Monday, 1 October 2012

I'll sleep when I'm dead (apparently)

I have come to appreciate that greyhounds are very much creatures of routine.

At our house, that means waking up at 6.30 am every morning (regardless of whether it is the weekend or not) for breakfast and a morning walk. After much bustling about, the humans leave at about 8 am (most of the time, anyway – why is it that twice a week they refuse to leave us in peace??), and the dogs to sleep undisturbed for the best part of 9 hours. At 6pm, everyone is home again and it is time for toileting, dinner, another walk and some more sleeping. Somewhere in there is a bit of play time and a few pats – and then it is off to bed for the night at about 10.30 pm.

The hounds know what to do and when to do it – and they love it. They know how long to hold their bladders, when their next meal is coming and when it is time to relax.

You would think that with that kind of timetabling, we might have been able to stay in bed until a reasonable hour on Sunday morning when Daylight Saving ticked over.

Because dogs don’t do daylight savings, I was prepared for the prospect of having the dogs getting up at the regular time (waking me up in the process) and instead of it being 6.30 am, it would be 7.30 am – so I could at least feel like I was getting up at a semi-sensible time for a Sunday morning. I thought that maybe we could run on “lazy Sunday morning” human time instead of “I’m awake – why aren’t you awake? I’m going to poke my nose in your eye to check if you are alive and WHERE is my breakfast??” greyhound time.

But Chris was on to it. He knew that was something was happening with the clocks and that his sleeping patterns were about to change. Worst of all, he knew that the whole thing was just an elaborate scheme by me to try to trick him into staying in bed for longer than he had to.

So, Chris made sure that he didn’t let the clocks get the better of him and decided to make his own mind up about when he would be getting up. And he got it all wrong. At 5.30 am (with my body is telling me it’s 4.30 am but Chris convinced that it was 6.30am), there are noises from the other room as the old man wakes up, stretches his legs and bounces out of bed. On his way past Mila, Chris “accidentally” brushes her leg, causing her to bolt awake and let out a howl – and then there were two of them rearing to go for the day.

And there was no coming back from there. Unfortunately, the latch to our bedroom door doesn’t work properly and is no match for a hound on a mission. In they both come, trotting around either side of the bed, poking noses in eyes, slapping tails against walls, breathing loudly, brushing past each other and generally letting us know that “lazy Sunday morning” human time is off the table as an option. 

When it became evident that we weren’t moving in a hurry (and were still pretending to be asleep), the dogs lay down beside the bed for 0.2 of a second and then get up to try it all over again. They race down the hallway (wooden floors – so I could hear every single foot step) to check if breakfast has magically appeared and then back again to tell me that it hasn’t. They get back on to their beds and spend the next 10 minutes repositioning themselves to get comfortable. One more race up and down the hallway and any chance I thought I had of a sleep-in has disappeared.  At 6 am (body screaming at me that it is only 5 am AND Sunday!!), I am up - reading the paper, feeding the dogs, grumpy, and wondering what to do with myself for the day. Mike seems to have mastered the art of just staying in bed and hoping that someone else deals with the problem. He saunters in to the dining room at 9am (three hours later!!), looking refreshed and ready to face the day. 

And what have the hounds been doing since we got up? Sleeping on the couch, of course.
All tuckered out after an early Sunday start. If anyone should be curled up on there - it's me!


  1. You'll hate us for this - George and Mynx sleep in as long as I do whatever the day. I get up at 6.00am during the week and head downstairs with them at 7.00am. On weekends, they wait until I'm ready to go down, no matter how late. I'm off sick at the moment (hand, foot and mouth disease of all things!) and couldn't get out of bed until 11.00am this morning. There they were, faithfully snoozing by the bed waiting. Very occasionally they want to toilet in the wee small hours - Mynx puts her front feet on the bed to wake me; George paces, knowing I'll notice sooner or later. If Mynx wakes me, its only ever her that goes out. if its George, she waits until I get back into bed then 9 times out of 10 announces that its her turn. There's no show without Punch.

    1. Some people have all the luck!! The last few mornings, Chris has decided that 3.45 am is a great time to check everyone is still alive - so he comes in and does his routine. At first I thought he needed to toilet, but he didn't go when I let him out - and when I tried ignoring him he wouldn't settle until I acknowledged him (I left him for an hour the other night and then gave up). It appears that he just needs someone to retuck him into bed...lets hope it doesn't become a habit.

  2. We're the same here Rachel - 6am is breakfast time, no matter the day of the week. In the weekends we can sometimes manage 7am by sternly telling them 'back to bed' but it only works for so long, and sometimes not at all! As much as I love my sleep-ins, it usually ends up being easier for us to get up, throw their food in their bowls and then go back to bed... after that they'll let us sleep in as late as we like!

    It's the same at night time too, in the weekends they start getting restless from about 4.30-5pm, knowing that dinner is at 6.

    Very jealous of you Sally - alas S&S care waaaay too much about their meals!