Monday, April 20, 2009

I have a problem

A cute, furry problem. Whose name is Skeletor.

Adam and I always wanted Skelly to sleep in our bedroom, just not in our bed with us (mostly because it's only a full-size bed and two people plus a chunky puggle is just not very comfortable). First we put his puppy bed in the room with us, but he just kept waking up and jumping into bed with us. It was very difficult to get through to him that it was ok to nap on the bed or sit on it while we were reading or watching TV, but that at night we needed him to stay off. It seemed like we would either have to banish him from the bed at all times, or deal with him jumping into the bed. We also tried to put his kennel in our bedroom, but A) it's not that cute as a decor item and B) I had some issues with his snoring. So in Texas, he always slept in his kennel in the office down the hall (except for when Adam was away at SERE and I was lonely so I let Skelly sleep with me, despite his snoring and bed-hogging).

Anyway, fast forward about a year and now we're here in Florida. As we're unpacking, we come across our gigantic comforter. Now, we got this comforter as part of our bedding set for our wedding about two years ago, and we started using the set when we settled down in Texas. As anyone who has ever lived in the San Antonio area should know, we used the comforter a grand total of once, and woke up the next morning sweating to death. It's just never gonna get cold enough to need this comforter. And the chances that it's going to get cold enough here in Florida? Exactly. So while Adam and I are contemplating what to do with the comforter: if we should keep it, where should we store it, etc., Skelly decides to take a nap on it. Considering that our dog naps about 75% of the day, this really wasn't shocking, but it did get us thinking again. Thinking, "Hey, this bedroom is twice as big as the one in Texas. Hey, this comforter matches our sheets and decorations in here perfectly. Hey, lets try to let Skelly sleep in our bedroom again. He's a lot older and chilled out in a lot of ways, maybe it will work out this time."

So for the past few weeks, Skelly has been sleeping on our comforter on the floor of our bed. Here is his cute little setup. Ignore the fact that he's napping on our bed and oblivious to his cute little setup.

Despite this picture, Skelly has actually done really well in understanding that he has to stay in his dog bed overnight. I think it helps that he actually starts passing out asleep around 9pm either on the couch or the bed and Adam transfers him to the comforter usually around 11pm when he's too sleepy to attempt a comeback.

So if this is going so well, what the problem? The problem is not at night, it's the morning. When Skelly slept in his kennel overnight, he woke up and came out after I woke up, walked over and let him out. NOW, he can wake up, jump on the bed and whine loudly directly in my face whenever he wants. Which is, in the past week or so, about an hour before I would actually like to wake up. Today, it was 6:45am.

Usually, the best way to discourage behavior, especially whining, is to ignore it. If he doesn't get what he wants, usually he'll figure out it's not working. That worked OK for a few days. Then, one morning last week, I get up at 8:30am and find Skelly laying next to a pile of his poop! Not what I wanted to see first thing in the morning. And now everyday since then, we wakes up a little bit earlier and whines. When I cave in, get out of bed and let him out in the backyard, he poops. Leading me to believe that if I ignore him, he will just poop inside the house again. I mean, I guess he's doing what I've trained him to do: let me know when he has to go outside, but seriously, this is not fun.

I don't really want to putting him back in his kennel, especially if he really has to go in the morning. I don't want to punish him or make him uncomfortable by having to hold it too long. I just have no idea how to get him off of the morning poop schedule, or how to keep him from falling asleep so early and subsequently waking up early.

Adam and I are going to have to talk about this today, since I don't think he thinks its such a problem since he continues to sleep through all of the drama and lets me wake up to handle the dog. I really want to find a happy compromise. Because I really love that goofy dog. He cuddled up and watched Animal Cops: Houston with me while I ate my lunch today and it made me happy. After that he went back to nap in my bed. :)

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