Last night, for the first time since J has owned huskies, the dogs did not sleep in the bedroom.
Moving into the new house yesterday, one of our first priorities was to get the crates set up in the lounge room. The dogs were allowed to roam the backyard for about half an hour before dinner, before being crated while we and our moving helpers ate, and then allowed a quiet explore of the new house.
Perhaps if we'd had the lounge properly set up, sat and watched TV with the dogs lolling around us, they would have been more relaxed. But being very tired and sore, we were both keen to lie flat and so we put the dogs to bed a bit earlier than normal. We went across the hall and left the bedroom door open.
It was peaceful. It was quiet. We fell asleep... For about an hour, until Frankie started protesting. J got up and let them all out into the backyard, where Frankie did the kind of pee that makes you wish you'd started timing it at the beginning. The others wandered around and then everyone went back to bed.
It was peaceful and quiet again. For about three hours, when Frankie started up again. J took him out again, but he really didn't need to pee this time. He did go back to sleep happily.
This time the quiet lasted two hours. This time, we decided, we would let him cry himself back to sleep. A bit of tough love. J called out to him sternly - sometime dogs confuse a soothing tone with positive encouragement. He quietened down, and this time the quiet lasted til morning.
The question of course, is why was Frankie, a ten year old who is well and truly crate trained, the one who protested throughout the night? Perhaps the answer is in some of the behaviours the pack has displayed while we have been packing. Earlier this week, I was packing clothes in the bedroom. I had suitcases laid out on the bed and kept walking from the wardrobe to the cases, past the bedroom door. Czar and Bolo stretched out on the hallway Lino and were content to watch me appear and disappear through the door way. Frankie and Ishka both kept following me backwards and forwards. I was only walking about four steps, but each time I left the bedside, both of them scrambled up and stuck to my heels for the four steps, pulling up in surprise when I stopped again so soon. Nearly everytime I turned around from the wardrobe, I stepped on or crashed into one or both of them.
This really frustrating behaviour is pretty typical of Ishka and Frankie. They will come and tuck themselves under a desk while I'm working. They will come and pace the hallway while I'm in the toilet. Ishka will whine for attention, even while sitting right at J's feet. Bolo and Czar are both happy to stretch out in the hallway outside whatever room I'm in, or wait by the door.
Possibly the packing amped up Frankie and Ishka's stress levels and sent them looking for company and reassurance. Possibly Ishka whined as much as Frankie did last night, but her high pitched whine didn't penetrate our sleep like his moans did. But we're really hoping they both settle down and let us sleep more tonight!