Counting deer to get to sleep

Roo likes to sleep off by herself. When I go to bed, there's a news podcast I like to listen to. It starts with some guitar music. As soon as she hears that, it cues Roo to go to wherever she's decided to sleep that night. In this little cabin, that's usually up on a futon.

The other morning I convinced her to come back up. As soon as she lay down she noticed that a breeze was making a venetian blind move, and a blade of light was shifting on the ceiling. This made her cringe. She didn't feel it was an urgent enough threat to make her bolt, but it worried her. She couldn't take her eyes off it, even though she didn't dare to look right at it. Her eyes were wide and showing the whites, her ears back. Her breathing started to get agitated.

She's lazy in the morning, and the only reason she didn't bolt was because she was still groggy. I covered her face with my hand and blinkered her. She was instantly relieved by that. Within seconds she was asleep, and she didn't move, with the full weight of my hand on her face, snoring her gentle little Kahoo snore for more than an hour.  It was killing my arm, so finally I had to move. Instead I wrapped her in the quilt.

Roo has never settled in to this place. There's always something that bothers her. I suppose that's just the way it'll always be for her. 

I think that she's conflicted about some things. The other night she went out for a pee and there were some deer out there. I didn't see them in the dark. Because it was dark, and Roo is not crazy about being out in the dark, she only chased them a few feet before she came running back, wagging and proud of herself. But - she was also agitated. Her breathing was uncomfortably ragged. She was stressed by something she did because she wanted to. Better to not give her that choice.

It has to mean that even though Miss Kahoo considers herself the boss of all the local deer, and to all appearances she wants to chase them, getting into a confrontation is not entirely pleasurable for her. Not at night, anyway. She wants to chase them, but it's stressful. I'm doing her the favor of putting her on a leash.


Last night, out we went, and sure enough, there were the deer. On her leash, Roo didn't have the choice of chasing them, and she was completely cooperative about going back inside. I'm sure that means that she was relieved not to have to get into a confrontation. 

Or maybe I'm just over thinking it. With a dog like Rooki around, who is so supersensitive to everything, it's hard not to.