My wife and I were sitting down on our couch relaxing and a large groan came from across the room. Nittany, our Lhasa Apso-Bichon Frise dog, let out a huge sigh. We both laughed because no dog ever has had an easier life.
Nittany sleeps all the time. She’s a professional napper. She rarely closes her eyes completely, but she sleeps probably 23.5 hours out of each 24 hour day. She’ll cuddle up in a ball and be out in a seconds. I’ve worked from home the past two years and one of the benefits has been getting a sneak peek at her sleeping habits. I’ve noticed that she has six different sleeping patterns and I can’t get enough of each of them. Who knew little dog’s sleeping habits could be so fascinating?
—The Nervous-Nelly Sleep. Most parents can relate to this one. It’s the “I’ve managed to get everyone into bed sleeping” type of sleep. It’s like a mom or dad who has worked all evening getting everyone where they need to be. The mom finally takes a deep breath. She’s just about ready to relax, but she knows better: There’s always something to worry about or get ready for the next day. The mom eventually falls asleep, but she’s on-guard, ready to wake at the first crack of dawn.
–The Middle of the Day Sleep. My son and wife are off at school and work. Other than me working in my office, Nittany has the whole house to herself. It should be the best sleep of her day, but she stays alert, ready to pounce on every delivery driver, garbage truck driver, or anyone else silly enough to travel on our street. So, rest comes only in sporadic bursts, and God help the fool silly enough to actually step foot on our grass or driveway. Super Dog Nittany is ready to take action saving the day.
–The Night Before Christmas Sleep. I see this type of sleep right before my son or wife come home. She’s exhausted from staying alert all day, but she knows the fun is about to start. She doesn’t want to miss it, but “hey it’s still good sleeping time, no use wasting some good shut-eye.”
–Can We Go To Sleep Sleep. Picture this: My wife and I have just sat down in the evening. We’re chit chatting, maybe watching a movie or show on TV or even reading a book. On the floor in her bed in our living room, Nittany lies down, but desperately tries to catch our eye. She’s not really sleeping. She gives us miniature dog winks, as if to say, “hey, don’t you want to go to bed?” She keeps going, doing her best to guilt us into going to bed, until finally we give-in and decide to call it a night and she can take her rightful spot in the middle of our warm bed.
–The Calm Before the Storm Sleep. The only time Nittany really closes her eyes is in the wee hours of the morning, right before the sun begins to rise. If I get up early to go the bathroom, I’ll catch her eyes closed, laying upside down, modesty a distant afterthought, snoring worse than a sailor on a three-day leave. It’s rare, but this has to be her most zonked-out sleep.
–Let Me Weigh a Ton Sleep. This sleep is less about her and more about my wife or me. This is the way Nittany sleeps right before we have to get up and go to work. She’ll lay on your legs or up against your body. She feels like a weighted blanket against you. I swear she becomes a 200-pound English Mastiff or St. Bernard lying next to you. The weight bares down on top of you, and it take everything you’ve got to move.
Of course, all this talk of sleep is making me sleepy. Let me find Nittany and go take a nap. We’ll both be happy!