Five O’Clock Terriers

Good Morning! It’s not yet 7 a.m. on the first full day of winter and the sun has yet to peep over the horizon but I am UP! I’ve been up for two hours thanks to these two:

We wake up at 5 a.m. every day!


Cute picture, isn’t it? It is quite rare to get a picture of them up and about because I think they sleep about 20 hours a day. So why, why, WHY do they have to start their busy days of sleeping at 5 a.m.?
It doesn’t matter what time I let them out at night. It doesn’t even matter if I’m awake at 3 a.m. and decide to torture them by shoving them outdoors. No, no, no. That plan back-fired on me because they immediately assumed three o’clock-in-the-morning was the new breakfast time and tried to get me up for breakfast at 3:00 a.m. for nearly a week after that brilliant scheme.
Vagaries in the schedule aside, this is a certainty: their little internal alarm clocks blast them awake at 5 a.m. It harkens me back to the days of having an infant…Sunrise. I was just dropping off to sleep after the 2 a.m. diaper change-feeding-rocking chair routine when I’d hear a little peep. No, that’s not the baby…he’s just gone back to sleep… another louder peep. No, it can’t be! Maybe if I don’t move, he’ll go back to sleep… A squawk. Oh my gosh, how am I going to function on 45 minutes of sleep?

Sleeping arrangements

The terriers are far less maintenance than an infant but the waking routine has similarities.
First I hear one of them make a noise. Then there’s a yawn. Then another yawn. Then another yawn. Then it sounds like feeding time at the Bronx Zoo Hippo pit with all the yawning going on. Keep in mind the dogs sleep with my younger son who manages to sleep through this racket while I’m lying as still as I can praying they’ll yawn themselves back to sleep. That miracle has yet to happen as they move onto stretching and shaking. I hear their collar tags jingling for about a minute. Then silence. Have my prayers been answered? Not yet. The silence is them sitting at the edge of the bed waiting for me to show up. If one minute passes and I’m not there, the little one starts yipping.

Hippo Yawn


I lost the battle when the yawning started so there’s no point in letting it go into full bark mode. They are thrilled to see me which makes it slightly worth getting out of my warm bed to let two spoiled dogs out before the sun is up on a freezing morning.
After business, romping about commences which typically turns into barking (which turns into neighbors cursing us I’m certain), I order them inside for food which usually gets them in unless there’s serious barking going on. Unfortunately, the cold weather and recent snow brought about some serious barking which, more unfortunately, brings me outside to herd them in. As I write this, I truly wonder how owning a pet is a health benefit to the owner??
Anyway, their morning food is dumped into their bowls at about 5:23 and is gone at about 5:23:07. Then they lumber to their day beds next to the little gas heater and are sound asleep by 5:24.

Completely worn-out terriers after barking and breakfast


Addendum: Rest assured, there is consistency in the terrier household–this photo was taken the morning after this missive was posted.

The After-Breakfast-Nap

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About EF Sweetman

bees, baseball, beverly, ma, culture, manners, society, writing
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13 Responses to Five O’Clock Terriers

  1. egills says:

    Oh what a lovely looking stove you have!
    I’ve never owned a dog but used to look after my friends quite often, they had a similar sleeping arrangement but in my bed.

    • sweetman says:

      What a wonderful friend you are! Come care for them and live the life when we go away! The stove was here when we moved in–I love it and will try to take it if we ever move again!

  2. Seasweetie says:

    Yes! You nailed it! My ex got custody of the dogs and cats, but when I housesit for him (and them), you’ve described it exactly, even up to the “if I lie very still maybe they will think it’s not time” myth that plays through my head. There’s no hiding your awake state from dogs. Have a lovely day.

  3. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    My kind of dogs! Scarfing down breakfast in 7 seconds flat! Woof! I am sure your neighbors just loooooovvvvveeeeeee your little buddies and their early morning wake-up calls……. Have a great day Bicycle Girl! – Maaaaaahhhhkkkkyyy Mahk

  4. chlost says:

    What cute dogs they are. I suppose not so cute at 5 am, but just the same…
    Our dog is very good in comparison, but he is an only dog. The day of sleep commences at 9 am here after we have both left for work, and continues unabated through most of the day, and all night. The only thing that disturbs him is the deer. Then all holy hell breaks loose.

  5. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    5am around here is pretty dull. I got up early one day, did not hear any barking, but did look out the kitchen window just in time to see some heavily tattooed naked dude running down the middle of my street…… 🙂

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