Tuesday, February 2, 2010

We're Looking For Ideas -- And A Little Sleep

I have mentioned before that Lilac has a lot to say at times.  Her favorite time to tell us something seems to be an hour before the alarm clock goes off.  I used to have the clock set for 6:30 in the morning and she always got up at 5:30.  Later, I changed the clock to 5:30 because I had to get going earlier.  Lilac now gets up at 4:30.  Last week, she decided to get up on Thursday morning at 2:30 and Friday at 3:30.  Thank heaven we were able to sleep in on Saturday and catch up since we're suffering severe sleep deprivation.  Although, I have to say, she really didn't like that!

This has not been an issue until the last year.  Now it is becoming less of an amusing occasional quirk and more of an annoying regular habit.  We have tried a lot of variations in the routine to see if it will help her sleep through the night, and fortunately Bunny and Blueberry have been very adaptable.  We've always done a last turn out right before bed.  We've also started feeding them three meals with the last one being a very small one right before they go to bed.  Nothing seems to help.

Part of it seems to be figuring out what she wants.  She doesn't seem to be needing to use the bathroom really bad.  She doesn't act like she's starving.  Mr. Taleteller used to get up with them, turn them out, feed them and then sleep on the floor under his quilt for a while in between several of the dogs.  Now he's coming back to bed.  She doesn't want to lay back down and go to sleep.  It seems that she wants to just get us all up to do nothing.

I suspect that some of it has to do with her age.  She's fourteen and a half; easily the oldest dog that either of us have lived with.  She is in excellent health, not just for her age, but for a dog of any age.  She plays with stuffies in the living room.  The old lady will even play with Bunny on rare occasion.  She seems to be very aware and alert during the day while we're all home and awake.  It's just this stretch of time at night when she seems dottier than crazy Aunt Martha! 

Has anybody out there ever experienced something like this?  If anybody has any suggestions, we would be happy to hear them.  More than anything, we would just like to get some sleep!  Unlike the Grande Dame, we are not able to take a nap all day -- we have to go to work.  She's lucky we love her!

Blueberry Types for the Blog


  1. Fourteen and a half. She does look great. I have a friend with a fourteen year old English Cocker. She doesn't make it through the night either. And not for any particular reason. Must be a senior thing.

  2. I tend to agree that it may just be a senior thing Hound. They do seem to begin having odd thoughts as they get older. I hope you and the Mr. find some respite soon!

  3. Congrats to bunny!!! we are so pleased a sight hound won the group! now on to best in show!!

  4. Furst... Congratulations BUNNY. That is just wonderful.
    Have you tried preventing Lilac from sleeping during the day???
    Or, it could just be a DOG JOKE.

  5. I have heard (though never experienced) that very old dogs can get a canine version of a sort of dementia. Old humans who suffer from dementia often get up in the middle of the night, confused about what time of day it is.

    You may try to do some googling on it...but maybe the trick with human babies might work: Try to keep her up late at night, not letting her go to bed until later, and maybe that will make her tired enough to sleep through the night.

    Good luck!!

  6. How does she wake you up? maybe you could just crate her at night, or backtie her to something?

  7. Yes it does seem to happen with older dogs, we have had many greyhounds and to be honest, we never really found a key thing that has worked with all of them. Especially our Blew boy. He was the worst at getting us up.

  8. Woof! Woof! I can totally relate. Now that I am old (senior dog) ... my sleeping behavior changed especially at night. I even started to moan. It seems that "cold" temps (floor) helps me sleep well ... especially during daytime. At night, I been sleeping in my "house/cage" that is fully covered n cushioned. The odd thing my family noticed that I like to sleep facing the back side. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  9. I have absolutely no advice to offer (I'm still trying to figure out a lot of this doggie stuff myself), but I sure hope Lilac lets you sleep a little longer. 2:30? 3:30? Yikes! I have a clock radio that goes on at 6:00 and off at 7:00. The last two mornings, I can hear Rainy fussing in her crate either just before or just after 7:00. I crate her for the night right next to my bed so she can see me, but the radio also seems to calm her. Sorry I've got no advice, but sure hope it works out! Lilac, let your mamma sleep!!!

  10. Well, not sure what Lilac wants but boy is she just gorgeous. What a beautiful girl she is. When Josie gets up in the middle of the night it's always because she has to go pee or poo. But then again she's only 3. It must be a senior thing like the other posts said. I do hope you figure it out soon, because you need your sleep! Oh and Congrats Bunny!!! Much Love and Woof Soon!

  11. Looks fantastic for his age :-)

    Kareltje =^.^=

  12. 14 is just about unheard of for greys! How wonderful.

    Sorry, no advice to offer, unfortunately. My girl Bastet used to get up about 3:30 every morning the last couple years of her life. Since we never had kids, I just told myself it was "payback." :-/

  13. I'm not going to give you a solution. I'm here to tell you that the Lilac bashing has to stop. Lilac won't ride in the car. Lilac won't let us sleep. Go-lly! Find somebody else to pick on for a change. (Lilac, don't forget to vote for me)

  14. Congrats Bunny!!!

    As for Lilac, I feel your pain, Bilbo also tends to get up early in the am for no reason! At least he goes in cycles, usually when there is any change of routine.

    Good Luck!

  15. Hmmm... To answer a few questions, first, she wakes us up by barking, and I mean loudly. She's not a big dog, but any burglar outside our house would wet his pants if he heard her inside. She sounds ferocious and always has.

    Tying greyhounds up isn't done. Their necks are not made to withstand that. She doesn't bother anything at night, she just barks, so I'm not sure crating would be a help for that.

    Twink, we love Lilac dearly. At this point, she's a bit like a fiesty old lady that everyone has had in their family at some point. You have to love them, but you also do a lot of eyeball rolling behind their back. She is a sweetheart and the love bug of our group. I secretly adore most of her naughty antics, although not the ones that lead to sleep deprivation.

  16. unfortunately we have the exact same problem with our coco chanel
    she just gets up around 2 or 3 and refuses to leave us alone until we take her outside but then she does'nt even use the restroom so we are stumped as well
    good luck and please let me know if you find something that helps

  17. Tucker has been waking my wife up in the middle of the night for a while. We think it's something to do with his weird tremor condition making him uncomfortable. His muscle relaxer seems to help him sleep through the night. Doesn't sound like this would be Lilac's issue though.

  18. Digby is just the same - he paces back and forth in the wee small hours. The differnce is he falls into a coma like sleep half an hour befor we get up.

  19. My 15 year old schnauzer does something similar but its because she needs to go out. I blame it on age, my baby just an old senile mess, but its the quirks that make me smile and you interesting stories to blog about!


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