May 7, 2015

the dog who cried woof

Bix's latest thing is waking me up in the middle of the night yelling at what I assume is an animal somewhere outside of our house. I've only seen one of them, and it was this very large raccoon eating the cat food my neighbor had left out, but it's happened a few times outside of that. Part of me feels grateful that I have this big defensive dog who will scare off robbers and what have you with his ferocious bark, but a much bigger part of me is terrified of how this means he'll behave when we're living in a one-person tent. If I've already slept a good number of hours, my chances of falling back asleep in a reasonable amount of time are very slim, and even slimmer in the great out-of-doors because as of now, I don't sleep so well there period. So I alternate between turning on the porch light and letting Bixby hop his front paws up on the windowsill and saying, "Loook, Bix, it's fiiine, there's nothing there, it's all gooood" and then putting on my stern voice to tell him "NO SIR, go in your CRATE, that is ENOUGH, good NIGHT." If it happens again tonight, you can bet I'll be whipping out the dreaded spray bottle, which he cowers away from so pathetically that I feel abusive. And then that smaller part of me pops up obnoxiously and suggests that if I punish him for barking at things, he won't bark at things when it matters, which makes me wish that dogs understood stuff like reasoning and English. Last night after our walk, I was on cloud nine. He had been an angel, stuck by my side, hadn't even barked at the dog who barked at him, etc, but then this morning, after the 3 a.m. episode and a godawful walk that would have frustrated anybody, let alone a sleep deprived person, I felt like taking him on the hike was a terrible idea. Don't get me wrong - I'm going to do it, he's coming with, but dear LORD here's hoping these witching hour barking sessions stop immediately.