Our pups become noticeably more energetic as the weather turns cooler. I guess that is to be expected with Siberian huskies, who favor colder temperatures. I see it first in October, when the leaves begin to fall, the wind to howl and the Halloween decorations to go up around the neighborhood. Yet it is when the moon is full, that the doggie demon comes out to play.
Our girl Secret almost turns into another dog, like some sort of autumnal transformation. She doesn’t exactly become a werewolf, but I would describe her as somewhat possessed!
When the wind begins to blow and the full moon rises, little Secret wakes me up in the middle of the night with a paw to my chest. She’s not to be ignored. If I don’t rise to let her out, she wakes my husband. Often enough, he is the one she wakes first. Since his alarm goes off at 5 am to get ready for his commute, that is not really appreciated. This night, I decide to give him a break.
Sleepily I walk with Secret downstairs and let her out into the backyard. She is keyed up and wide awake. The full moon makes it bright as day if it’s not cloudy. I watch as she paces and runs. I attempt to quietly call her inside. No response. She is taken over by full moon madness.
I shuffle outside in my slippers and try to encourage her into the warmth of the house. She runs away, just beyond my reach. The full moon mocks me from above, terrible beauty that she is. Resignedly I go back inside, sit on the floor with my head against the sliding glass door, and watch her through drooping eyelids.
I give Secret a few minutes to sniff and pace and run, and then decide to try to coax her in again. I am afraid to fall asleep at the door with her outside all night. Dog cookies, usually a sure fire way to get her to come to me, don’t work at 2 am.
I walk outside, this time clad a bit warmer in a sweatshirt over my pajamas, determined to grab her and carry her in if she won’t come. She comes up to me, tail wagging, eyes locked on my face. When I reach for her, she runs away like a tease, still looking at me. She walks around the yard whining and crying, barking and howling at me as if I have broken some unspoken code of human-dog relations.
Finally as a last resort I go inside and grab her leash. After a few minutes of dodge and dash in the backyard, I manage to lasso her and bring her inside. I am sure I am breaking all manner of rules of dog training but I don’t care. I’ve taken the classes. Positive reinforcement. But it goes out the window in the way pre-dawn hours. I am a bit smarter about dog behavior in daylight hours, when I am fully awake.
Does this continue when the snow begins to fall, you ask? When the moon is full, sigh, yes it does….. Winter brings a whole new set of adventures and sleeplessness! Stay tuned as the season advances and the temperatures drop.
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