Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Laptop, Lapdog

I am not a desk person. I own a desk, but I use it as little as possible, for paying bills and such, and I never put my computer on it. For I am the ultimate laptop person, and I adore being able to write in bed, on the floor, on the grass (well, not right now).

These winter days, my writing spot is on the living room sofa, close to the stove. The big dogs sprawl nearby--right now Wolfie is sleeping with his head on my foot. Bisou, whom I've started calling the Red Baroness, flies up onto the sofa and..wait a minute, where's the lap? She's a lapdog, and she's just had dinner. She feels a nap coming on and she's looking for a lap, but there is a computer on it.

Bisou is not easily discouraged, so she burrows and insinuates and next thing I know she's ensconced under my right elbow, every inch of her body in contact with my thigh. "Poor thing," I think to myself "she must be cold," though how a dog who plows happily through two-foot snowdrifts could be cold a few feet from a roaring fire I cannot imagine.

I go to the hall closet and retrieve my precious sheepskin and spread it on the sofa next to where I'll be sitting. "Here, Bisoulette," I urge, patting the wool, "Lie down here and be comfy." I sit down, start typing, and my spell checker goes crazy. It seems that I'm making lots and lots of typos, all with the right hand: Bisou is once more under my elbow, her entire body pressed against my leg. Seems there's no comparison between the comforts of a sheepskin and my jeans-clad thigh.

I push her away gently (I'm not a monster!), lower my elbow, holding it tightly against my waist, and try to recapture my train of thought. A minute later, the typos start. She's back!

But it's not her fault, is it? Centuries of obsessive breeding have produced a dog who is irresistibly attracted to the human lap, and Bisou is just following the dictates of her DNA, which coincide exactly with the job description I drew up for her. After all, if I didn't want a dog who would insist on full body contact when at rest I could have gotten one of those non-cuddly breeds--a sled dog, say, or a Pharaoh hound.

Clearly, I'm the one who's going to have to adjust. I'll have to learn to type with the right elbow held high, to accommodate Bisou's thorax. In the meantime, if you notice more than the usual number of typos in these posts, please bear with me.

7 comments :

  1. We do use desks around here and the cats think the keyboards are in their own rightful places. We can often be seen typing with our fingertips, arms arched -- as Frankenstein's monster might type -- accommodating cats under our arms.

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  2. You didn't mention -- I was sitting at the other end of the sofa, and looked over there: It apeared that Bisou was licking away at the keyboard. I was about to yell, out of concern for the electronics, but I craned my neck a bit more and saw she was only licking your hand as you were operating the touchpad. I don't see how you were able to get the cursor onto that little "New Post" button!

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  3. We all know how deep those attachments to cats for some, and for others to electronics, can be.

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  4. We have similar problems, Dona. As for laptops...Mike has one for work that often comes home and has internet. I use it in bed. Way way late into the night after everyone is asleep. It's a bad thing for me. I need the computer to be in one place. One cold place, frankly.

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  5. The internet on a laptop, at night, in bed...that does sound dangerous.

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  6. I hope you have the opportunity to see The Young Victoria: I thought of you since she has an adorable King Charles Spaniel as her pet when she is a teenager. It's a beautiful, period piece and the costuming is fabulous.

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  7. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look forward to watching the movie. I've heard good things about it.

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