I was absolutely relieved when Ayla began sleeping through the night, around my 4th week of owning her. I was still waking up ungodly early – my gradual push back of our 5AM morning wake-up had to be reset once I removed the 1AM potty run. But having 7 hours of solid sleep was much better than having 7.5 hours of broken sleep.
Whenever I expressed joy at having a puppy who slept through the night to those I met while walking her, I was told, “Just wait until you have kids!” I am sure babies and kids are far worse. I don’t envy any single parents out there. I can’t even imagine. But I also don’t intend to have kids, so a baby puppy and a sleep disorder is probably as bad as I will have it.
There was one memorable night though. It was a little over a week after Ayla began sleeping through the night. I normally sleep with a white noise machine on in my bedroom. Initially, I slept with it on high during the banshee stage. But after I began asking Ayla to hold it all night, I lowered the volume on my white noise machine to medium, just in case she needed to go out. So one work night, probably around 2AM, I woke up because Ayla was barking. I was a smidgen grumpy, and was muttering to her as I stomped down the stairs, “You were doing so well, but fine, you want to go pee, we’ll go pee.”
Ayla was tucked up inside her crate when I opened the crate door. She didn’t want to come out. But my rule was that if she barked, she had to go outside, and she had to go potty (and we’d stand there until she did.) Since she didn’t love going out into the cold, this was meant as a deterrent to ward off undesired barking for attention. I hooked her slip-collar around her head and pulled her out. “Nope, you’re going outside. You want to bark? This is how it’s going to be.” Then I picked her up and carried her out into my patch of front lawn. Ayla stared forlornly up at me. “Why are we out here?” she seemed to ask. “Go potty,” I grumped at her. A loud bark sounded behind me.
Whirling around, I stared at a red fox that was standing on the center island of my court, no more than 15 feet away from me. “Shit!” I scooped up Ayla and scurried back into the house. The fox barked again. Oops. I had apparently woken up for the wrong dog.
I looked down at Ayla, “Sorry love. No wonder you’re looking at me like I’m crazy.” Unfortunately, since I had woken Ayla up, I now had to abide by the rule of thumb that as soon as a puppy wakes up, they probably have to go to the bathroom. So I waited until the fox ran off, hustled Ayla out for a quick pee, gave her some extra hotdogs for her trouble, and went back up to bed.