This may sound bizarre but before getting a dog it never actually occur to me that dogs go to sleep. Just try to understand my thought process here for a moment. As a non-dog owner whenever you see a dog it’s either at the park running around like a psychotic maniac or in a car while driving down the freeway with his head sticking out the window while the wind blows his floppy ears around. None of these events make you think of sleep.
Non dog owners never get to see the other side of owning a dog. It’s the same as when you move in with a new partner and see the side of them that they normally hide from others. Of course dogs don’t care much for hiding their bad habits, they wear them proudly and with no shame.
I have a job that involves getting up for work at 2AM every morning. It’s obvious when I open our dogs crate to let him outside that he is not a morning person. It’s not just that he looks tired, he actually looks dead. It’s common to find him asleep on his back with his legs stretched out at weird angles, his tongue hanging out of his mouth and his entire body laying in a weird convoluted angle. If you didn’t know any better you’d assume you had just walked in on a car accident victim having a stroke.
I open the crate so he can leave but he just wakes up enough to look at me with one eye in a disinterested way. After a few minutes he finally decides that getting out of the crate would be a good idea so he stands up and stretches as he walks out. Normally three steps is all he can take until he drops down on the tiles and closes his eyes again.
I can see this is not going very well for either of us. He needs to use he back lawn and I need to leave for work soon so something needs to be done. I open the back door and turn on the outside light as I’m rightly assuming our brave dog is afraid of the dark. After a few minutes of negotiation we finally decide that if we both walk outside then that would be an acceptable compromise, however as we finally leave the confines of the house and into the strange and frightening place called “outside” we meet up with his nemesis.
It’s a sad but true cliche that dogs and cats don’t get along. That’s normal, but in this case there is a twist – our dog is petrified of our cats. Sure, he puts up a brave face and normally barks at them but as soon as they take a single step towards him then the retreat would impress the worst armies in the world.
Combine this fear with the early morning and you’re walked into our dogs worst nightmare. We both know he needs to go out but he looks at me with those puppy dog eyes and I nod to him. Do you know when you really need to do something but the obstacles are so large you know deep down in your soul it will never be a possibility?
Storm knows what the nod means, he turns around defeated and is asleep before I close the crate door.
He must amazing bladder control, but at least I made it to work on time.