Difficulty Sleeping With Dogs

Since I didn't have a good plan for this week's posts I thought that it would be fun to share my adventures in dog sitting.

"Sophie 1" - McKinney, Texas
This is the first time that I have had all four dogs at once.  Previously my parents tried to limit the crazy by boarding the boys, so I only had to deal with Sophie and Pepper.  Honestly, Sophie on her own is a handful!  She squeaks and whines, bounces around like a moron at feeding time (one time she jumped up as I was bending down and I seriously thought she broke my nose), she hates car rides and thinks she's a lapdog (her nightly ritual is to climb up on your lap, so you're stuck watching TV with a 70 pound brown radiator on top of you), and you're not allowed to be out of her sight for more than a few minutes at a time.  She's a good dog, don't get me wrong, but she requires a LOT of attention.  Throw the boys in the mix and it's difficult to get much of anything done.
"Tug-o-War 1" - McKinney, Texas
This time around, however, I had to pick the boys up early because the kennel they were at was not open on Sundays and actually it closed at noon on Saturday.  I was fairly worried about the dynamics of everything because, while all of the Matlock dogs generally get along, Pepper and Jack do have a tendency to set each other off.  Basically Pepper is not good at sharing (toys, beds, me, you name it and she wants it all) and Jack thinks he's the boss (which Pepper disagrees with).  In particular I was very concerned about bedtime.
"Louie 6" - McKinney, Texas
At home Pepper sleeps in a dog bed beside my bed.  My parents' dogs however, starting with Sophie, have all started actually sleeping in bed with my parents.  After Max passed and my parents decided that Sophie was going to be an only dog, little did they know what was in store, they started letting Sophie sleep in their bed and there is no moving her once she's in the bed.  It's amazing really, it's like she manages to turn her 70 pounds into 700!  If she's laying where you'd like your feet to go, that's just too bad for you, sleep with your legs crunched up so that you're limping around the whole next day.  If she wants to lay her head on you then you'd better bet that that now 300 pound head is going to be on you until Sophie decides to move it.  After the boys showed up and my parents had to contend with three dogs, they decided that they would continue to let Sophie sleep in the bed and the boys would sleep in dog beds.  Well, then they started letting the boys get into the bed in the morning which turned into my parents plus over 200 pounds worth of dogs all in a queen size bed!  I know, they are insane.  Anyway, my concerns over bedtime stemmed from: If Pepper was on the bed then Jack would want to be on the bed and I didn't want to be in the middle of a "it's my bed, no it's my bed," wrestling match at 3 a.m. or if Jack was on the bed then Pepper would want to be on the bed and, again, I didn't want to be in the middle of a "it's my bed, no it's my bed," wrestling match at 3 a.m..  My solution was to let no one in the bed, except Sophie due to the aforementioned ability to become unmovable, and to sleep with a water gun, nicknamed the Bubba Gun because my parents' neighbor told my mom that it was a little disturbing to hear her in the yard yelling at misbehaving dogs that she was going to "shoot them with the gun."  Luckily this neighbor knows mom well enough to know she's talking about a water gun.  Anyway, here's how my night went:
"Jack 7" - McKinney, Texas
The dogs and I headed to bed around 11.  I first tried moving two dog beds into my parents' master bathroom and leaving the boys in there.  It took way more cajoling than it should have to get Louie into the bathroom.  Seriously you would have thought that I was trying to lock him up in a very small cabinet and not a bathroom that is the size of a decent bedroom!  After I got Jack and Louie into the bathroom and was all comfortable in bed the banging began.  The boys were taking turns headbutting the door to get out of the bathroom.  I decided that it was worth it to let them out rather than have to explain why there were dog shaped holes in the bathroom doors.  So I got out of bed, moved the dog beds back into the bedroom, and got back in bed.  Then Jack decides that he needs to be in the big bed with Sophie and me.  He reluctantly gets down when I tell him and then decides to try his luck on the other side of the bed because that must be the reason that I didn't want to snuggle with another 80 pounds worth of dog all night.  He gets his front paws up on the bed before I get the word no out and then just looks at me all dejected.  Jack then goes back to the first side of and the whole thing goes on for several minutes with Louie bouncing around behind Jack certain that if Jack makes it into the bed then Louie can to, Sophie watching Jack go from one side of the bed to the other like a spectator at a tennis match, and Pepper is snuggled up in one of the dog beds thinking the rest of us are idiots it's bedtime.  I finally have to threaten and then squirt Jack with the Bubba Gun before he finally realizes that he's going to have to suffer through the night in one of the supper plush dog beds, such torture!  You'd think that was the end of things wouldn't you, well, you forgot about Louie.  Louie is much less interested in getting in the bed than he is about being touched...constantly!  Louie waits until I am almost asleep and then starts furiously licking my hand.  I'm awake!  "Louie go to bed!"  He stops, I move my hand and almost get back to sleep, then the licking on my other hand.  I'm awake!  "Louie go to bed!"  This goes on for several hours with Louie working his way through both hands several times, my foot, my face once, before either he got tired and stopped or I was so exhausted that I slept through the tongue assault.  I did get a few hours of sleep before I woke to Sophie standing on the bed staring at me.  Yep, that's not a creepy thing to wake up to.  My parents' dogs normally get up around 5 or 6 in the morning and my parents let them out to go to the bathroom and feed them before going back to bed.  Well, that was not going to happen on my watch!  I yelled "Everyone go back to bed," threatened the boys with the Bubba Gun when they tried to breach the bed again, rolled over and actually got to sleep until 8 a.m.!  It was a win...sort of.

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