Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Mr. Darcy's white night

I had a lousy night. That's because I spent four hours – from midnight to 4 am – dealing with Mr. Darcy.

Darcy is normally a calm indoor dog. Don lets him out before he comes to bed at night (he goes to bed much later than I do), and I let him out first thing in the morning (I usually get up very early). But last night at midnight, I awoke to hear the click of Darcy's toenails on the floor outside our bedroom door. It made me think he had a digestion issue of some sort, and needed to go outside.

So I got up and let him out. He did nothing but sit on the porch for ten minutes, calmly observing the night. So much for digestion issues. I called him in and went back to bed.

No dice. Darcy paced the floor of the house, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. So I got up and let him back outside again, this time for a good half-hour. During the interim, I worked on a jigsaw puzzle I had just started the night before.

When half an hour had elapsed, I called the dog into the house and went back to bed.

No dice. Darcy continued to pace the floor, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. So I got up again and let him back outside again. This time I just left him outside and went back to bed. Of course by this time I was wide awake. After, I dunno, 45 minutes or so, I heard Darcy walking around the wrap-around deck to the front door, then scratch to be let it.

So I got up and let him in. He immediately collapsed onto the floor as if he was exhausted by all these middle-of-the-night shenanigans. I gave him a pat and went back to bed. By this point it was 3:30 am. But as I snuggled up next to Don and tried to fall back to sleep, I heard Darcy again start to pace the floor, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I tried to ignore it and finally drifted off to sleep around 4 am.

Don, by the way, managed to sleep through the whole thing.

Needless to say, this kind of sleep interruption colors one's whole day. I was blurry and out of sorts. Darcy, by the way, was feeling fine and frisky, went on his walk without an issue, pooped just fine, and in all ways behaved perfectly normal.

On the occasional night when one of us sleeps badly for no discernible reason, we call those "white nights." I guess Darcy just had a white night.

Older Daughter had a brief errand in town, and when she returned she surprised me with this: hot chai tea (a rare treat) and a bakery cookie to make up for my lack of sleep.

I have a great family. Even Darcy is a good boy ... except when he has a white night.


  1. I read your tale to my wife this morning, and we have agreed to add "white night" to our vocabulary list when I get up (always later than her) in the morning and ask how she slept. Even though our Chihuahua mix is much smaller than Darcy, her demand to be let out at any and all times of the night is no less commanding.

    After reading your story, my wife assured me that she doesn't like chai tea and doesn't require a bakery cookie to make it through the day, so that let's me off the hook. For now.

    - Paul D

  2. This is how I feel after watching the news .

  3. Dogs hearing and sense of smell is much more acute than ours. Something was out there, probably not a threatening something, but something. My dog does this pretty often. Sometimes it's an armadillo digging, and he hates them. So there's a lot of barking. Sometimes a rabbit which he doesn't mind so much. Sometimes he runs a patrol around and tells whatever it is to leave, then returns.
    Sometimes I regret letting out because there's snarling and fighting. With all the wild critters out something could go wrong. I've gotten to where I'm more likely to snap a lead on him and go with him. Between him, probably barking and growling, and the flashlight with me talking, it's extra encouragement for critters to leave. Also, if he has to go, I'll know pretty soon, and if he's having a digestive problem. If not, he's not going back out.

    Darcy's a good dog. He's probably just checking out whatever it was. Maybe a deer grazing. We used to have a Golden Retriever that looked like him and she was pretty laid back unless someone came to the door. Then her voice sounded like a hound from hell.
    It's good to trust these furry family members. You just never know.

    1. Yes, I was thinking along these lines too... possibly "something" out there and dear Darcy just wanted to check it out.

  4. Full moon coming on Saturday... it keeps me awake...

  5. Our Jack Russell pups were very restless on Wednesday night. Those girls woke me several times in the night! They are kenneled at night, and they seemed frantic to go out, over and over again! I guess I’ll just blame it on the moon!