Well there’s your problem!

As you may know, we recently acquired a cute little puppy named Zoey.

Zoey is a great little girl dog, has proven she’s extremely smart (by trying to hide stuff behind her back no less) and very loyal (one night, I was upset about something, and she came over to nuzzle me…awww…)

But we’ve had one problem with our fuzzy girl – and it happens every morning about 5:30 – 6 am.









Bark. BARK! Bark. BARK! Bark. Whine whine whine BARK! BARK! BARK!

Cursing. Stomping downstairs.  Letting puppy out to go potty.  Cursing some more.

We’ve tried to find ways to alleviate these early morning wake up and take the dog out for a potty break episodes.  Food and water dishes don’t get refilled after 6 pm.  Josh has tried playing with her and keeping her away until at least 11 pm.  We’ve taken her for long walks after 9 pm.

And still…

Bark BARK bark Bark BARK

We were getting seriously cranky around here.  Because when you’re staying up late to try to make a certain puppy tired, only for puppy to wake up at the crack of stupid every morning…well…you end up with two cranky adults cussing out a certain otherwise lovable puppy.  The thing was – we knew she could hold it for more than five hours.  A couple of weeks ago, Josh was out of town and I ended up falling asleep on the couch watching a movie.  That dog stayed happily in her kennel from 10 pm to 7:30 am without a single bark or whine.

So why?  Why could she not do this every other day?

And then…yesterday morning… I wake up at the usual 7 am time (after listening to bark BARK bark BARK, elbowing Josh, who got up muttering very bad words about the puppy and going downstairs to deal with her, allowing me to go back to sleep for another 45 minutes) and I hear Josh talking to Collin.

The father/son heart-to-heart went something like this –

“Oh for God’s sake!  If you’re up at 6 am, let the damn dog out so she doesn’t sit in her kennel barking!  Sean!  Get in here!  You need to hear this too!”

Yes, it turns out that the problem was NOT the puppy, but the boys – who are getting up earlier than their sleep-deprived parents, going downstairs at 6 am, fixing bowls of cereal and lunches, taunting the dog with the fact that there were humans with opposable thumbs who could open her cage and let her out but wouldn’t – instead, leaving her to cry yellow tears and cross her fuzzy little hind legs as they went along their merry ways back to their rooms to get dressed and ready for school.  And after they abandoned her in her time of need, she’d start calling for help – because once awake, she felt the need to go.

This morning however, there was no barking.  Some boy listened to their parents pleas of “Just let the poor dog out so she doesn’t bark us awake!” and let the puppy out of her kennel and outside to relieve herself.

Of course, I woke up at 7 am to Miriam talking to Sean and Maura at my bedroom door and thought “Odd, everyone is up.”  (Usually, the girls need a cattle prod to get out of bed.)

Turns out we need another rule – if you let the dog out at 6 am, you either need to keep an eye on her, or put puppy love back in her kennel.  Or else she will go up to the girls room and lick their faces until one or both of them gets up.

Oh well, I don’t care.  I didn’t wake up to barking this morning!  Here’s to more mornings being bark-free.

She's cute when she's not barking at 6 am