Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Chelsea, a Malamute at the Refuge, is 9 years old and has arthritis. On her bad days, she’s grumpy and will growl or snap if anyone touches her legs. On her good days, she’s frisky and playful and will even indulge in a game of Fetch. Chelsea’s favourite thing to do is sleep all day, in a nice cool place on warm, sunny days, next to her favourite toys. She holds the record for having the most toys in her kennel.

Chelsea was adopted by an older lady about 6 months ago, then got returned just a couple of weeks afterwards. Apparently the lady had been watching Chelsea sleeping one day, and had gotten worried because Chelsea hadn’t moved in a while. So she had gone up to Chelsea and prodded her shoulder. Whereupon Chelsea had woken up from her deep sleep, feeling no doubt disoriented, and had snapped at the lady.

Whoosh! Back came poor Chelsea to the Refuge! Hadn’t her new owner ever heard of the phrase “Let sleeping dogs lie”?

Why DO dogs sleep so much? My own two, Shelagh and Scruffy, appear to sleep an inordinate amount of time each day. Shelagh loves to snooze on the bed while I read or work on my laptop. She can sleep there for hours, then her internal clock, which seems set for “Swim time!” Or “Walkies!” wakes her up. She’ll then jump off the bed, whining with anticipation, until one or the other activity happens. And then, after about an hour of exercise, she’ll flop down on the chaise (yup, it’s her claim to the sofa, and we let her, Scruffy and Boo the cat share it), and simply go back to sleep again. In fact, if not for toilet breaks, meals and playtime, both Scruffy and Shelagh would sleep for most of the day.

I found this interesting infographic about sleep and dogs, on Pinterest. Sharing it here, hoping you might find it useful for understanding your own dogs better.

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