SINCE YOU ASKED, Duncan is doing fine.

I start a lot of conversations this way with people at work. Notice I said "start." As in, nobody said anything before I offer "since you asked" and then follow that up with scrolling through 300 of basically the exact same photo of a dog sleeping on a couch that is only a slightly lighter color than the dog, making it nearly impossible to make out the dog.

The point is, Mr. Duncan Doodle is doing fine. But y'all, he be driving me crazy the last few days.

I had gotten into the habit of bragging about how good of a sleeper he was. Pretty much from the moment I got him, he has slept through the night and just gotten up when I was ready. Some nights he would wake me up around 4:00 to go out and go potty real quick, but even then he would go right back to bed.

I had not expected this. I assumed when I got Mr. Doodle that I was basically not going to sleep for the next year. Because that's how Mr. Pants was. He would wake up at an ungodly hour every day and then relentlessly demand play time.

Fortunately this wore off and now Mr. Pants sleeps so much that we haven't actually seen him with his eyes open since Thanksgiving. Canadian Thanksgiving.

But Mr. Doodle was sleeping through the night. And if I didn't already believe in God, this would have probably swayed me. It was a miracle in Biblical proportions. One that I badly needed because work has been so busy lately and I've got a lot going on and I need sleep if I'm going to continue looking like a Gap Kids model grown up, as I have been described on at least one occasion.

(Editor's Note: I'm not sure if this was meant as a compliment. I don't really know what a Gap Kids model grown up looks like. Someone google this and report back to the class.)

Then this week Mr. Doodle turned into Dog From Hell.

The last several days, he has been waking up, every hour, on the hour, demanding to go outside.

The sound of a dog jumping off of a bed is now a PTSD trigger for me.

I fly out of bed the moment I hear that thump because it is probably only a matter of time before Mr. Doodle decides I'm not going to get up and he should just go ahead and pee on the floor.

So I take him out.

And I know. All of you are better at training a dog than me and you're all chomping at the bit to tell me that I'm doing a thousand things wrong. And you probably want to tell me what the internet and my vet says, which is that Mr. Doodle should be sleeping in his kennel and not in bed with me and this will train him to sleep through the night and not destroy my life and blah blah blah.

But you guys are obviously sad people who don't believe in my happiness for wanting to suggest such a thing BECAUSE MR. DUNCAN DOODLE BELONGS IN BED WITH ME.

And so, because I'm unwilling to take your advice and the advice of trained professionals, instead I'm just losing a ton of sleep and then turning to the Internet to complain about it to you.

Mr. Pants is staying with us this weekend because Matt Pants is out of town. This means two things: (1) I get 300 texts a day that just say "what's ollie doin?" BECAUSE MATT REFUSES TO CAPITALIZE FIRST NAMES VIA TEXT, and (2) I have the world's two most majestic creatures sleeping in bed with me so my life is better than anyone's.

Mr. Pants is teaching Duncan how to sleep. And for this, I am very grateful.

The dogs have had a rocky relationship thus far. It has consisted of Mr. Doodle biting Mr. Pants's face until Mr. Pants finally freaks out and throws him to the ground.

I've been hoping they would become friends, but it just hasn't really worked out.

But then this weekend their relationship turned into something so much better. Ollie has become Duncan's nanny.

When Duncan tried to pee in the kitchen the other day, Ollie freaked out, got my attention, and guided Duncan outside.

Ollie is teaching Duncan how to walk on the leash better.

He's teaching how to wrestle and look menacing, but not actually bite anyone.

When I spent the entire day doing yard work Saturday, Ollie kept Duncan out of my way and got him to not follow me around begging to be held, like he usually does.

At one point during the day, I noticed they had been quiet for a while so I went looking for them. And I found them on the patio:

And actually, I was so worried the dogs were going to move before I could take the picture, so I took a thousand of them as I slowly approached so if you go through the pictures on my phone, it looks like a flip book.

But the best thing happened on Friday night.

Duncan had been waking us up every hour, on the hour. Ollie would come outside with us, even though he didn't need to go potty. Both Ollie and I were clearly annoyed. We both just wanted our beauty sleep.

But Duncan had the poops. And he wanted to play. Even though it was 1:00 AM. Or 2:00 AM. Or 3:00 AM. Etc.

Finally at 5:00 AM, Ollie had had it. When we came back inside, Ollie ran down to the basement. This was odd behavior for him. He never goes down there alone unless he's trying to hide from Teddy or Duncan. So I figured that's what he was doing. He probably decided that he couldn't deal with more disruptions so he was going to go sleep in the guest bedroom like a normal person.

But a few seconds later he reemerged, carrying in his mouth a bone that he had clearly hidden down there.

Ollie does not like to share bones. He hides them for this very reason. If Duncan tries to chew on a bone, even if it belongs to Duncan, Ollie will freak out, take it away from him, and go hide it somewhere. This was clearly what he had done. He took it to the basement because Duncan isn't allowed down there and that way he could save it for himself.

But Ollie had reached a breaking point on Friday night/Saturday morning. Because he took that bone from the basement, carried it to my bedroom, jumped up onto the bed, and dropped it in front of Duncan. He then walked to the opposite side of the bed, curled up into a ball, and went back to sleep while Duncan happily chewed on the bone for the next two hours.

It was like giving a baby a pacifier to stop it from crying.

If Ollie isn't president one day, we will have wasted an opportunity.

And now, this week's Strangerville Short:

~It Just Gets Stranger