Obviously, there’s nothing unusual about a dog changing as it ages.
But as Gertie (The Permapup) has aged, she has gone through some unusual changes – one in particular.
Now an 8-year-old, Gertie still loves to be playful and do all kinds of silly things, and she can’t get enough of chasing her buddy Scotty (The Scottie) all over the yard, through the forest, down the road, around vehicles in the driveway, from the living room to the bedroom – you get the idea. And while the chase is on, Gertie is almost constantly barking half hysterically, as if to announce to Scotty and the rest of the world that she’s “still got it and always will.”
By the way, Gertie is extremely good at geometry. She’s not as fast as her remarkably athletic Scottish Terrier target, but through an amazing ability to employ angles during high-speed chases, she will show up right on his rear end when he least expects it.
But besides continuing to display numerous Permapup-ish tendencies, Gertie has also added one noticeable aspect to her routine: When she sleeps, she often snores big-time. I mean she really gets after it – like an old cowboy after a long day in the saddle and a long night at the saloon.
In fact, she has taken it to the point to where I’m considering contacting the American Kennel Club about recognizing a new breed: Welsh Snorgi.
Wikipedia defines a dog breed as “a particular strain or dog type that was purposefully bred by humans to perform specific tasks.” OK, so maybe I didn’t breed Corgis in a manner that they would become Snorgis, but I going to say someone must have, and I have the proof.
This dog can snore with the best of them. Actually, this dog snores better than the best of them.
My wife, Wendy, recently went away for a few days to visit relatives. In the middle of the first night she was away, I woke up because the Snorgi was on her pad next to the wall near the bed and was sawing logs like crazy. She got into a serious rhythm and it was impossible to ignore.
I got up and move her a bit, which stopped the racket. But not long after I went back to bed, the Snorgi was back in action.
I had to do something.
“Gertie, wake up!” I said.
“What?” Gertie said.
“You’re snoring really loudly!” I said.
“And?” Gertie said.
“And you’re keeping me awake,” I said.
“Get to your point,” Gertie said.
“My point is, you’re snoring and I – oh never mind,” I said.
I picked the Snorgi up, carried her to the couch in the living room and plopped her down.
“So if I snore, I get to sleep on the couch,” Gertie said. “That’ll work.”
“Wait, this isn’t a reward,” I said. “I just want to sleep without an intermittent chainsaw in the room.”
“Would a table saw be better?” Gertie said.
“No ma’am,” I said.
“Maybe a reciprocating saw?” Gertie said.
“No, dang it,” I said. “I don’t want any sawing sound in the bedroom.”
“OK then,” Gertie said, “I’ll just sleep right here on the couch. I hope you appreciate the sacrifice I’m making.”
“Yeah,” I said, “you’ve got it so rough.”
Even though I understand it’s probably not a great idea to let the Snorgi think her snoring is a pathway to improving her life, I’m not sure how else to assure I get a good night’s rest and not feel like I’m lying in the middle of a bunch of lumberjacks hard at work. I don’t know of a canine version of an anti-snoring device (although maybe that’s where the next inventor to become a multi-millionaire comes from), and I’m not sure any of the local veterinarians would have a diet or exercise-based solution.
No, I believe the answer is the one I’ve gone with: Bedtime separation of man and Snorgi.
Thankfully, Scotty is a much quieter sleeper, perhaps because he’s only 2 years old. But I’m guessing that even as he ages, he won’t become a snoring gold medalist like his Snorgi companion.
At least I hope not.
Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald.