For the last week or so, Boscoe has not been letting me sleep.
He's been going through cycles like this for a couple of years now. The vet says, drug him. Slip him a benadryl at bedtime. But I worry about drugging my dog. (Though my husband thinks nothing of drugging himself for a good night's sleep now and again.)
When Boscoe wakes me up in the middle of the night, I can't tell if he really needs to go out, or if he just wants to sniff the night air and forage for rabbit poop. I am too sleepy and it's too cold and dark for me to go out with him and see what, exactly, he is doing out there. All I know is that night after night, usually for a period of about a week, he makes me get out of my warm comfortable bed at 1:30 or 2:30 or sometimes 3 or even 4 a.m. and let him out.
For some reason (possibly the aforementioned sleeping tablets), Doug does not wake up. I do.
And then, after this has gone on for days, and I am at the end of my rope with sleep deprivation and exhaustion--he quits. Starts sleeping through the night again. No trouble. For weeks or months. And then it starts again.
Some people suggest I just ignore him, but he is not ignorable. Here's what he does:
He sits up. He breathes hard. He jumps off the bed.
I hear his toenails clicking as he paces the bedroom. (Note to self: GET CARPETING, YOU IDIOT)
He stands at the foot of the bed and I can feel him staring at me in the dark.
He makes funny noises with his mouth, like he's smacking his lips.
He moans a little.
He clicks around the room again.
He moans again.
OK OK OK OK OK OK OKAAAAAAY
I throw back the covers and get up. He dashes downstairs. I stumble after him. Riley, who has been sound asleep in the easy chair, is up like a flash. You can just see him thinking, "Oh boy! Someone to chase me!" It's 2 a.m., but Riley is game for whatever comes next.
I open the back door. Out they go. I close the back door. I lean my head against the wall, trying to maintain that delicate balance between sleep and wakefulness. I want to remain alert enough to not fall over, but I don't want to wake up enough that I am fully alert.
Riley comes back. I let him in. Boscoe, out in the yard in the moonlight, looks up. He makes no move toward the door. I want to weep. I bow my head again. Sometimes I moan quietly. "Whyyyyyyy."
Eventually, he comes back. He stares hopefully at the treat jar. I say, "Not on your life."
I stumble back to bed.
Boscoe remains near the treat jar for several long minutes, appalled that it is not opening for him. Then he lumbers back up the stairs, leaps onto the bed, and is sweetly asleep within seconds.
If I am lucky, sleep overtakes me fairly quickly. If I am unlucky... I am a zombie for the rest of the day.
Email me at you know where, and send me your address, and I will put Boscoe in a box, punch a couple of airholes, toss in a milkbone or two, and he'll be on your doorstep within a few days.
I sincerely hope you are a sounder sleeper than I.
NOTE TO WT: A swap? Boscoe for Belle? Call me.
5 hours ago