The anxiety issues that the dog's been struggling with for the last year seemed to be on the mend. Aside from one blip with a power cut in March, she's been fine as long as we leave the light on for her overnight. For whatever reason, last night all that changed. I left her at around half-past one and came up to bed to read. I started to settle down around half-past two. Just as I was drifting to sleep, something disturbed me. I heard pacing and then the noise I was dreading - our little terrier charging herself at the dining room door.
My first thought was that the bulb had blown but when I got down there the light was on and she was pacing the room, absolutely petrified. I was calm. I know by now what to do when things get this bad. It involves a little deception on my part: I put the television on and leave her with the voices all night. Either she thinks I'm coming back down and so is reassured or the noise masks whatever spooks her. Whatever the reason, she settled after that. I'm aware, however, that I subjected her to the shipping forecast at some point and I do apologise for that. I left a note for my father telling him to leave the television on when he went to work to allow me to catch a few more hours of rest. I went back to bed but found I was shaking and about to be violently ill from the effects of what had happened downstairs. It probably took two hours before I dropped into a restless sleep, always listening out for her whimpering or pacing. I woke up at seven and had a garbled conversation with my father about the situation then slept a little bit more. Right now, she's still got the television tuned to Radio 4 and the light on: not sure I should risk winding us both up more.
I hate not knowing the cause of something. Sometimes I wonder if she's picking up on our anxiety. Last night in particular we were quite concerned about my grandmother, who answered the phone crying yesterday. It's hardly the first time we've encountered her in that state but it was heartbreaking nonetheless. It's funny that Rosie (the terrier) seems to mimic my grandmother, without ever seeing her. If my grandmother is going through a particularly bad time then so does Rosie. She could be getting to that point via me. Certainly, I was pacing the dining room myself before I went to read last night. Everything was piling up on me - grandmother situation included. However, why kick off nearly two hours after I went upstairs? It doesn't make sense.
Perhaps something in the house or garden spooked her. It could've been the automatic air freshener, the carbon monoxide alarm, the tap that's been a little loose over the last few days. All logical explanations, I suppose, but in my sleep-deprived state (and having read a few Wilkie Collins short stories before bed) I favoured a more supernatural approach. Hence why I couldn't sleep.
Now I'm coiled up as tightly as the dog herself. This could make for an interesting week.