I’m sick.

It began a few days ago with a light-headed fuzzy feeling and some congestion in my chest, quickly morphing into a rattley cough, streaming eyes, fever, chills and general misery.

I haven’t been out of my pajamas for days and my son and I are existing on whatever take-out food I can convince him to go and pick up.

What I long for most is to sleep; to wrap my achy body in a warm blanket and sink into oblivion until this all passes over. I want a nap. Not too much to ask for, right? In a normal house that would be true, but I can’t have a nap. Why? Because of THEM.

I’m referring to the six furry, demanding creatures who share my home with my husband and me. You heard me right. I did say six. Jeffery and I have four dogs, and our son recently moved onto our property with his two dogs.

I’ll introduce you to our furry herd by giving you a short bio of each. First, there’s 16 year old Trevor, white Chihuahua, completely deaf, sleeps a lot, but has some bladder control issues. Requires constant supervision unless one wishes to spend the entire day Swiffering up his oopsies.

Then, there is Ben, aka Beagle Butt, aka Silly Beagle, 12 year old Beagle (duh), almost completely deaf, thyroid issues requiring medication. Very fat. Exists under the belief that he owns the house and everything in it.

Next is Scarlett, 9 year old Golden Retriever mix. Scarlett is a former shelter dog with some severe abuse in her background. She has anxiety issues which make her very clingy and very barky. She is the cause of all the scratches and scars on my arms.

Then we have Penny, 6 year old brown Chihuahua. Small dog, big attitude. Another shelter alum who spent some time on the mean streets before coming to us. She is the canine equivalent of the honey badger. Penny don’t care.

The first of the granddogs is 8 year old Chloe, a tri-colored dachshund with duck feet and no regard for personal space. She can dismember and disembowel any fuzzy stuffed dog toy in under an hour.

And, there’s Murdock. He is a 2 year old blind Pit Bull named after Matt Murdock, the alter-ego of the blind superhero, Daredevil. Undeterred by his disability, he is a whirlwind of constant, destructive energy.

Trying to get a nap goes something like this. I settle on to my bed with my favorite napping blanket. As soon as my eyes close, a pitiful whine comes from the floor next to the bed. Penny wants up. Our bed is tall and Penny is small, so I crawl out from under my blanket and get out of bed, pick her up and deposit her onto the mattress. She noses her way under the blanket, scratching and turning circles until she is certain she is in the perfect spot and she lays down. I get back under my blanket with less leg room than I had, but I snuggle in and close my eyes. Within seconds there is a soft thud and the bed shakes. This happens again and again. Chloe is throwing herself against the box spring. She wants on the bed too.

Once again, I get out of bed, lift the chunky little weiner dog up and climb back in after her. Chloe wanders around for a while, but I find the place I’ve already warmed up and slide right back into it. Ah, nice. I’m just drifting off when I notice that the smell of musky fur and bad doggy breath is in my face. I open my eyes to find Chloe’s long nose nearly touching mine. Before I can pull my head back, a long pink tongue slurps me right on the mouth. Blech! I shove her back a little, but she resists, relentlessly licking any part of my face she can reach with her unnaturally long tongue. I give up and decide I’m better off just rolling over and facing the other direction than continuing with the battle, so I do. Chloe stretches out against my back and her body heat is really kind of pleasant. OK. Now for some sleep.

During the struggles I’m having on the bed, the other dogs have dispersed throughout the room, each claiming a bed and settling down to nap themselves. Except Murdock. Murdock will not sleep in a dog bed. He refuses to set as much as a single paw in one. He has scooted underneath the bed and is restlessly scratching, making the tag on his collar jingle like Santa’s sleigh bells. I’m doing a pretty good job of ignoring it and I’m successfully about to doze off when he bellies his way out from under the bed, in the process coming much too close to Ben the Beagle Butt. Ben comes up out of his bed with a noise that sounds like someone has set off an air horn in the room and he goes after Murdock, barking viciously. Scarlett joins in and together they chase Murdock from the room.

In the pursuit, the three dogs manage to step on Trevor’s bed, waking him up. He gets up, stretches and shakes, and leaves the room. I hear the unmistakable clicking of his nails on the wood floor and know that if I don’t follow him and let him outside, he will tinkle in the hallway.

That’s the end of my nap. Guess I’ll see what’s on tv.