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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dad Is Fat and a Short Treatis on the Sleeping Habits of Dogs vs Children


I just checked this book by Jim Gaffigan Dad Is Fat  out from the library. Well, no, that's not exactly true; my HUSBAND checked the book out. I owe the library $32.50, meaning I have a couple of their books hidden somewhere in this large 108 year old house, and I am being punished by not being allowed to check books out, so my husband checks them out for me.  This will continue until I PAY for the missing books, at which time I will FIND the missing books---but not until I PAY for them. It always happens this way, which is why I know this.

Gaffigan's book is about having children, and I was thinking: having dogs is a lot like having children. The reason I know this is that I have HAD children, and now I have dogs, and I can compare the two with my rational mind. I thought, having dogs IS like having children, except you get more sleep with dogs.

Then I remembered how our youngest dog Poki got up and barked at midnight last night because she heard a car being started in our neighborhood.  Then she got up again a few minutes later and barked because she heard a dog barking in our neighborhood--not her, although she WAS barking--another dog was barking and she was answering by barking. The two traded barks back and forth for what seemed like a long time. I yelled, "Poki, it's OK. Go back to bed." She continued barking and the other dog continued answering--or was it the other way around? Yes, it was. Poki was answering. Finally the other dog quit answering and Poki quit barking and all was again peaceful in our rather unpeaceful neighborhood.

Poki, the high strung one

                                                                 Grace, the "polite" one

Wiener, the HOT one

The sometime in the night, before it was light, I felt a bump and another of our three, Wiener,  sniggled under the covers next to my thigh. (A "sniggle" is a cross between a wiggle and a snuggle.) Now, in the winter, having him install himself against my thigh can be a welcome gesture, as it is cold in the winter and Wiener is very, very warm-- his natural body temperature is about 104 degrees--having him lie next to any part of you is like having a superwarm, slightly hairy pillow next to you. In winter, it's great!

That said, it isn't winter now, and it's not too great to have a small, 104 degree dog curl up next to you if you're already feeling too warm. Our bedroom temp lately has been between 70 and 74 degrees; we like it at about 65 degrees, so it's already a quite a bit hotter than we like, even with two windows open as wide as they go. When there's a breeze, it's quite comfortable, but ask anyone around here and they will tell you we've had more humid, calm days this summer than usual. So I am already too warm, and not overjoyed when the 104 degree hairy pillow, masquerading as a wiener dog, climbs into bed with me.

You see, HE'S cold. When you are a 104 degree wiener dog, 70 degrees feels like 30 degrees. Therefore, he's freezing and wants to be under the covers against my warm thigh, even if it IS cooler than he is. Go figure.  So he climbs in, waking me up and making me feel even warmer than I already am. I have two options. Push him out of the bed, and tell him to go back to his OWN bed (which I add, has not one but TWO wool blankets for him to burrow under); or two, let him stay, so I can go back to sleep, hopefully.

I am VERY lazy, and HATE to have to get out of bed in the middle of the night for anything, so I take option two and go back to sleep. However it isn't too long before I wake up feeling WAY too hot. I slide a bit of the sheet between the SuperHeated dog and I, hoping some of his heat will go some other direction than into my thigh. It works for awhile, and I go back to sleep. Then I wake up again, and noticing that the other person in the bed (my husband), has gotten up, leaving a space in the bed where I can go, hoping the HOTdog will not follow. So it is now my turn to sniggle stealthily, removing myself from the mobile heat source near my thigh.

I go back to sleep, and then wake up again. This time it is Grace, the small female wienerdog breathing in my face. She is not ordinarily a problem. She sleeps between her two owners all the time, and generally does not disrupt our sleep. However, she fancies herself "the man's dog" so when he gets up, she follows. This is so she can eat breakfast at the earliest possible time. After having her breakfast, she returns to the bed, climbing the little set of stairs bought so that she will not sit on the floor and whine to be lifted up. However, she seems to think it necessary to get "permission" to burrow under the blankets, which she does by breatheing in my face.

 So I am again awakened,  give my OK to her request, and go back to sleep, but not for long.  For the umpteenth time this "night" (which has now become day), I am again awakened. Downstairs, Poki is barking again--Poki does NOT go back to sleep after breakfast as Grace does. Did I mention Poki is high-strung and barks a LOT?  She is and she does.

I finally give up this wake/sleep routine and call it a night, telling the two dogs in my bed that we are getting up; this doesn't bother them at all. Unlike me, they are "morning persons" and are awake in an instant, leaping enthusiastically off the bed to wiggle happily and lick my toes. Me? I grumble and head for the shower, wondering why I feel so TIRED after "sleeping" for eight hours.

So. Who gets more sleep--people with children or me? Anyone want to guess? I don't expect sympathy, by the way. I have allowed my dogs to "train" me instead of the other way around. It's just the way I am--I take what seems like the easiest way out ("Oh, let this tiny puppy sleep with us--then we won't have to listen to her cry. It's just for one night.") and then I pay for it later. But we love our dogs just like we loved our children (some would say we love the dogs more because we didn't let our children get in bed with us, but there were six of them, so you can see the problem).


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