Normal is a relative term

I work for a veterinary organization so one of my big benefits is bouncing questions of “what is wrong with my animal” off the different techs and vets I see every day. I also get to bring said animal to work with me so he is well known around these parts. Which leads us to last week.

Well known for being a weirdo, but…

Since I got Fin the Dog, he’s been nearly perfectly housetrained. His other manners and skills may lack, but he’s been awesome about telling you he needs to go out from the day he learned where the door was. Last week, I kept noticing Fin the Dog was waking me up in the middle of the night multiple times – like 2, 3, 4 times. He sleeps with me (well, he sleeps in the middle of the queen bed and I am left to whatever remains) and while I’m a relatively deep sleeper, the motion of a 24lb dog LEAPING off the bed is enough to rouse me from whatever bizarre dream I’m in the midst of at that time. Naturally, seeing him standing at the door asking to go out had me up and taking him outside every time.

This is not posed. Dog thinks he is human.

After a few nights of this, I finally l̶o̶w̶ ̶l̶e̶v̶e̶l̶ ̶p̶a̶n̶i̶c̶k̶e̶d̶ chatted with one of the veterinarians at work and we decided to run some basic blood work, urinalysis, etc. to see what was going on. Because obviously I’m sitting here going, “My dog has a UTI. My dog has diabetes. My dog has cancer. My dog has a rare disease that is going to cost thousands of dollars to fix.”

I do not jump to worst case scenarios ever, why do you ask?

And… everything came back normal. Couple hundred dollars of testing to find out my dog is perfectly n̶o̶r̶m̶a̶l̶ healthy. Awesome. Fantastic.

But why can’t I get like, four hours of uninterrupted sleep here?

We were all puzzled, figuring it must be behavioral of some sort. Until last Thursday.

I was reading before bed and up later than normal since I was into my book, Fin asleep next to me in bed. He’s always been an active dreamer, chasing things and moving in his sleep, so that didn’t surprise me. What happened next though…

He barked in his sleep (quietly, enough that with the fan on and the nine pillows I sleep with, I wouldn’t have heard it if I was asleep) and woke himself up convinced there was a dog outside. LEPT off the bed, ran to the door and sat there asking to go out. To chase the dream dog that does not exist.

Which is the story of how I puzzled everyone at my office, spent money on perfectly normal testing and worried myself, all because my dumb dog barks in his sleep.

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  1. My aunts dog used to bark in the middle of the night like someone was breaking into the house, it took me 4 panic nights in a row (of a 2 month dog/house sitting while my aunt and uncle were in Alaska) of crawling to my cousin’s room looking for a baseball bat crying and wishing I had a panic room – to actually you know.. ask my aunt wtf was up.

    Apparently birds outside at 2am is whats up. I started throwing stuff at her every night after that.

  2. My little dog barks in her sleep too. And she freaks out if you touch her while she’s dreaming. But luckily she doesn’t wake me up with it because she sleeps in a crate at night.

  3. Oh no!!! I’m sorry, that’s terrible that he had you worried and that you’re not sleeping, but that is still HILARIOUS.
    Mine haven’t done that yet… but Artie my pug/corgi, spooks every time he farts.

  4. HAHAHAHA!!!! This is the best story!!!! I love the quirkiness of Jack Russells:) My jack mix, Jello, used to randomly howl really loudly in her sleep. She’d only do it maybe 2x a year and I was always awake when she did it and it it would crack me up. Haven’t heard her howl like that in a while but she still chirps and twitches in her sleep so I know she’s chasing something fun 🙂

  5. I DID THE SAME thing last week, several hundred dollars of bloodwork and urine testing to find out. Ollie is fine. Perfectly fine.

    He pees a lot and drinks a lot. End of story. No reason for it. SIGH…..(my schnauzers have had diabetes so i was sure it was that…).

    He actually sleeps thru the nite but once in while he wakes up. MAYBE he wants to go outside to chase the dream dog too 🙂 HA HA HA I can’t believe how we suffer for them. 🙂 HA though Ollie was not impressed with the blood being taken. AT ALL 🙂 ha ha ha

  6. My new puppy makes incredibly strange howling grumbles in his sleep that were SUPER ALARMING at first – thankfully we’ve now realized that that is just normal for him. Glad that your dog is okay!

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