Life with Lucy: Lucy’s Leap to the Top

1 Feb

BY LAURA SANDIFORD

If you ask my mom, she will tell you that I have always been very particular about the condition of my bed. It must be made every day, I love clean sheets and I am always ready to get back home and sleep in my own bed after a vacation.
That’s why I told Lucy after on our first night together that she would have her very own “special bed” – a box with several blankets next to my bed.

Yeah, right: I folded. Within five minutes, she began to whine and shake uncontrollably. I picked her up and put her on the bed with me. She looked around the bed, surveying the mountain of covers for a suitable location. She settled on the pillow next to mine…only because I wouldn’t let her lay on mine.
While I would never compare our first night to the same thing as bringing home a newborn, it was a night of up and down, in and out. She whined to go out. She whined because she was thirsty. She whined to go out again. Finally she woke me up at daylight (on a Sunday morning) by jumping and growling at me. Needless to say I was a bit grumpy. Then to top it off, she was back asleep within an hour.

As soon as it was appropriate to go visiting, I woke her and we went over to my parents’ home. It was time for Lucy to get to know Spanky, my parents’ Boston Terrier that my mom decided to get six months before I graduated from high school (she says it was empty nest syndrome, even though my younger brother still had three years of school left).

I don’t know which of them had more fun– probably Spanky, since he thought I had brought him a new toy, only he couldn’t make it squeak and it could bite back. They played until they were out of breath and then came back for more.

This was all part of my plan. The puppy play-date would hopefully tire Lucy out and  get her to sleep in her “special bed.”

When it was time for bed, I put Lucy in her box and she proceeded to whine and cry, same as the night before. As soon as I reached down to pet her and reassure that the box was an okay place to be, she stopped crying.

This is when I had a small revelation: I could pull the box up to the side of the bed and dangle my arm over to pet her until she fell asleep. This way we both get sleep and she couldn’t bite me when she woke up to play. It worked. She dozed off to sleep soon and I had the bed all to myself… just the way I like it. She only woke up a few times during the night and she could be lulled back to sleep if I reached down to pet her.

After several nights of this routine, Lucy stopped whining when I put her in the box. She would lie down and happily go to sleep, probably because she was worn after a full day of shredding toilet paper and murdering the fuzzy bathroom rug.

After a few weeks, it was obvious that I was going to need a bigger box or I was going to need to change up our routine. I took the blankets from the box put them in “her corner” along with her toys and pillow. She took to her new sleeping arrangements pretty well. I think she liked it a lot more, because then she was free to roam around while I enjoyed eight-hour slumber sessions.

This arrangement worked for the first 10 months of Lucy’s life. Then it all changed when I took a new job that required working nights.

On morning four of my new schedule I knew something was going to have to change. I could no longer survive on four hours of sleep a night. We were going to bed at 3 a.m. and Lucy wanted to get up at 7 a.m.  Why not – that’s what she had been doing for the last 10 months.

On day four I caved. I encouraged Lucy to get on the bed. She happily obliged. She didn’t even hesitate. She leapt on to the bed like she’d been doing it all her life. She made a few circles and headed for the pillows, but I defended my territory and told her no. Her second choice was the foot of the bed. She claimed the spot where my feet had been only moments ago. I traded my warm spot for sleep and sanity.

We were fast asleep in no time and slept until 10 a.m. Oh my goodness, she had  never let me sleep that late. This went on for about a week. Each morning at 7 she would whine and I would invite her to get on the bed.

The next week she began to whine and beg at my bedside as soon as I got into bed, she ignored her own bed and insisted on getting on my bed. At first I resisted, but when Lucy is determined she will break you. After 30 minutes of pacing and whining I gave her the go ahead. She happily obliged and she’s been there ever since. Now we sleep in our bed until 11 a.m.

On days when I do have to set the alarm and get up early, she gives me the evil eye if I hit the snooze more than once… because its interrupting her beauty sleep.

One Response to “Life with Lucy: Lucy’s Leap to the Top”

  1. tupeloginny February 3, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    Laura, I’m so glad you relented and let Lucy sleep in comfort! And shame on you for ever setting an alarm clock! That puppy needs her beauty rest! LOL

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