Our little Minnie has been having some trouble sleeping through the night lately. No, Minnie is not an infant or a small child. Minnie is an 80-pound Rottweiler.
Over the last week or so, Minnie has been waking up around 11 pm wanting to go outside, but not wanting to go outside. She suffers from kidney disease which has her drinking lots of water, but as a Rottweiler, she has the bladder of a...I want to say camel but that would not be correct as a camel can withhold intake, not output. You get the idea though. She can hold it for a very, very long time. This means she is often comfortably ensconced in her bed and fast asleep before I can get a hold of her to go out before I go to bed.
Until 11 pm when it seems her bladder is giving her nudges to go outside, but if it's raining, snowing, windy, or dark, she doesn't rush to go out the door. What follows is me leaving the back door open and wandering away because if I show her that I want her to go out she will turn around and run back to the room, but still proceed to wake me up every 10 minutes or so. Sometimes, I feel like when I'm dealing with Minnie I'm dealing with a 4-year-old child. Everything has to be her idea. You just plant the seed and wait for connections to be made where they can take all the credit for acting on their (your) idea.
The other night our gutter was blocked, and there was a small waterfall coming down over the back door. Minnie took one look and ran. Knowing sleep was not going to be had until I got her out, I grabbed the leash and guided her outside. The sad part was that I had to go with her. I can tell you that this was no Hawaiian waterfall, but my mind was definitely in the gutter with a cold-water shower on my head. She peed though, so I'll count the win.
Then at around 2 am, Minnie decides she needs my attention. She will talk to me until I get down on the floor and give her some love. This up and down continues until she is ready to sleep again. This also disturbs my poor husband, and he is not fun without his sleep. Thus when her 2 am chat begins, I grab my pillow and alarm clock and head for the couch. Weirdly this change of venue calms Minnie, and she goes back to sleep where we stay until both dogs decide it's time for breakfast..often earlier than I'm ready to serve it.
As a result, I am slightly sleep deprived and have an immense interest in carbohydrates in the mid-afternoon.
I know what you're thinking. You think less of me. You are asking who owns who. I can only stand here and state with authority that Minnie indeed owns me.
This morning, I woke up and felt like something was wrong. My body didn't feel sore from the contortions one must make when sharing the couch with your smaller dog, Lizzie. I was in my bed. Birds could be heard in the distance, as well as the snoring of dogs. I woke up before they did and in my comfy bed!
Joy can be many things. It can be enjoying a waterfall shower with your dog. It can be a cuddle puddle with your medically-compromised pet in the middle of the night because you don't know how long her renal disease will let you have together. It can be the saintly feeling you get when you allow your husband to have an undisturbed sleep.
But nothing beats the joy of waking up on your own steam in your bed.
Well, cheesecake could be a contender.
Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant.