Do you know of the children’s book, The Five Dog Night? It is a short story of two old people who are neighbors. An old woman in the story worries about another character, an old man, during a harsh winter. She keeps checking on his welfare and is confused by his response. Each time she asks, the old man tells her something along the lines of, “I’m okay. It was only a two-dog night.” (Or, another other number ranging from one to five.)
The old woman goes away confused, but it doesn’t keep her from checking on him like good neighbors do. And eventually, as the nights get colder, the number of dogs in the night goes up. Can you see where this is going? Do you know what he means? If not, I suggest you read the book or at least until the end of the blog when I’ll fill you in.
The Five Dog Night, published in 1993, was one of my boys’ favorite books when they were little. It always brought laughter and an appreciation of neighbors, nosiness, pets, and comfort when reading. Eileen Christelow is both the author and illustrator of the book.
This past weekend, we had our very own, “One Dog Day” on Saturday at our cabin. Molly, our yellow lab, is only allowed to sit on one of our couches at home. It is a couch that would be hard to keep her from as it is in a room in which she is contained, if not kenneled, while we are out during the day. Typically, we only kennel her at night. So, if we’re out during the day she’s been found sleeping on our brown sectional in this room off of the kitchen. But, the cabin is different. Although it is a very nice timber frame house, it is a place where we relax. The couch there has seen better days. So, while my husband and I were relaxing during the first season of Game of Thrones on DVD (which we never watched during its television run), our dog naturally joined us.
She lost no time getting comfortable and letting us know that she has no “personal space bubble.” She sat on us, laid over us, and even stepped on us at times. Let me tell you, a 50# dog laying on you is a load! And, she definitely puts out some heat! So, while it was cold and snowy outside, we had a “one dog day” at the cabin on Saturday. It made both my husband and I laugh about the children’s book the boys loved.
Today is a dogless day! Molly spent the day at doggie daycare. She successfully had a meet and greet at the end of last week at one of our local dog service providers. Since we will be boarding her for a short vacation in February, we are making sure she is accustomed to the routine and physical space of where she will stay. So, today, Molly had a dog filled day and we had a dogless day!
No wonder it seems awful quiet around here!
The old woman in The Five Dog Night story eventually figures out that her neighbor’s response refers to the number of dogs he has laying on his bed at night. The colder it is, the more dogs are on the bed! At the end of the book, he doesn’t respond to her, and she enters his house only to find five dogs piled on the bed with her neighbor – thus, the five dog night!
Added disclosure: After reading my post, my husband told me that I remembered the story wrong. Now, you’ll really have to read the book to find out! I mixed up the character roles! Oops! Obviously, when your kids are in their 20’s, favorite books are remembered but not exactly recalled! Anyway, I’d highly recommend this book for a young audience!