As I’m typing there is a small, high-pitched whine coming from the direction of the kitchen door. I’m choosing to ignore it. Rex the Wonder Dog is in disgrace. It doesn’t help his cause that I am already seriously sleep-deprived due to his nocturnal habits. He’s been whining for the past hour, non-stop. I am a block of granite. I am carved from stone. I am…oh good, he’s stopped. I can’t bear to hear him cry. (But don’t tell him!)

R the W D lived with an old lady for the first two years of his life. I can only assume that the woman paid numerous visits to the toilet during the night. As a result R the W D can hold on for 6 hours or so during the day and then take himself out to the loo, when he needs to, through the provided exit. During the night he seems to only manage a couple of hours at a stretch. What is worse he can’t bring himself to venture out alone into the dark. (And, only a crowbar will do it if it’s raining.) I stagger out to the kitchen and let him out. He then races back in through the provided exit, as if the hounds of hell were nipping at his heels. I hear you ask: Why do you do it? If I don’t, he doesn’t leave the house at all; instead he trots down to the end room where my desk lives, and leaves his deposits there. (Curse open-plan houses without enough doors!)

We’ve tried shutting him out at night. After the third night of continual – and I mean continual as in didn’t stop! – crying and scratching at the door, we gave in. If we hadn’t, the Old Boy would have done the W D serious damage and the neighbours would have been preparing the tar and feathers. Believe me, this is one seriously needy dog. (Curse that old lady, whoever she is!) I take him out around 1 – 2am, then he wakes me up around 3.30 – 4.30 am. Sometimes, if the sun’s up, he takes himself out around 6.30am, but often my own bladder is calling for attention by then so I do the honours. Sometimes, if I’m blessed, the Old Boy will do the 3.30 – 4.30 shift, but most of the time he sleeps through everything. It was the same when the kids were babies. Although, come to think of it, he heard the whining… and he often mumbles things about the “useless mutt” in the dark, so perhaps… Hmmm.

So what did R the W D do that has him shut outside in the hellish sunshiny garden? Well, I took him out at 1, 3.30 and 6.30, yet he still found time inbetween to leave a deposit on the carpet. Alright, it was raining, but hey there’s enough area under cover for him to have a dry, private spot to do his ablutions!

He’s back at the door, staring at me with his big-eyed, Wonder Dog face. The whining has started up again. You’d think, going by his expression and the pathetic whimpering, that I’d starved him for a week and have been beating him with barbed wire. In actuality, he’s been shut out in the garden for an hour. Normally, being the marshmallow that I am, I’d have given in by now but not today. No sir; when I’m sleep deprived I turn into a surly, slavering, sadistic beast. So, Rex the Wonder Dog, suffer in your jocks!