Every evening, after dinner and just as twilight is settling in over the skies of Indianapolis, my husband and I are forcibly gathered together in the living room. I have to abandon whatever project I’m working on upstairs in the office, and Tim is no longer able to pay attention to whichever of his (goofy) TV shows he happens to be watching because our attention is pulled elsewhere. You see, every single evening, without fail, Roxie, our dog, demands family time.
Roxie is a challenge. She dislikes every other dog/human in the world except for Tim and me (and my mom and her vet). She adores us. We are her people. And every evening, after her belly is full and she has her selected chewy toy for the night, she decides that it’s time to gather us in one room so that she can be happy. She starts this by coming upstairs and barking at me. Loudly. Insistently. She will then run and stand with her front paws on the first step until I follow her. If I don’t follow fast enough, she comes back after me and the whole process starts all over again. At that point, my only option is to grab my laptop/Kindle/phone/iPad/whatever and follow her, because this dog is not one to be denied.
Once I get downstairs and take my place on the right side of the couch, she starts in on Tim. He’s usually sitting at his desk and she starts barking at him until he takes his place on the left side of the couch. As soon as he sits down, she grabs her rawhide/bully stick/bone and jumps up between us, settling her front legs in Tim’s lap. And there she stays. For hours. Tim will entertain himself by flipping channels while I read. And Roxie? Roxie is snoring her big heart out, happy as can be because her two people are right where she wants them. During this time, we talk, laugh over The Big Bang Theory, and have the wonderful conversations that prove how very weird we are and why we belong together (i.e. was that really a Bigfoot sighting or was it a bear?)
At the end of the evening, I start yawning, and this prompts Roxie for her second favorite part of the day: bedtime! She grabs her toy and then urges us upstairs, where she will plop down between us in the bed and proceed to defy physics by taking up 75% of the available space for the next 8 hours.
“Family time” is a new creation of Roxie’s. She’s only started it these past six weeks that I’ve been on day shift. I’m hoping that, once I go back to night shift in a few weeks, we’ll still have family time. I’ve started to really look forward to this time of evening, and all because of her.