I haven't seen as much of him lately. He's been very busy at work, going in six days a week, leaving early and returning late. He's even been burning the 2am oil to keep up with his training (2am oil is like midnight oil but more reckless and immature). I wouldn't mind but, as I now sleep in his office, I've had to keep a leg over my eye to obscure the light. It's not really acceptable. He can juggle three tennis balls but he can't juggle a work/ life balance.
The mistress wasn't happy either. He was late home on her birthday, tied up with work, then went in again the next day on his day off. He forgot some of the gifts she'd suggested and had been disturbing her sleep with his irregular sleep pattern. The final straw came on Wednesday night when they rowed over me getting three walks on one night. He insisted on taking me out even though it was bed time. Having spent more than half the day at work, he wanted to get some air. Then he fell asleep on the couch with me snoring in his ear.
Thursday had been his day off. On Friday, he didn't go into work.
It's weird. He usually loves his holidays. In the morning he joined me on the couch and it sounded like he was laughing when he tried to cuddle me. Then I realised my coat was getting wet and not from tears of joy. I didn't know what to say. I'm the child in this relationship, not the parent. They don't teach you what to do with this at dog class. I just got upset for him, jumped off the couch and ruffed at him to stop. I don't like getting my coat wet. I didn't know what was wrong and it scared me.
He went out with shop keys and notes and returned without them. He packed up the car, with me in the boot, and we drove to Aberfoyle. He talked at me as we drove. I don't always listen, engrossed in the receding landscape but he explained I was to be a good girl and behave, not cause him any stress. Like that was going to happen! Does he not know me by now? We've been together eight years and I always give him grief: from ignoring his calls for me to come down in the morning, eating whatever I find on the evening walk and going nuts at any dog who looks funny at me; to being exasperated at foxes and wanting to murder cats. I always pull the the direction I want to go and bark at him when he comes home till he gives me a treat. I find it pays to be direct. I am my own dog, not just the family pet.
At the cabin, I eavesdropped as he chatted with his mum on the phone. I discovered he'd been previously ill with stress, before I was born.
He explained his symptoms: feeling oversensitive to pressure; becoming forgetful, sometimes acutely; being constantly tired but unable to stay asleep. He'd made mistakes at work, a significant amount, and this frightened him. He didn't trust his judgment anymore. He was even off his food, which was good for his diet but not me. I live for these tidbits. He'd stare into space, his hands either squeezing the headache from his brain or touching his lips, sealing in the scream. Not healthy, not living, not fun. Away from work, he was now tingly and tired and finding it difficult to take deep breaths. Little issues caused him massive discomfort but he recognised this now, which was the first step to recovery.
We've got to go home after the weekend so he can see his doctor. I won't mind. I've had enough of these mixed weather conditions: cold wind, sunshine and rain. I love the cabin but more so when it's dry, sunny and warm. And I want him to get well.
When do the better times begin, we both wonder?