Dog of Big Claws and Little Brain

There is nothing worse than (except perhaps a colonoscopy/endoscopy two-for-one deal) your so-smart-he's-stupid standard poodle running up and down the wooden stairs at 5 a.m., when you don't have to be up for another two hours, and especially when you consider sleep to be a very rare commodity.

So, there was Gryphon, our lovely standard poodle who is often mistaken for a golden doodle because we don't do the frou frou haircut and style poofy thing with his hair, and he's making spins on the hardwood as he races up the stairs to our bedrooms, frantically sniffing under every door, and then races back down the stairs. A couple of minutes later --- clack, clackety, clack clack --- back up the stairs he comes, and the scene repeated itself again.

Gryphon in one of his quieter moments. Note the innocent look on his face. Don't be fooled.

I have not slept through a night since I was first pregnant back in 1994. It's a way of life for me now. I'm a very light sleeper, and I'm okay with it. Usually. As long as I don't get woken up too early, or unnecessarily.

This wake-up call was both those things.

Being the thoughtful and kind dog owner that I am, and seeing as Mr. Handsome was in a coma, and Dee was lying in-between us, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth, I decided it was going to be up to me to make sure the dog didn't actually need to pee.

Just as I was getting up, Em opens the bedroom door, her fingers through Gryphon's collar. As pissed off as I am, because she too doesn't need (and let me add, does not want) to get up this early, she says, "I don't know what he wants, but he"

I take the idiotic dog, who by now is extremely excited that two of his humans are up and ready to go, and we go downstairs, and I open the damn door and tell him to go and pee, and it had better be a good one. He squats, and about 10 seconds of pee comes out. Ten.Seconds. Then he comes happily frolicking back up to me, smiling widely, so happy to greet the new day.

In he romps, and looks up at me expectantly, the look on his face saying, "Okay! That was fun! Now what?!" And he runs in a circle and lets out a bark.

I thought about going back to bed, but when I had gotten up, I remember Dee was sprawled out over half of my side, fully clothed (he's gotten into this awful habit of sleeping in his jeans and t-shirt, and if he does it again, I have warned him that I will personally waterboard him), so I quickly decided I'd probably get more shut-eye by staying downstairs and lying on the couch. I also had this feeling Gryphon would continue coming up the stairs, and I didn't have the heart to shut him in his crate, so I lay on the couch, covered myself up to my ears, and tried to salvage what little was left of my sleeptime.

I'll let you in on a little secret. You see, the trick to getting back to sleep is the coverage. You must cover yourself all the way up with a soft blanket, past your chin, and to your ear level, preferably at least mid-ear level. There is something about coverage that makes all the difference. I swear by it. You're welcome.

Before I knew it, it was time to get up. And I was not a happy camper. I felt as I did when faced with nursing a newborn every two hours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I guess my body is trying to tell me something. Or maybe it's time to teach the dog how to tell time.

And now, it's 9 p.m. as I write this, and it's time to afdasdfkljas; oruidsafkjfda zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...


I once was looking after my sons' dog in Spain whilst they went on holiday, Angus (the dog) persited in waking me a 5pm. So a quick walk round the block and back to bed is not the idea way to start the day.
Enjoyed reading your account of things.

Anonymous said…
Mad funny (not) little day in the life post here, Mary. :)

I sleep like a dead rock, so poor little pup would've had to hold it or wake somebody else up. lol

Wife sez if I was the only person in the house at night a whole band of thieves could ransack the joint and I'd never know it.

Oh well, at least I always get my 6-7 hours in. :)

The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog
Anonymous said…
Oh my dog just barks right in my face when she wants me up every day at 5 am!

Thanks for the coverage tip! ;)
Beth said…
Gryphon does look innocent. Maybe he should wear socks to help with the click-ey noises.
Anonymous said…
Yes, there really is something worse. Thank God for absorbent PJs. My older cat is totally~ I Don't Care & I'm not afraid of anything~, but my younger cat peed on me last night when the lightning & thunder were at their worse. 3am shower & bed stripping, so I feel your pain.
Gaston Studio said…
If he does this every night, I'd certainly find some kind of boots for him to wear at night!
Megryansmom said…
Good Morning Mary! Just leave a little comment love on this chilly June Wednesday
darsden said…
LOL look how sweet he looks laying there...! Rudey doesn't have wooden floors so she uses her collar and shakes her head or barks till I come down stairs to let her out. And it is usually buttcrack early..too!
ReformingGeek said…
I love standard poodles but I feel your pain about pets and their failure to learn to tell time. Hubby and I kicked the cat out our bedroom last year and it has been the right decision. Hubby sleeps better and the we don't have to get into a bed full of cat hair.

But dogs are not as self-sufficient, are they?

I hope you had better luck last night.
Joe Cocker (spaniel) has started the 5am wake up calls too. But only about every other day. I'm the light sleeper, so I'm the one to take him out. He has no interest in going back to sleep until I leave for work!
Are you still enjoying your job?
♥Trina♥ said…
I can relate. Except that Bama sits outside the bedroom door and whines. It isn't a prolonged whine; it's more of a "whine"....."whine"....."whiiine"...."whine" until one of us gets up and lets him out. This happens almost every morning at 4:45 Monday - Friday, and almost every weekend morning between 7:00 and 7:30.
Blonde Goddess said…
Dogs are really just toddlers in furry bodies...didn't you know that?
that is why our dog is in his kennel at night...cuz if he hears me move or make a sound at all he's all about thinking Im wanting to show him attention!!!! And trust me at 5 am Im NOT!!!!!
Miss Thystle said…
Don't teach the dog to tell time! My dogs can tell time and EVERY SINGLE DAY they get up at the exact same time. And that time is 5:15. Christmas morning? 5:15. Sunday morning? 5:15! VERY annoying.
Crazy Mo said…
I have chronic insomnia, so I can totally relate to the sleep deprivation. I sleep completely covered up too. You're right about the ear coverage. It works.
Michel said…
that guy is ADORABLE! He had to go potty!!

I love him long time!
CDP said…
Don't you remember thinking, when you were a new mother, that it will be so nice when the baby sleeps through the night so you can too? It's one of the dirty little secrets of motherhood...the baby WILL sleep through the night, eventually, but YOU will never do so again.
Dogs who interrupt sleep have a special place in doggy Hell. A netherworld populated by 200-pound cats and dragonflies, where the bones are rubber and the supper dish is perpetually empty.

What can I say, I love sleep.
pam said…
Sounds like the perfect way to start the day. LOL.

I understand exactly what you mean about the light sleep thing. I haven't slept through the night since 1998.

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