Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Paws at four...

A few mornings ago I stepped out of my less than modern varnished wood door to find the ground icy.  Ice is like a bad dream; in time, you forget its affect on you fairly quickly but it's presence can send more than just a shiver down your spine.  Not only do I dislike ice because it brings a frosty chill into the air but, as someone who has never been particularly coordinated, I dislike the very idea of slipping.  However, I'm not going to lie, the main reason that I hate ice is because I have to defrost my car and that makes my fingers numb!

One of our first walks with Caesar in the ice.  I thought he didn't like us because he didn't seem to want to come!

Caesar isn't a great fan of ice either.  In fact, if I attempt to walk him on the icy ground, he will, if you'll pardon the pun, freeze up.  Any adverse weather conditions and you've lost any enthusiasm that Caesar previously had about leaving the house.  This lightning-fast change in attitude is amazing to watch.  One minute he's bouncing about wanting to go for a walk and the next minute he's as still as a statue as he refuses to budge from the spot where he has rooted himself.  This can be particularly annoying if, at the time that the adverse conditions set in, you are walking in the direction of home already!

But today's blog isn't about walks.  Or cars.  It's about bed time.

Since Christmas, Caesar has somehow managed to move into our bedroom.  There are a few reasons for this:

1.  If he's not in there, he cries outside of the door all night and doesn't let us sleep.
2.  If he's not in there, he opens the door and comes in anyway.
3.  It has been particularly cold recently, and there's no denying that our room is the warmest.
4.  If he's not in there, he poos on the floor!

I've always dealt with the first two accordingly.  If Caesar cried, I'd try my best to ignore him, even once resorting to ear plugs.  If he opened the door, I'd calmly take him back outside and shut the door again.  However, when the third started to occur I began to lose my patience a little.  Before getting dogs, my house had been my pride and joy and, in particular, my spare bedroom which is decorated in a 'shabby chic' style with cherry blossoms and varnished wooden floorboards.  You can imagine my glee when, at 7:00 in the morning, I had to make time to clean toilet visits up from around my solid wood 'Romance' bed.  I could have cried!

What is most frustrating about this is that, when Caesar sleeps in our room, he shows no desire what so ever to go to the toilet.  So, I can only conclude that he somehow seeking revenge on me by doing his business in my beautiful spare bedroom!

'You don't need your legs when you're sleeping so what's the problem?!'

Anyway, eventually, going against all of the advice that any dog trainer would ever give, I caved and decided it was easier for him to sleep in our bedroom.  However, there was a condition; he must stay in his own bed.  This was a great idea in theory; if he jumped up, then he would be told to go back to bed.  He's usually fairly responsive to commands and should do that.  He could then be praised, we'd go back to sleep, my spare room would escape unscathed and everyone would be happy.

Caesar looking really happy about sleeping in a dog bed!

Except, with dogs, and particularly Caesar-type dogs, things just don't happen like that.  On the first few nights, Caesar was up and down like a yo-yo.  'That's to be expected,' I told myself.  'He'll learn.'  After a week or so, I felt that things were on the up, I was awake only three or four times during the night to tell him to go back to sleep but this had been dramatically reduced since the first few days when it felt like the delinquent dog was waking us up every fifteen minute.  It's hard to be sympathetic to his whimpering in bed when you're exhausted so I didn't feel the need to allow him onto the mattress.  I was sure that, after a while, he would give up.

Last week, though, I had a very stressful week.  Each night, I came home from work feeling exhausted and my own bed times were getting earlier.  I'd find myself sleeping for almost twelve hours and still feeling exhausted in the morning.  One, particularly long day, I headed up for bed with Caesar by my side.  I didn't feel my head hit the pillow and when I woke up in the morning, there was a heavy feeling on my was Caesar.

Since then, he has refused to get down off the bed.  Maybe it's not that bad, I thought.  Perhaps my life would just be easier if I let him stay there and stopped trying to fight him away.  I was pretty convinced of that until I walk up at 4 this morning with him standing on my head!

Caesar and I would like to thank all of our lovely readers and those of you that have donated to his excellent rescue centre, SARA.  We know there are lots of little centres that work hard to ensure dogs are cared for and loved in the most difficult weeks/months/years of their lives.  This is the final week of donations from the advent calendar project.  So, if you would like to make a small donation to a really worthy cause, then please follow the link below.

Saving Caesar Charity Choice for SARA

And, to find out more about the lovely SARA, visit their website: