Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Don't you want to make her stay up late?

Ok, dog people, I've got a dilemma for you: Every night, we go to sleep in our cozy little bedroom with the door open; otherwise, it gets very stuffy. Jelly, the half-blind, mostly deaf lhasa apso mix we adopted over New Year's, starts the night on her bed on the floor, snoring away like the little old lady she is. But at some point in the middle of the night ranging from 2 am to 5 am, she gets up and paces around our room and out into the hall. Which is a problem, since the previous owners of the house chose to cover the wide pine boards with linoleum, meaning her toenails go CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK the whole time she's wandering, which wakes both of us up.

So we've gotten in the habit of getting out of bed, picking her up and putting her in bed with us for the rest of the night. She sleeps at shoulder height, snoring and snorting and occasionally choking violently on nothing, which does not make for a restful night for any of the other creatures in the bed (Rocky usually jumps up, down by our feet, at some point in the night, too, but she's no problem). It wreaks havoc with my need to wake up at a consistent time of day in order to take my temperature for fertility purposes, and in general it just causes a lousy night's sleep.

So the question here is how to break Jelly of this habit. Since she's a rescue pooch, she loves routine. She loves knowing that when we go into the living room to eat dinner at the coffee table (glamorous, isn't it) she'll get picked up and plopped on the couch. She loves the fact that when she comes in from outside in the morning, she gets her eyedrop and a treat. And she loves to bark when things don't go her way. A couple nights ago we were laying in bed, silently having the "You get up. No, you get up" contest to pick her up; apparently we'd waited too long for her liking, because she started barking her fool head off.

We've thought about putting a gate across the open doorway, so she can't get out of our bedroom and CLICK CLICK CLICKing her way down the hall; that would also entail covering the places the rug doesn't cover with towels or something to eliminate the clicking when she wanders in our room. And we'd probably also have to get the squirt bottle, which she detests, out again to deal with the inevitable barking. All of which means at least a couple truly miserable nights before things get any better.

If anyone has any better ideas, please let me know. And if a visual of the creature in question, sound asleep on Darren's lap during the Patriots game, will help, here you go: