My husband Brian and I live with four dogs and two cats. This is our typical morning routine:
Our smallest dog, Cyrus, is a terrier mix with an incredible internal clock. Every morning, at precisely 7:02 AM, his eyes pop open. He immediately wants his belly rubbed and proceeds to make noises that are a cross between yips and barks, the canine equivalent of "Hey!" His yells increase in speed and intensity:
"Hey, (5 second delay), Hey! (5 seconds), Hey, (2 seconds), Hey! (2 seconds), Hey! ... Hey!!! ... HEY!!! HEEEEEEY!!!"
Awake by now, I reach out with my right hand toward him. Cyrus presents his tummy and I commence rubbing. He quiets down. But he has awoken Trixie, our schnauzer/poodle mix, who is burrowed under the covers. Jealous, she makes her way through the sheets, pops out, sits very close to the left side of my face and stares at me as if to say "What about me?" If I do not immediately respond, she takes her paw and begins to tap, then scratch, my chest. If I still do not respond, she continues the tapping and scratching on my face. I pull out my left hand and start petting. I now have a dog on my left and my right. Both are momentarily satisfied. I am groggy.