Munich, as most of Europe, has had pretty unusual weather for the past few months. It has not only been pretty cold but we’ve never had so many stormy and windy nights before, especially in the months of March and April.
As I have mentioned in my earlier blogs, I have a three and a half year old golden retriever “puppy” Jaden ( “puppy” because he still behaves like one!!) Jaden is quite a character (as most dogs are) and even after all this time, he still manages to surprise and amuse me. Jaden is normally a very self confident, boisterous puppy, he has been called a typical male alpha dog very often. He is not afraid of fireworks, thunder and lightning; is normally very curious, adventurous and a bit of a daredevul. But he does not like the wind, especially when it howls around the house in the night.
Which means that windy and stormy nights are quite challenging for him. Normally Jaden sleeps downstairs in the living room, he usually goes to bed before I do, is fast asleep and snoring by the time I switch off the lights. There were nights in March and April when it would be calm and quiet when I went to bed. But then it would get stormy and windy and such nights unfolded as follows: sometime during the night I would hear the pitter patter of paws coming upstairs and a few minutes later, someone was standing next to my bed – panting hot and heavily in my face. If I pretended that I was still sleeping and didn’t react immediately, the panting got heavier and my face was licked till I started petting him. He then either climbed into my bed or sat next to it panting heavily. If he had climbed into my bed, I had to pet him till he fell asleep. This was the better option even if it meant that I suffocated under his weight (he weighs 42 kgs!) or slept totally cramped since he takes up quite a lot of space and he needed to have my hand resting on him while he fell asleep.
If he didn’t climb in because it was too warm for him in my bed, I had to pet him till he lay down sticking to the side of the bed and started to relax. The petting had to continue till he had relaxed enough to roll over on to his side and fell asleep. If I had stopped petting him before he had fallen asleep, he sat up and started panting heavily in my face all over again! The fact that my arm was aching from leaning over the bed (I don’t have the longest of arms!!) didn’t matter – I had to pet him till he fell asleep. By that time my arm had gone numb and my shoulder was hurting too. You would think that after he had finally fallen asleep, all would be well. It wasn’t! Jaden is a very noisy sleeper and I have always been a very light one. He tends to dream wildly and makes all sorts of interesting noises in his sleep. Stormy nights tend to give him very wild dreams. When the storm died down a bit, he would move around in my bedroom finding new spots to lie down. Jaden cannot lie down “quietly” – he always throws himself on the ground with a big bonk, a very loud and long sigh. He also tends to smack his lips loudly in his sleep and I of course woke up at each and every one of these sounds.
Then there were nights when it was windy and stormy even before it was time to go to bed. On such nights I usually came out of the bathroom to find Jaden lying on my bed and waiting impatiently for me to join him. Which means that I could forget all about reading in bed. Sometimes he looked so terrified, hiding his face under his paws because it was so windy, that I couldn’t ignore him and ended up petting and cuddling him till he fell asleep, sliding carefully under the bedcovers so that I didn’t wake him up when I finally decided to go to sleep myself. Needless to say I ended up sleeping in a very cramped position till it got too warm for him and he got off the bed to sleep on the floor sticking to the side of my bed. And then followed the sighing, dreaming wildly and noisily as mentioned earlier which meant that I was in for another disturbed night.
Then there were days that were very windy and stormy too. This meant that Jaden was not too excited about going out for walks, having his fur and especially his ears ruffled by the strong wind. And he would follow me around all day, trying to be as close to me as possible. If I was sitting at my computer and working, he would follow me and lie down between the chair next to my computer and the wall of the “office”, giving me a very hurt look every now and then to make me feel guilty for not comforting him!!! If I decided to spend more than five minutes in the bathroom on such days, he would whine and grumble outside the door till I either gave up and let him in or came out quickly.
This has been the first year that Jaden has been uneasy with the storm and wind. I don’t remember him behaving like this the previous years or maybe this year has been stormier than the years before. It is also very interesting that although Jaden is very attached to Bernd too, it is me that he comes to on stormy nights. I must admit that I find it amusing and endearing even if it meant that there were many days when I was very sleep deprived and needed an afternoon nap to get through the day.
The month of April was much better than the month of March – we had fewer stormy nights which meant that I managed to get more nights of undisturbed sleep. The month of May started off well, it was colder than normal but the weather was calmer. And then last night I heard the familiar pitter patter of paws in the middle of the night and seconds later warm breath was fanning my face….. it was windy again!
Hoping that the weather and the winds calm down soon, that last night was an exception. I think I am a bit too old to survive for longer periods with less sleep!! Or I can hope that Jaden outgrows or overcomes his fear of the wind!!