Wednesday, 22 August 2012

To sleep, perchance to dream

All ready for bed - complete with stolen pillow!
At 3.45am this morning, I woke up to the sound of muffled barking. It was louder than I would have expected from a Greyhound curled up in her bed, dreaming contentedly, in her other room. As I slowly regained some semblance of consciousness, I realised that the noise was not coming from the other room, but from somewhere very close to me. I peered out from under the covers, to see Mila lying prone on the floor beside the bed – using a coat that had fallen (been pulled??) off its hook as a mattress and the coat’s fluffy hood as a pillow. While she can’t have been comfortable (that ground is hard and we have a dog bed for a reason!), she was dead to the world, twitching and yapping away as she dreamed, I like to think, of racing around the track.

And this one involves a makeshift pillow of blankets...
If you have seen a Greyhound (or in fact, any dog) in this kind of dream state, you will know that it is a sight to behold. There is much flickering of eyes, twitching of legs, and quite a bit of noise. My family used to have a German Shepherd who, despite being completely horizontal, would “run” in her sleep, brushing her legs along the carpet – and ultimately, getting nowhere. I would love to know what they dream of. I have visions of Mila running along the beach with her hound friends with Chariots of Fire playing in the background. It would actually be exactly like that Mr Bean sketch during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, right down to Mila eventually winning the race by dubious means.

Of course, it is never a good idea to try to wake Mila (or any dog) by touching her. To do so, is to earn yourself a stern growl and a snap (if she were human and was shaken awake in bed she would respond by sitting bolt upright and punching you square in the jaw…she gets that from Mike. So, I got up, flicked on the light and called her over to her own bed next door, where she slept happily for the rest of the night morning.

Dead to the world in full roach-mode.
Mila loves being around people and, like it or not, that includes when it comes time to go to bed. We have tried having her sleep on her couch in the lounge – persisting with it for the first couple of weeks that we had her, but that doesn’t really fly. There is pacing and rustling and nudging and not a lot of sleep being had by anyone. She is not allowed to sleep in our room (and certainly not on our bed - there is barely enough room for us humans…) so the compromise is that she can sleep in the hallway outside. For the most part, that set up works well – but on the odd occasion (it’s raining! it’s cold! I need to go to the toilet and forgot to go when we went outside before bed last night! Grrr…) we wake up to find that Mila has opened the door and there is a greyhound shaped lump on the floor, or better yet, a wet snout on the pillow nudging us awake.

Funny, you don’t see me growling and snapping when I get woken up like that! Not usually anyway.


  1. I love this Rachel - cheeky Mila! Reminds me of our Sam.. he does a flying leap onto our bed every morning as soon as he hears the alarm, and tramples every sensitive bit he can find until we get up and feed them. BUT I've woken a few times now (on the particularly cold nights) with dead feet, and it's taken my sleep addled brain a while to figure out what's going on. Then I realise it's Sam... snuck onto the bed in the middle of the night, doing a great job of not disturbing either of us. Seems he can be a bit of a ninja when it suits him!

    1. Haha - I love it!! You guys must be some pretty heavy sleepers if you don't notice a greyhound landing on top of you :) - I think my favourite part is when we get back from our morning walk and Mike is still in bed asleep (lazy!!). He has his own personal alarm clock - Mila rushes into the bedroom to tell him we're home and shoves her wet nose into his neck. Gets him every time! And I only encourage it a little bit...I promise!