Since the nite I came home with Bronte’s prognosis, she and I have slept on the couch together. The first nite, it was just me and Bronte. Since then it’s been all three of us, Bronte, me and Lana.
First, Bronte stopped sleeping in Lana and my bed because the new mattress was too high. Then a few months ago Bronte stopped going upstairs after she injured her knee badly. (Her legs, hips and back are all a bit ‘crickety’ kinda like me).
The couch is one of those big overstuffed ‘L’ shaped couches, and the seating isn’t very high. Each end has a ‘lazy boy’ stretch out type chair. Lana sleeps on one end; I sleep on the other end. Bronte starts out sleeping kinda in the middle, and then inches up my back side.
All these years, I’ve had the comfort of Bronte’s snore. The rhythmic soft sound that would remind me that I was never alone. She would curl up and push up just in the right part of my back, so when I would be in those magical moments of semi-consciousness I knew I had the comfort of someone loving in bed with me.
When Bronte first came to live with me, she was an abused little puppy. Terrified of her own shadow, she wouldn’t come out from under a chair. She would simply hide under any furniture possible. Because she was so scared, and because she wouldn’t come to anyone, I thought to sleep downstairs on the little pullout couch in the tv room. I went about getting the couch ready to sleep on. As soon as I crawled into bed, Bronte scrambled under to furthest corner against the wall. There she stayed. Every so often I would drop my head down thinking I would find her slinking my way, curiously. She would have nothing of the sort. Shivering and quivering, she remained stead fast in her corner. Stoicly, I found her in the exact place in the morning. We slept this way for what turned into weeks. Bronte was no push over that was for sure. Little did I know what lay ahead.
So I went about each nite ignoring her and climbing into sleep. I left her treats and toys at the edge of the bed. I told her goodnite. I told her she was safe. I told her I loved her. Then I went to sleep. Eventually I would wake and find the treats gone, or maybe a toy moved. It was a good while, but one morning I woke to find her at the end of this pull out couch. I held my breath and didn’t want to move. I knew when she heard me, she would bolt back under the bed. Still for that moment on the couch, she was a warm and loving dog, safe in her sleep. Bronte was snoring.