Saved By Winnie, the Anatolian

There was a boy covered in a black sheet. His head was underneath. He must be afraid, I thought. I need to get to him, pull that damn sheet off his head. How can he breathe, for goodness sake! I tried running to him. That didn’t work. For some reason, my leg would not work. My right leg. It was like a weight. A weight with a chain wrapped around my ankle and an anvil attached to it.

I could not get to the boy.

I was trying and trying and trying.


When I woke up, a heavy, hairy, warm, and familiar-smelling beast was upon me.

Winnie-Winnie-Winnie-Winnie had her big, beautiful, kind head on top of mine. A heavy paw was on my chest. And she slowly licked me awake.

I grumbled something. Looked at my watch: 5:16 am.

Holy good gracious, I thought, I have slept in.

Usually, four in the morning is when Winnie-Winnie-Winnie-Winnie and I have our “secret” time. The time when all the other dogs are asleep, and we raid the fridge and pantry for snacks, leftovers – FOOD!

“Sorry, girl,” I muttered as my hand rubbed the top of her head and scratched behind her ear. “Everything is alright.”

She continued to lay on top of me, trying to rub that mug of her’s into my chest.

The images from the nightmare stayed with me as I worked my hands through the big pup’s fur, messaging her muscles.

She took her paw, started scratching at my face…

“I’m up. I’m up. I’m up,” I whispered to her.

My wife was gloriously asleep beside me. Her beautiful frame I could make out through the darkness. And I listened to her breathing in her deep sleep of peace.

I could smell her face cream, her shampoo – her body.

I was safe. At home. In Our bed. With a damn 80 lbs puppy on my chest!

I did not want to wake her up.

How was I breathing when I couldn’t save the boy from the sheet?

That was a question that already had an answer.

Winnie-Winnie-Winnie-Winnie woke me up from it – SAVED me from it.

We, the pain-in-the-ass puppy and I, walked down the stairs to the kitchen. She knew what was up. I was going for FOOD! FOOD! Glorious FOOD! And I knew what we were going to have. I had grilled some sweet Italian sausages the night before. Complete with onions and peppers, soaked in a spicy-sweet sauce.

That’s the ticket.

Winnie-Winnie-Winnie-Winnie seemed to have read my mind. She properly walked to the front of the fridge, sat her furry ass down, and waited, her tail thumping a bass line to a beat I was walking to.

We were going to eat. Our morning would turn into a fine day. A fine day, indeed.

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