I think she’s doing extremely well

For her first time sleeping somewhere other than our bedroom since November…Isis had a spectacular night. For me, not so much. It’s hard to fall back asleep when you’re anticipating the next time someone’s going to walk through the halls speaking in a loud voice, provoking your extremely well-behaved dog to bark.

She’s not one of those dogs that barks for no reason. Granted we don’t always know what the reason is, but she doesn’t just bark out of boredom. A few months ago, when I took her to work, she barked every time someone passed by my window, but I guess she’s learned that those people aren’t a threat. And she never barks when people walk past the car. Unless they’re with a dog and usually only if the other dog barks first.

It had not occurred to me that barking would be a problem in a hotel, if we didn’t leave her in the room alone. But sure enough, as soon as it was clear that it was bedtime, all the noises in the hallway became dangers that she must alert us to. With loud, aggressive barking.

At midnight, this was a huge concern, because it was late enough that many people would be asleep but not so late that it would be unreasonable for people to be in the halls. But at 3 and 4 in the morning, I started to blame the people in the halls. If they weren’t speaking in their outside voices, they wouldn’t have woken and scared my dog. It seemed like the same group of people, and they passed through the halls many, many times.

The good news is that she did seem to get desensitized to it, so that the slightest noise in the hall didn’t prompt a barking jag. The bad news is that she can still make noise while muzzled and after finally falling asleep again, somewhere around 5, with my face very close to hers, so I could grab her and shut her up as soon as a bark began to erupt, she woke with a start and I lifted my head to stop her and she head-butted me. Or we head-butted each other. In the same spot where I whacked my oribital bone yesterday on the latch to the dog gate. That one was totally my fault.

Shortly thereafter, a knock on the door (this is at 6:15) inspired a small vocalization through her muzzle. At the door, a hotel staffer. “Good morning! Did you order room service?” Most definitely, not.

All things considered, she never barked for more than a second or two, and only about once an hour. Other than that she’s been absolutely perfect. Even eliminated on cue this morning.

As for me, I’m a little worried about falling asleep in my writers workshop. And it’s still an hour until breakfast.

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

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