EARLY RISERS

Miss Bonnie

Our dogs are early risers. Even before Duke came into our lives, Bonnie liked to let me know that it was morning and she needed a snack. She could not do Duke’s leap over the gate, but she could fling her considerable bulk against the gate to the point where the walls would shake.

Gibbs of the Long Nose

After Duke got here, we moved up to a new level. Duke leaps the fence while Bonnie and Duke wait on the other side, huffing and snorting. Duke then hits the bedroom door with a full body slam. Garry can’t hear it — or says he can’t hear it. Regardless, I’m sure if Duke keeps pounding on it, the door’s going to fall down. It’s not much of a door and enough pounding from The Duke will not improve it.

The dogs’ first foray into getting me up is generally around 6 in the morning. Why? Because they hear me get up and go to the bathroom. I’ve been known to try and avoid flushing in the hopes that they won’t hear me and I can go back to bed … but they have really good hearing. So I get up, give them each a biscuit, glare at them, and stumble back to bed. Then I lay there being as quiet as I can, lest they take any movement as a sign of my impending lively entry into their world.

The Duke
Photo: Garry Armstrong

I drift back to sleep. At around 7, Duke hits the door for the second time. I get up, give them a very small biscuit and slink back to bed and generally get another hour, at which point the phone rings. That call would be (1) a pharmacy to tell us a prescription is ready, (2) a doctor to remind me that someone has an appointment three days from now in late afternoon, or (3) no one –my favorite call.

I sigh, wait for a hit on the door, get up, tell the dogs to shut up, they aren’t getting another biscuit and go back to bed. For one hour.

BANG.

Duke is back.

BANG, SCRATCH, SCRATCH.
BANG.

I get up. I give them the smallest biscuit I can find and switch on the coffee. I’m know I’ll be back but at least when I get up in an hour, the coffee will be ready.

Life is better when the coffee is ready. Just saying.

The problem is that the dogs don’t stay up late watching old movies or reading books. While we are doing that, they are sound asleep. They only start to wake up when we get ready to go to bed. That’s when they leap into action because … you got it … IT’S BISCUIT TIME AGAIN!

They get one full-size big crunchy from Garry and then they get one small (but much tastier) one from me.

Garry is impressed at how Duke is fully engaged with him from the moment he opens the bedroom door and for every other minute of the remaining day. If he goes in for a shower, Duke will be sitting outside the door. Waiting. When Garry gets up to do anything, all three dogs follow him. Well, to be fair, they follow me, too. It’s a parade.

Gibbs

Maybe what we need to do is keep them awake all evening so they will sleep late too? The problem is, when they’ve decided to sack out, nothing wakes them up. Nothing. They go completely limp and respond only to food. If they are in full sack-out mode, they have been known to sleep through an occasional biscuit, too.

Something’s got to give. I suppose I can quit going to bed at all and simply nod off on the sofa. It would at least save our door from destruction. Then, they can do what they enjoy the rest of the time.

Which is to bite my feet. They really love doing that.

31 thoughts on “EARLY RISERS”

    1. I don’t think that would work out too well. They dogs sleep a LOT of hours. Not as much as Tabby, but a good, solid 16 hours. About three or four in the morning, another couple in the afternon, then a nice long nap from dinner to whenever they decide to try to knock down our door.

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  1. My sister and I have a different problem. We like to sit up late too and although our dogs spend the evening snoozing nearby at a certain time they decide that enough is enough and it is time to go to bed. They sleep in our rooms and they just don’t want to go to bed without us. Cindy is not as bad as my previous dog Tessie who would bark at me when she felt it was time for bed. Cindy will let me know that she wants to go outside and after that she thinks we should go to bed. If I don’t she will come up to remind me several more times. Cindy thinks that “In a minute. ” means “Lie down. I’m not going anywhere.” which it pretty much does. She usually wakes me up with a polite lick usually on my ear which means she wants to go outside. Now she is a senior dog this may be anytime between 2am (Why didn’t you go before we went to bed?) and 7am which is OK if it is a weekday and I’m going to my volunteer job but not so much on Sunday when I’ve been up till 2am or later.

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      1. Me too. It’s always hard to let them go but I am glad that we have the option to relieve their suffering. Cindy is in very good shape for nearly twelve but I feel now that we are on bonus time.

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      1. I’m a gentleman. Gentlemen never notice these things. 😉

        ( or at least never admit to noticing! – if they know what is good for them!) 🙂

        I did notice neither Miss Bonnie nor Mr Gibbs are wearing their neckerchiefs? – Too soggy?

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        1. Duke pulls them off. Bonnie is also not wearing her collar. Duke removed it. I found it once and put it back, but the next time he pulled it off, it disappeared and is somewhere outside. Maybe I’ll find it in the spring. He seems to have stopped trying to remove Gibbs’ collar, but I think he outgrew it. That was a great collar and she has a matching leash to go with it, but now, I only have the leash. It’s all Duke’s fault. Everything is Duke’s fault. And, Garry has gotten very, very attached to the Duke.

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          1. Duke and I have a curious relationship. Love-hate is too simple. One moment he is driving me bonkers with profanities flying out my mouth. Minutes later as I calm down, Duke is staring at me. Staring at me and grinning with his full mouth of perfect, shiny white teeth.

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  2. Hunydog has me trained. She sleeps much of the day (she’s going to be 12..in human years that’s 84 or something…I’d sleep too) and she usually sleeps all night as long as a) she gets a biscuit or two during the day and while I’m eating dinner and b) as long as she gets to go out just before I sack out. If I miss the last step, I’m wakened at all hours by a little restless dog. Last summer when she had whatever bug it was that gave her internal system fits, I was up every hour and a half to let her out. And if I stop breathing in the night (I have apnea..it happens a lot), she will wake me up…I find this last thing disconcerting, but am glad someone is watching out. And I’d much rather put up with the behavior than feel the lack of my dog. I hope your door holds out!

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