Monday, August 22, 2005

Sleep...Part 2

Ok, so you all know by now how important my sleep is to me. You also know by now that the two four-footed, furry creatures that inhabit my home also sleep in the bed with Husband and me. That is, until this weekend. That’s right, the dogs are getting the boot.

This has been a long time in coming, actually. It’s just that we’ve finally had enough and are ready to reclaim our bed. It’s amazing how much room two small dogs take up in a queen size bed! So before you call the Humane Society or ASPCA on us for cruelty to animals, let me tell you about the method to this madness.

First, we went out and bought some really nice dog beds. Yes, they were expensive, but overall, much cheaper than buying us a new bed. These dog beds even match the color scheme in our room. They’re the same, but different – you know, Criket’s had to be a little bit more girly than Argus’. Then, I sat them on top of the cabinet in the Laundry room for several days, to sort of get the “store” smell off of them and let them absorb some of our smell (whatever that might be).

Friday night was the night. The new beds came down from the cabinet, and the tags came off. We’re committed now! We created a new “bedtime” phrase, and I coaxed the dogs into their beds with treats. (Anything for training treats!) Lots of praises, love, and treats for sitting in their own new beds. Of course, they like the beds – they have two that are similar that stay in the home office, so this was not a totally foreign concept to them. They were just in for a rude awakening later in the evening when we used the newly formed “bedtime” phrase and took them from the tall, pre-heated, two-legged people bed and put them into the short, not-as-cozy, four-legged dog beds.

I must say, they got the idea pretty quickly (these are smart dogs, you know), and for the first night, it wasn’t too bad. They each tried to sneak up onto the people bed several times, but since I was hardly sleeping at all (just waiting for that to happen), I was able to encourage them to get off the people bed and into their own. Each night has gotten progressively better, and soon, Husband and I will have officially reclaimed the bed for ourselves.

Criket is a tad disgruntled still at the whole idea, and has made a habit of laying under the bed for a short while in protest before getting into her little bed. And when Argus gets up from his bed to ask to get into the people bed, she steals his bed. Then comes the whole doggie bed shuffling act. Argus goes back to his bed, and stands over Criket, staring at her. He then looks up at me, as if to say, “Look what she did. Will you please make her move since I’ve so rudely been kicked out of both of my beds now?” Criket finally relents and moves back to her own bed, and Argus scratches at his blanket for a while in a completely hilarious ritualistic nesting procedure. By the time he settles back down, Criket has decided that she’ll make a go at trying to get back up on the people bed. The next thing I know, a small black nose is peeking up over the bed at me (because she’s too short for her whole head to reach) or she’s ever-so-lightly jumping up on the end of the bed; because maybe we won’t notice if she jumps up down there. Of course, I pick her up and tell her she has to go back to her own bed, gently place her back in it, and lay back down. Since she’s still protesting the whole principle, she crawls under the bed for a bit before finally relenting and getting back in her little bed.

This whole thing is probably harder on Husband and me than it is on the dogs. We’re spending a few nights with less sleep so that in the long run, we will sleep better. The dogs, however, have nothing to lose by keeping this little game going as long as they want because they can sleep all day if they choose. Maybe that’s part of the reason we’ve had mysterious “accidents” in the house as of late…the whole balance has been upset and it takes a while for things to even back out. Maybe that calls for a little extra doggie exercise in the evenings.

All I know is that we don’t have to worry about squashing a dog every time we roll over, and that is a good feeling. Pin It

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