Una is keeping watch. She takes her duties as Nurse Dog very seriously, and lately, this has been a never-ending responsibility. Every time I wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and struggle out of bed, she is next to me, giving me concerned looks. When I wince in pain, she expresses her sympathy. When I sit back heavily, moaning from gas pains, she gently licks my hand.
And now, on top of all my pregnancy-induced symptoms, I've caught a cold. All night, she stayed as close as possible, alert to my every cough. She pressed her doggie face close to mine, as if to say, "There, there. You'll be all right." I'm sure if she could go to the kitchen for me and get me a glass of orange juice, she'd gladly comply.
Una knows that, without me to feed her, walk her and love her, she'd be lost. And as my humble servant, she feels the burden of making sure I'm all right. As I type this, momentarily upright and cough-free, she naps nearby on the couch. Well-deserved rest for a faithful companion. Rest assured, though, if I but hiccuped, her ears would raise and turn, like a satellite dish, to find the source of the alert. In fact, as I typed that just now, I coughed, and she immediately turned to face me, giving me another of her concerned looks.
The stress is getting to her: she's been obsessively licking her paws. The vet prescribed a low dose of Benadryl, believing it to be allergy-related. However, Una has also been licking the couch, the bed, the carpet, anything nearby, in an apparent attempt to comfort herself. I asked the vet if she might be anxious on my behalf, and the vet said it was a possibility.
Unlike some other dogs I've known in my lifetime, Una has always made peace with her subservient position. Not only in our household but with other dogs, she is happy to yield, glad to make peace with her provocateurs. Even when our kitty, Luke, bops her on the nose, she responds with mere astonishment, never a bark, growl or aggressive movement. She's a lover, not a fighter.
It's nice to have such a companion: Sancho Panza to my Don Quixote, willing to tilt at windmills with me and accompany my life's adventures. I am certain that, when we bring our son home (and after we take precautions to introduce him properly), she will as eagerly defend him, monitor his young progress from infant to toddler, kiss away his tears and smile at his laughter.
Always alert, always compassionate, always loving, my faithful Nurse Dog keeps watch.
Pregnancy and colds, especially when combined, make me sappy.