right before bed . . . .


At 1:30 PM , Blogger Frema said...

Love the title of this post. Hope you have better luck with Rowen tonight.

At 1:56 PM , Blogger LostInTX said...

How about giving her some benadryl to knock her out ? :)

And I refuse to follow a diet where I have to give up fruits. That's just silly. Eat away!

At 1:59 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

I've been on the diet for 36 hours and I'm already trying to rationalize pudding as okay (the fat-free, sugar-free kind is low cal but still has some carbs).

At least the really restrictive part only lasts two weeks. Then it gets a little more normal. Like allowing fruit again.

At 2:04 PM , Blogger Liz said...

Hehe... dogs can be very sneaky and manipulative!

If you give her a peanut butter Kong before bed, though, you'll be treated to the smacking and slurping sounds all night. Or is Alex the only one who becomes a little piggy when the peanut butter Kong comes out?

At 2:14 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

I can sleep through the slurping sounds as long as she's on the floor. And she's really not that noisy about it. Rowen is surprisingly delicate when it comes to food.

At 4:04 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

What's a Kong again?

I could never give up fruit. I think cutting out dessert and alcohol is much more feasible.

At 4:05 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

My dog used to sleep curled up on my pillow :) Then she started sleeping in my mom's room at some point.

At 4:09 PM , Blogger Mike said...

Dogs are way too smart. So are cats. My one cat Jasper has his routines if he doesn't get his way, chief among them climbing up on my chest and staring at me with the look of his puma ancestors (yes, he's that big). Tends to annoy me more than scare me...

As for diets, argh, why? Cut out the sugars, especially refined ones, drink as much water as you can stand, and try to get some moderate exercise a few times a week. It'll take a little bit to kick in, but when it does, the results will come thick and fast, as they say.

At 5:10 PM , Blogger The Phoenix said...

Any diet that cuts fruits is not good. You're doomed to fail, so you're doing the right thing. As for the pudding...that's not going to kill you, but it won't fill you up either.

When all else fails, crank up the A/C and get some sleep.

At 5:18 PM , Blogger Lora said...

That thuderstorm last night must have really set her off.

I thought you were going to give dieting a rest for a while? Really! Just work on improving your regular eating habits a little bit at a time and it will do wonders.

You should trust me on thins after all I lost 20 lbs in just one week. ='D


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