Izzy goes through pillows fast. I stopped spending money on good dog beds years ago and started supplying him with thrift store cushions so it wouldn't matter as much how quickly he gutted them. He's a fastidious bed-maker. A canine Martha Stewart. When we all turn in at night I can hear Izzy upstairs, digging furiously at his nest of the week, trying to get it just so. And it's never just so until the fluffy stuffing's out of the center and spread everywhere. I won't say I've made my peace with this habit, but I've stopped trying to dissuade him; it does no good. A few weeks ago he shredded a particularly nicely-woven red heavy cotton pillow, and in the process managed to whuffle up an intestine full of the fibers (dare to ask me how I know?) and it, erm, caused some rather worrisome sickness for a number of days. The trouble went on so long I was actually afraid he wasn't going to survive his latest round of home decorating.
Thankfully, he pulled through. Hoping to put an end to his problematic pillow-picking, I resolved to get my pooch a mat instead. This might seem like an obvious choice, but Izzy's a senior citizen, and sometimes has aches and pains like any other old guy, and so I've resisted offering him a bed with no, you know, comforting buffer between his bones and the hard floor. So, when Rob and I made a trip to Ikea last week, I found the perfect solution: a comfy rug, just the right size for a little dog. Perfect!
He likes it. But he hasn't stopped digging. The very first night I gave it to him, he expressed great delight, but as soon as Rob and I closed up the house and went downstairs to sleep I could hear Izzy's feet working like a souped-up rototiller on his pretty new red Ringum. Now every morning when I get up, I have to wade through wandering red fuzzballs on the stairs and all over the back room. They're like tumbleweeds. I find them in the kitchen, in the living room, on the front porch, on our socks. They fill up my Dyson repeatedly. But it's not just about the fuzzballs; there's also a pernicious red dust finely sifted over everything. I don't want to take a deep breath in the mornings until I've vacuumed, and that includes the dog—one of us holds him while the other uses the carpet attachment on his butt. Then he has to be brushed. Still, he's stained his socks red and the only way his hiney is ever going to look clean again is if I take him to a groomer, have him shaved naked, then swap out his red Ringum for a white one.
They say the camera doesn't lie? Mine does, because these pictures don't even scratch the dusty red surface of this situation.
But he's cute, huh?