The Water Bed

As I awoke this morning, the ceiling fan wafting the soft air, the birds chirping, every joint in my body ached from yesterday’s marathon tilling the soil for the vegetable garden.  I imagined how nice it would be to be floating on an air mattress the Caribbean, the waves gently rocking me, and then I remembered The Water Bed.

When we bought our first bed in the late 60’s the water bed was very trendy.  Many people disliked the wave action whenever you rolled over, but I loved it.

My afghan hound (I adored that dog, even as I brushed her every other day) reveled in taking a running leap onto the bed to create giant waves.

Res ipsa loquitur – the thing speaks for itself- was a clown.  I took her through dog training classes at Reid Park in the evening, a delight in itself.  Res knew that if she acted up, I’d jerk the choke chain.  So she would misbehave, then jump up and hug me, so that I couldn’t yank.  I had always been a good student myself, and was embarrassed when the instructor would bark You with the afghan!

The temperament of the typical Afghan Hound can be aloof and dignified, but happy and clownish when playing. The breed has a reputation among dog trainers of having a relatively low “obedience intelligence” as defined by author Stanley Coren. The Afghan Hound has many cat-like tendencies and is not slavish in its obedience as are some other breeds.

She was also a thief.  (In Afghanistan they were often taught to steal.)

They amazed us by the … with which they eluded the arrows we sped at them.   At night they would come in silence, like great cats, and (having been trained in this art by their roguish masters), they would loose the horses’ tethers and lead them away.  Zafar-nama, Sarafu ‘d-Din, Calcutta, 1887

She would quietly stand on her hind legs and grasp a loaf of bread from the counter when my back was turned as I was unpacking groceries, sneak from the room, and dash out her dog door, to add the latest purloined item to the hole that she had dug in the yard.

Once, when my parents were visiting, my father said I know I put my glasses case here on the table.  Yup, it was in Res’ hole.

After our return from the Peace Corps we bought two dogs from the Humane Society, an adult Australian shepherd (Tilly, from the Aussie song Waltzing Matilda) and a spaniel mix puppy (Cejas, eyebrows in Spanish, as she was black with large golden eyebrows).  Tilly was a quiet sneak, but Cejas was an insecure klutz.  Tilly would gently creep upon the waterbed, with not a ripple.  Then Cejas, wanting to be on the bed too, would bound up, creating massive waves.

Tilly would dig under the fence to visit her friend the horse down the street.  But Cejas would start barking No don’t go No don’t go, alerting us, and then scoot under the fence to run with her friend.

Cejas, being a spaniel, would fetch a tennis ball as a puppy.  But Tilly, as her surrogate mother, and a shepherd, would bark at her not to fetch.  When our very young daughter would throw a ball for Tilly, Tilly would run to it and herd it.  Alissa got a lot of exercise running to the ball to throw it again.  And Cejas leaned not to fetch.

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One Response to “The Water Bed”

  1. Jim Says:

    We have had 5 of the Belgian Sheep Dog breed. These working dog breeds are easy to train and strive their hardest to please. They are not for everyone, since they are hyperactive and regard strange adults as potentially evil. All 5 of them had noble character. After more than a decade of faithful companionship, their loss was the loss of family member.

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