Need A Better Night’s Sleep? Put A Bulldog Under Your Pillow

March 25, 2014

My Winnie

I’ve been sleeping better lately.  And I think I know why.

You might need some background here….

Typically in a night there are  5 reasons that I wake up every two hours:

I gave birth to four of them, and the fifth is our dog Winnie.

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Bugle Winne

Winnie the Bugle (bulldog-beagle)

Winnie’s got some issues.  I don’t want to embarrass her, but she has not been the easiest of all my brood to potty-train.  In fact, it’s just been the last month since she’s managed to stay dry all night.

She was crate-trained as a puppy, but she never, ever made it through the whole night without an accident in her own bed.  She’s five now.

Then several months ago, there was a crate-related disaster that changed everything.

One evening, as we all prepared for bed, a big, ugly scorpion appeared on the living room floor.  (We live in Texas, so this is a relatively normal occurrence). I had just tucked her in for the evening, and closed the door to her bed.  Of course, when we laid eyes on the little prehistoric Arachnida hanging out near my daughter’s bare foot, there were shrill screams and several terrifying milliseconds of chaos and panic.

Winnie had no choice but to protect her pack.  She had been waiting her whole life for this moment.  She burst through the wooden rails of her crate, and viciously attacked the scorpion.  The poor creature never saw it coming.

Winnie was just fine after the incident, but the crate was beyond repair.

That was six months ago, and she hasn’t slept in a crate since.  She wanders the house aimlessly at night, searching for peace and comfort. She ignores her new plush cushion on the bedroom floor.  Instead, she’s tried sandwiching herself in every tight place you can imagine: under the night table… in between the cushions of the sofa…. in between the dresser and crib that we’ve tightly wedged into our master closet.

But nothing has been quite right. And at 2 am every night, she has religiously waited next to my side of the bed, silently staring at me, using Jedi mind-tricks to wake me.  And at 2:05 every night, I’ve stumbled out of bed to let her outside.


Bulldog Pillow

Winnie discovered that if she waits until the precise moment I drift into the deepest slow-wave sleep, I never even notice her petite (yeah, right), fragrant (that’s an understatement) body creeping onto the bed and tunneling under my pillows.  Miraculously, she hasn’t had a wet night since she started this sneaky new routine.

winnie on the yellow quilt

And you know what?  She’s right. I don’t notice.  Or maybe I just don’t care.

Because I’ll do anything for one more minute of uninterrupted sleep.  And apparently, so will she.



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  • Reply Anat March 25, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    That is hilarious!!!!

  • Reply Kevin Hoffarth March 26, 2014 at 12:59 am

    You write really well …you drew me right into your life situation !!:)

  • Reply Maria March 26, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Loved reading your blog Steph! Write more!!

  • Reply Myles April 3, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Niko and Winnie are definitely cousins! Funny story. 🙂

  • Reply Granny Maud's Girl May 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Hilarious! Replace the bulldog with a cavoodle (a poodle crossed with a Cavalier King Charles) and I know exactly what you are talking about. We crate-trained our dog and she had no potty-training problems, but I kept having to get up in the middle of the night to let her out when she asked. Now we have a dog door and the crate is purely ‘decorative’. Uninterrupted sleep! Bliss!

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