I am happy to report that Pippy receives sufficient sleep. Her REM cycle is in good working order. I think we can thank her doggie bed for that.
You may be wondering how I know Pippy is a good sleeper and not suffering from insomnia. This is an issue I never considered when puppy shopping. It never crossed my mind to inquire with my breeder about Pippy's sleep habits. For all my Googling pre-purchase, I never thought to check in on the Schnoodle's snoring tendency. I just lucked out - Pippy isn't a pug and isn't obese so she doesn't keep me awake at night with the constant disgruntled breathing that sounds like a freight train - my Dad still takes the cake for that behavior.
But last night I began to consider my dog's sleeping patterns. It started around 2 AM when she let out a sudden whimper. It resembled the sound I would make if someone stuck a huge needle in me without warning. I popped up in bed to see who was poking my dog. But no one was there. Pippy was still fast asleep on her bed, sprawled out with a leg in each direction and head cocked to the side, ears flopping crazily across the pillow top.
I thought maybe I had been dreaming. Within moments I was back asleep (a practice in which I have achieved champion status).
But not for long.
At about 2:15 AM the whimper came again, sending me straight up in my bed - again. This time Pippy was now alert in her bed. She looked startled. Rattled, yet relieved. It was then that I realized Pippy's excellent sleep habits.
Pippy is quite the dreamer.
Pippy dreams when she naps on the living room floor. She'll switch from conked out pooch to alert and on guard in a matter of seconds. Her dreams will make her leg twitch in a frenzy, then the rest of her body is brought to full attention. Her eyes snap open and her body sits straight up, in regal statue form. Her look is one of dazed confusion. Where was she and how did she get here?
I want to go into Mommy-mode, just like with a little child who cries after a nightmare. Pippy looks like she is in such distress. But dogs rebound quickly. Before I can come to her side she is up and walking around - apparently she isn't good at remembering her dreams. She never seems bothered by them.
This has me wondering: what is she dreaming about? I have some theories. I bet she is in a prairie where little purple and yellow flowers abound, the grasses blowing in the wind. I can see Pippy prancing about with a group of other rambunctious puppies. They chase butterflies, catch bugs and blow out dandelions (it is a dream - remember?). I can see the smile on Pippy's face with her ears flying in the wind, tongue flapping all the way.
Or maybe she is dreaming that her hair is four feet long. Oh wait, that was my dream.
I very rarely dream, in fact I almost never dream but last night was one of those rare occasions. Unfortunately, I almost never remember much of my dreams either. I envy the people who wake up with a perfectly formed dream still fresh in their minds, each detail fully intact. This doesn't happen to me. I can tell you this much about my dream that came to me last night: my hair went down to my butt. That is it. Quite a dream, eh? I am of the belief that dreams mean something so what in the world would that mean?
I think dogs prancing in a prairie would mean something along the lines of happiness and joy. So I am believing that Pippy is a content puppy. This is the advantage of the dog's inability to speak human words. We can say we know what is going on in their minds even when we don't have a clue. I'm her Mom, I know these things. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.
If frolicking means happy, what does butt-length hair mean? Am I on the verge of joining the Amish church? Or was that long hair more rock star and less horse and buggy?
This is why I'm not a dream interpreter.
Despite my inability to remember my dreams, or even experience them very frequently, Pippy and I clearly are getting our sleep. Add it to the list of things we have in common. When people say dog owners resemble each other they weren't kidding. Pippy and I are in sync.
When I have been sick, Pippy has been sick. When I haven't had an appetite, Pippy has barely eaten all day. I'm super small and need to gain weight, same with Pippy. When I go to bed at night, Pippy is out like a light too. I love chicken, sweet potatoes and yogurt. Those are Pippy's favorites.
Now I can add to the list that we dream on the same nights. And we both can't remember them a moment after waking. Like mother, like daughter, or like dog?
I had always heard that dog owners and their pets share more than just a home. They look the same and act the same. Now I get it. I don't think I have Pippy's prominent, floppy ears, but there is no denying the family resemblance. Just watch us when we sleep. We may snap awake, shaken and startled but we'll be back asleep in seconds.
Just one of the benefits of the family genes.