Tag Archives: Sleep

Seniority Has It’s Priveleges

Nikki, 12 years old

Seniority has its privileges.

Nikki sleeps upstairs in our bedroom now. She previously slept downstairs with the other dogs.

Only Zekie slept upstairs with us. He sleeps in a crate. We moved him upstairs only because he carried on so terribly due to his separation anxiety that we couldn’t sleep. Once he moved to a crate next to me, he sleeps like a baby.

Nikki has been barking to wake us up at first light recently. It started when foster dog Claire arrived. Claire was getting us up and then Nikki followed suit. Claire doesn’t get us up as early now. But Nikki is still trying.

Nikki has only minimal hearing left, so you can’t yell at her to be quiet. She barks, then stops to listen. Hearing nothing, she barks again. And so on. Since moving upstairs a few days ago, she has been quiet.

Ah, the joys of having a senior dog. I wouldn’t trade them for anything!

Sleeping Arrangements

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I was pondering our sleeping arrangements recently and wondered, why is it that only two of our dogs have the privilege of sleeping on the bed with us, but it happens to be our two largest dogs? This does not seem like very good planning on our part. Baxter comes upstairs in the evening and immediately jumps on the bed before I even get in. He will move on request, to make more room. He so loves to sleep on the bed that he will forgo evening biscuit time to go up with the first person to ascend the stairs for bedtime. He has also been known to continue snoozing on the bed in the morning once all humans are up for the day. Baxter weighs 55 lbs.

Phoebe, our resident greyhound, is the other dog that sleeps on the bed. She is slightly sneakier though. She comes upstairs and lays down on the dog bed on the floor. Here she stays until it is time for lights out. Some time after the light goes off she jumps on the bed, spins around as many times as it takes to suit herself and plops down. If I do not turn the light out soon enough to suit her, she starts sighing and gets louder until I am obliged to turn off the light. When she does make it up on the bed to start the spinning around, she acts like she is nesting and just making herself comfortable. I know she is really doing it to steal my covers! It does make some sense to me that Phoebe sleeps on the bed because greyhounds are so bony and angular and definite comfort seekers. Phoebe weighs 65 lbs.

What I want to know is, what is wrong with the dog bed on the floor? It is large and cushy with a pillowed rim around the edge. I think sleeping with the humans is as much a status symbol as the fact they are on the bed. I imagine if we slept elsewhere, they would want to sleep there too. Sometimes I am tempted to sleep elsewhere. When the covers are pinned so tightly under the weight of dogs that I can’t turn over, or I have a paw in the face, or a hip bone in my back, I am  fantasizing about sleeping somewhere other than where I am. But really folks, it dark and I am warm, and I have dogs. I’m not going anywhere. Baxter and Phoebe do get along extremely well. Baxter does often growl at Phoebe when she jumps up on the bed. That’s the end of it though. Soon we are all one big heap of humans and dogs.

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The other dogs all sleep downstairs. If I had planned better I would have the 18 lb. Nikki Pouncer sleep on the bed. She wouldn’t take up much space at all. She could sleep on the pillow by my head and I would never notice her. But wait, she is an indiscriminate eater of poop. Scratch that idea. I don’t care to have an odiferous assault while I am trying to sleep. You may be thinking, why don’t you just stop her from eating poop? Right. We have between 5-7 dogs here at any one time. You do the math. I’m not that fast. Even if I picked up each time the dogs went out, I can only pick up after one at a time. I do my best.

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Shelby would be too busy patrolling to keep the house safe from intruders and strange noises. She would have no time to sleep on the bed. Shelby is what we call “a busy girl”. She goes in a crate for the night so she can be off duty and get some rest.

Roxanne

And Roxanne is old and arthritic at 15. She is no longer able to get up the steps. At her advanced age she likes to wander around during the night anyway. This is not conducive to sleeping. She is free to wander around downstairs to her heart’s content for the night though.

By this time you may be wondering how I get any sleep. After years of practice I am able to sleep through most anything. I have slept through dogs walking across my body, through barking, through storms and loud noises. Not everyone can do this and I consider myself fortunate to have learned such a skill. Not something you can put on a resume but none the less, it is one of those important life skills that is indispensable.