During the week, my alarm goes off at a truly alarming 3:45 a.m. Tragic, yes. Heartbreaking, definitely. So, when Saturday rolls around, I set my sights on a Seger-like wakeup time (“Up with sun, gone with the wind…” I live for an oddly-timed Seger reference), but Barley has other ideas. His singular mission in the morning is to get me out of bed before 6.
This morning, it was 5:22.
I’m not above swearing at my dogs (their grasp of English is suspect, anyway) so Barley’s attempts to wake me that early are usually met with considerable resistance. He doesn’t care, however. He will sit by my head, staring at me, and, if that doesn’t work, he’ll put his nose against mine and breathe his hot, dog breath right in my face.
Nothing gets me out of bed faster than a blast of Barley’s death breath.
“Alright, alright. Jesus, Barley, you don’t have to fight dirty,” I usually grumble as I relent to his attacks.
Thankfully, I have a secret weapon to get me going in the wee hours of Saturday. It’s a coffee cup and his name is Russ.
Russ and me, we go way back. We found each other about eight years ago when I worked at the Daily Courier in Grants Pass, Ore. Abandoned by some long-forgotten Russ, left on the shelf of used and abused community coffee cups in the downstairs kitchen, the Russ cup and I knew love at first sight. Five days a week for five years, we shared morning coffee. And, it was Courier coffee, the hard stuff.
When I left that job, I took the Russ cup with me and he remains a trusted and reliable friend. When Barley’s bladder and belly sound the pre-dawn alarms, Russ gets me through it. Filled with strong, steaming hot coffee, Barley’s poo gets picked up and his belly gets filled with only a smattering of swear words. Without Russ, Barley would likely have to resort to violence to get me out of bed so early on a Saturday.
So, on this Saturday, a big thank you to the human Russ, who abandoned this gem of a cup years ago, allowing me to find it. And, a thank you to the Russ cup. Long may you live!