Continuation from Wednesday’s Post:
Spending the night with Ray provided no revelations, but was very interesting. Most of the night was spent on the kitchen floor so, although I did doze off now and then, I was awake for a lot of the time.
It no longer surprised me that Ray wants to sleep all day, because he was either pacing around or standing still and staring at the floor, a wall, or the door … for most of the night! It could be that he has a serious “pack instinct” sense of responsibility? He can relax during the day because we are awake, but when we go to bed? Perhaps he simply sees it as the time when he must take control of the security work? That really does not explain the little occasional brief whimper, unless it was a whimper of frustration perhaps.
He stared and paced until around 5:00am, and then he went to the back door. Once again, he was leashed and, once again, he casually checked out some scents before deciding to pee. When we came back inside, he was once again on the alert.
I then went back to my bed (I need some sleep to function!), and Ray decided to follow me into my room. It is not easy trying to go to sleep when you know that Ray is pacing around, and then stopping to stare at you! It is even more difficult when he jumps up onto the bed and settles down (Oh good… he is settling down), only to jump up and off the bed a few moments later!
We were brainstorming, and it then crossed our minds that our furnace fan has been on continuously at a SLOW setting. However, about two weeks ago, and as a result of our home suddenly getting dry (our crazy climate), we turned the humidifier on (built into furnace) and increased the fan speed to MEDIUM. Perhaps the increased air-flow sound was a problem? Perhaps the faster running fan was emitting a sound at a frequency which was out of our range of hearing… but well within Ray’s?
The fan speed was returned to SLOW, and I went to bed that night wondering what kind of night I would have.
Well it was not a bad night really. I woke up around 4:30am to hear Ray pacing around… and getting closer. I kept my eyes closed, but knew when he was standing at the edge of my bed. He would then turn and go out into the living room, only to come back a few minutes later.
He did that until I decided (4:55am) to get up. He was leashed and taken out and, as was the habit now, did a thorough scenting job over the garden. He then went back to the house. He did not pee!
Back inside, he went over to his bed and curled up, and I went down to the basement until around 8:00am. There had been no whimpering. When I came back up and took him outside, he just peed and wanted to get back for his breakfast. It was his normal performance.
Perhaps it was the furnace fan? Perhaps it was the lodger beneath us? Perhaps we had a nocturnal visitor. It was obvious that a skunk had been in the area as I noticed the scent when I was outside around 8:30am. We also do have “urban” foxes and coyotes around here. Perhaps it really is a complex mix of multiple factors?
Epilogue: We were chatting with our next door neighbors, and they were excited to tell us that at around 2:00am the other night/morning, there were two foxes wandering through their front garden. Foxes next door around 2:00am?
So where are we at now? Puzzled and curious! He still gets stressed during the night, and yesterday morning he whimpered around 7:00am. Unfortunately for Ray, we have quite a list of potential reasons for his behavior (some provided by you – thank you), many of which cannot be tested. It could even be a mix of a number of factors (trigger stacking*).
The only consolation for poor Ray is that we will keep working on it until either we find the cause(s), or he adjusts!
* We humans can accommodate numerous adverse conditions (triggers) but, if many come at the same time (trigger stacking), we can eventually lose control and intuitively react (shout, scream, throw something, or otherwise vent our frustrations). Ray (and dogs in general) is no different. He can handle negative situations (triggers) one at a time very well. If two or three come together (trigger stacking), then it will depend on what they are. Eventually, he will reach his limit and intuitively react accordingly.