A nocturnal journal

My neighbour here is a cock.

I bet you didn’t think that was how this post was going to start, and, to be honest, neither did I. But, there you go. That’s what happens when you’re writing a blog post at 4am, crusty-eyed and losing your tentative grasp on sanity.

Puppies can be a challenge. Tonight has been one such challenge, made far more so because of the aforementioned cock.

There’s no need to go into the minutiae of his cockishness here, suffice to say that, since This Little Doggy’s arrival, I’ve done my utmost to keep her from disturbing anyone at night. This has been to her detriment, as she needs to learn that shouting won’t get her anywhere, yet, for now, I have little option but to respond to her when she does.

She started wailing at 2:30 this morning. I had taken her out for her final evacuations at 23:30, a full half hour earlier than normal, and, sensing the disrupt this could cause, set my alarm for 3am, instead of the normal 4:30am, to give me plenty of leeway.

Ah, yes, I’ve gone back to setting an alarm, rather than letting her toilet in her pen, as she had taken to emptying herself right in the middle of the pen, then stomping, sitting and rolling in it, covering every inch of herself and the floor before starting to wail about it. Since I couldn’t let her cry it out, (reference above, under “cock”), I spent half the night cleaning. So, instead, I’ve gone back to setting the alarm to get her outside before she goes. However, not wanting her to make a peep and disturb anyone’s beauty sleep, I’ve not crate trained her for overnights yet. So if she needs to go to the loo before my alarm goes off, she will. You see how not letting her cry isn’t doing anyone any favours.

There it was, then. 2:30am, way earlier than imagined, and the first strains of a whine had me bounding to my feet and into the living room, to be greeted by a huge puddle, with the obligatory paw prints leading in every direction away from it, and two steaming turds. Two. Having had one nary three hours previous. That’s more evacuation than in the Great War.

Still, this is part and parcel of having a puppy, so I cleaned it up and settled down on the dog bed next to the pen. Yes, this is my ritual; to ensure she doesn’t cry again after I put her back to bed, I wait with her until she’s asleep. Again, making a rod for my own back in order to try to keep the peace with Twatty McCockface.

Except, this time, she didn’t want to sleep. Throwing herself against the walls of her pen and barking with the vehemence that only an over-tired toddler can muster, any fingers that I put through to stroke her and settle her down were met by the gnashing needles of doom. If this was a scene from The Exorcist, This Little Doggy was embracing the leading role of Regan, and I was playing the part of the priest. Who came to an untimely end, let’s remember.

I was tired. I’d already had a very stressful day, and my very soul was weary. This whirling dervish of teeth and noise was the proverbial straw and I hissed, “Luna, will you just shut up!!“. Even as I did so, I knew it would do no good whatsoever, and I wasn’t wrong. It didn’t even make me feel any better, as I knew how ridiculous I was being. So, I took a breath and gathered myself together.

That’s what saw me starting on a ninety minute session of bite inhibition and calmness training in the wee hours of the morning. Ninety. Minutes. We did well, eventually. There was a little lightbulb moment, where she seemed to realise that licking my hand got her tummy rubs, but biting it got her door closed and being ignored for ten seconds. With her serious little face, she came out of her crate, crawled into my lap and snuggled in tight. All was immediately forgiven, and, after a while, she took herself back into her bed and fell asleep.

Taking her lead, I returned to my own bed, where the Two Bigger Doggies had completely laid claim, so with a bit of “redistribution”, to get an inch of duvet and pillow, I laid down my weary head and closed my eyes.

Ten minutes later, I opened them again, realising it was not to be. And that’s where you find me now, coming up on 5am, writing a blog post, while Shadow snores and “runs” in his sleep next to me.

It’s going to be a long day. I just need to keep in mind the image of that sleeping pup.

Priceless.

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