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The Scratchy Glutton

Cricket requires pretty significant scratching sessions every day. She jumps onto my chest while I’m sleeping or reading, and stands tall on all four legs, and if I don’t get the message quickly enough, she paws or noses my face or my hand to get things started.

Usually, just because I think I’ve been thorough does not mean the session is over. And she lets me know I’ve been precipitate by scratching at my hand or face again, climbing off my chest to find the errant hand if necessary. She seems to know that extra scratchies make her brain feel better and make her whole self more relaxed.

She makes a point of moving around to make different points available. First, her face itches. She has allergies, so under her eyes and around her nose and near her ears all need extensive scratching. Then the top of her head and around her neck. Then she’ll lie back and lift one arm so her chest is available to be scratched. She does not like her feet touched. This is an important rule.  Her back and sides need scratching next. Then I stretch her ears and rotate them a bit. I stretch her arms up and do some hamstring and quad stretches. She can go forty five minutes, at last count, though it’s been a while since I’ve had the patience to do such a thorough job. If she’s standing on her own four feet, she tends to walk forward, about an inch at a time, like she’s walking though a car wash to make sure every inch gets thoroughly scratched.

Cricket would be a perfect candidate for a full on massage session, with candles and oils and soft music, as long as no one goes near her toes or her ears or tries to remove poop or eye goop.

I worry that Cricket is especially itchy. She gets a runny nose during allergy season and scratches her head on my sheets while making a kind of desperate foghorn sort of noise. It’s almost as if she’s sneezing and barking and crying all at once, and I can hear her paws scratching fiendishly. I’m surprised my sheets have lasted so well, really, with all the time she spends trying to dig through to the mattress.

I never had a dog who sat on my lap and asked for scratchies this much. Sometimes I think she’s very attached to her people, and in need of a lot of love and affection from us, but then other times, I think she’s just damned itchy and looking for some relief.