Tomorrow is Bastille Day, and Bisou\’s first birthday.
A couple of days ago, in recognition of the coming event, I decided it was time to retire the crate where she had slept–between Wolfie\’s bed and ours–since she first came to us.
When my granddaughter was born, I bought a cradle for her to sleep in during her visits. It\’s made of thick, weathered pine boards, and looks to be quite old. It sits close to the ground on well-worn rockers, and each side has a handle carved into it. But twenty-first century babies are bigger than nineteenth-century ones, and by the time she was two months old, my granddaughter had outgrown the cradle.
I liked that cradle, though, and tried to find a use for it. I thought it would look cool to keep my knitting in it, but my bit of knitting looked paltry inside the cradle. I tried keeping New Yorkers in it, but there was no room beside the sofa for it. So I put it in our bedroom, where it sat looking forlorn as only an empty cradle can.
The minute we got Bisou, I knew I had a potential cradle occupant. But it would have been insane to put her in it before she learned to sleep through the night. Even when she did, I could not be sure that wouldn\’t take it into her head to jump on our bed, and if there is one thing that my ever-tolerant spouse cannot stand, it\’s animals jumping on our bed while he sleeps. So Bisou slept in her crate for many months.
Last week, during the heat wave, I folded a couple of towels on the rug next to Wolfie\’s bed, called Bisou, pointed to the towels and said \”Bed!\” She got on the towels, churned them around as best she could, lay down and went to sleep. And did not jump on our bed in the middle of the night.
That\’s when I knew it was time to try the cradle. I didn\’t think she\’d go for it, especially because of the rocking motion, but I thought it would be cute if I could get her to sleep in the cradle. I lined it with folded towels, dragged it next to our bed, called Bisou, pointed and said \”Bed!\” And she hopped in.
She didn\’t like the neatly folded towels, however, and went to work picking them up and moving them around, then pawing at them–the cradle rocking madly all the time–until she got them just right. Then she curled up and went to sleep.
I can\’t tell you how adorable she looks with her domed head and her big eyes and wavy ears, peering over the side of that cradle. And I can\’t tell you how silly I feel, making my dog sleep in a cradle. I know, you are wondering what will be next–little bonnets, a faux fur coat? Please, I am not one of those dog lovers. Besides, Bisou would never put up with a bonnet.