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Silent Nights

When our current gang of foster dogs arrived, the nights were not silent.  Definitely not silent!  Rocky and Blaze were vocal day and night.  They barked at anything they could see or hear moving around, they barked at other dogs on the mountain, even quite distant dogs, who were barking at something or just being conversational.

Their first few nights here were exhausting for I had to keep going outside to sit near their kennel to convince them to not bark — and awake our neighbors.  Thank God it was spring, and warm enough I didn’t freeze out there!

After a few nights they caught on and were far less vocal at night.  And that trend has only improved since.

When Sable arrived she’d howl: a low, long, mournful sound that, while heart-wrenching, did not threaten anyone’s ability to sleep.  Her issue is that she craves attention and gets lonely.  Early on, she was by herself in the first of the new kennels while Blaze and Rocky were together in a single kennel I’d moved out into the play yard so we could pour the slab for the new kennels.  Once I built the other two new kennels and Sable had neighbors, she took comfort in that and was more calm at night.

Since then, all three have settled in and learned to be good dogs at night.

I snapped this picture through a window yesterday as evening came on, their bellies full of kibble, after a frolic together in the play yard, all of the Brown Dog Gang settled onto their beds with a chewy to relax and fall asleep.

Not that they sleep all night — for I do hear them stirring once in a while: tags jingling as they shake, or the lapping of water. — but all have settled down so they don’t bark at night. Much.  If a forest creature comes stomping through the woods, they will go on alert to ward it off.  But this is infrequent, and brief.

Even Rocky, who caused he and his brother to be returned by their adopter because of incessant barking, now passes the nights peacefully.  Good job boys!

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