Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

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AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

Hi, I am new here. After perusing your dog behavior forum, this seems like the best place to ask a question of this nature.

We have a little beagle mix who is very old; she weighs around 25 pounds. I'm unsure exactly how old she is, we rescued her a couple of years ago from a very busy intersection where she was abandoned. The veterinarian said that she is at least 12 years old, maybe older. She has multiple old healed fractures, including fractures to her ribs, probably from being kicked; and one to her tail which the vet says could only be caused by someone picking her up and twirling her by her tail, then throwing her by her tail. It is his opinion that she had been severely abused by whoever had her before. For that reason, although we did look to see if anyone was trying to find her (no one was) we didn't even try to find her owner on our own, we just kept her.

She's the sweetest little dog, very good around humans and other animals. We just love her to death, and she has become a very important and much loved part of our little family. We are middle aged, and our children are grown. We have two other dogs (a 3-year-old male Rott mix, which was another rescued dog, and a 16-year-old female cocker spaniel mix) and a 3-year-old tabby cat.

However, this little beagle is the most feeble dog I have ever seen, far more feeble than the cocker spaniel. She still gets enjoyment out of eating though, and seems to enjoy the company of our other pets. She is quite attached to us mere humans, and she will follow me wherever I go, and always lays near me to nap. She moves very slowly, and it is hard for her to navigate the stairs, due to arthritis which the vet said probably resulted from the abuse. She is also a very quiet little dog, she doesn't even bark. She seems to have adjusted very well to our home, and to us. She is an inside dog, only goes outside to potty. The vet said that despite her being so feeble, she has a very good quality of life here with us so he thinks we should just make her as comfortable and happy as possible until she passes naturally, barring any unforeseen acute illnesses.

She and the cocker spaniel sleep in our room with us, and they each have their own bed there. Several times since we got her, she has awakened in the middle of the night with a bone-chilling howl - she sounds like she is in severe pain - at which time she will start fast-walking, as fast as her little legs will carry her, around the house. We can't tell if she's looking for something, or if she's frightened, but she moves far, far more quickly than she normally does - faster than we even thought possible - navigates the stairs much more easily than usual, and she doesn't want to be touched. After the initial howling, she makes no noise. This will continue for as long as 30 minutes. Sometimes she will seem to go back to sleep, then do the same thing again. When this happens the other dogs are not reacting to anything except her behavior, so I don't think it's something in the house causing it. She only does this in the middle of the night, never during the day. We do have nightlights in our room, so the elderly dogs can still see in the darkness (the cocker spaniel is almost blind, and is completely deaf, so we do that for her benefit).

Does anyone have any idea why she might be doing this? Could she be sleepwalking? Can dogs have nightmares of things which have happened to them, given that she was so horribly abused before we got her? Could she be looking for (or running from) her old owner? Or is there another possible explanation for it? Our vet is at a loss as to why this would be happening.

Any help will be appreciated. We want only what is best for this little dog, but at this point we are unsure what to do for her when she does this.

Thanks in advance for any insights!
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valerie
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by valerie »

Hi Ap and welcome.



I think there are a couple of different things you could try for this.

When dogs get to be seniors, they can have some of the same sorts

of things going on as human seniors do. I don't know, either, really

what could be "causing" this but I don't think either you or your

poor doggers have to live with it.



You said she has arthritis, is she on any pain meds for this? If not, I

would talk to your vet and start them. Tramadol is a good, inexpensive,

fairly widely tolerated one.



The other thing to try is a crate for her. You might balk at putting your

girl in a "cage" but it might make her feel a lot more secure at night,

and safe where nothing can get to her. I would try one of those plastic

airline type crates, and put her soft bed in it.



Or, go back to puppy methods. The hot (not too hot!) water bottle and

the ticking clock placed next to her. Also, an article of clothing (old,

soft t-shirt perhaps?) that you've worn a bit and not laundered. Your

scent on it might comfort her.



Give her lots of muzzle kisses from me and do let us know how it goes!



Good luck!
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moonpie
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by moonpie »

I just remembered that a friend of mine put her aged dog on glucosamine for arthritis and it really really helped the poor old senior dog. Just regular glucosamine that you can get pretty well everywhere. Good luck.
AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

Thanks for the speedy response! :)

Yes, she does take Tramadol. It doesn't seem to help much, though of course without it she could be in much worse shape. :(

I would try the crate (I have several for the critters, and they are wonderful for making them feel more secure) except that she has a kidney dysfunction which causes her to drink a great deal of water (yes, even in the middle of the night). The vet says she is cleansing her own body of contaminants with the excessive amounts of water, so it's especially important for her health to allow her unlimited access to large amounts of water. Problem is, because she drinks so much more than the typical dog, she has to be able to relieve herself at night as well as during the day. She is trained to use a box similar to a cat box during the night, but couldn't do that if she is crated. Otherwise it's a great idea though. :)

All of our dogs sleep with a piece of our clothing to make them feel secure, which they seem to like, but I haven't tried the hot water bottle trick. I'll give that a whirl, and see if it helps.

Thanks again!
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Pheasy
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by Pheasy »

I hope you manage to find the answer for her :-6

Welcome to FG
AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

moonpie;738156 wrote: I just remembered that a friend of mine put her aged dog on glucosamine for arthritis and it really really helped the poor old senior dog. Just regular glucosamine that you can get pretty well everywhere. Good luck.


Can Glucosamine be mixed with Tramadol and Benadryl (the vet told us to give her Benadryl for itching, she has skin allergies)?

If so, I'll get some today, perhaps that will give her some extra pain relief. Thanks very much! :)
AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

ThePheasant;738160 wrote: I hope you manage to find the answer for her :-6

Welcome to FG


Thanks, I hope so too! :)
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valerie
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by valerie »

Glucosamine is good for joint support, but it can be a little hard on

older tummies so I would give it with a small amount of food. (And

yes, you can give it in addition to the others)



Didn't realize that about the needing to "go" at night, but you

definitely don't want to stop that, it is very good for her to be

able to flush stuff through her system.



You sound like an experienced dog mom, sure glad that girl found

you!!



What's her name?



:-6
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valerie
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by valerie »

There is a user here "Red Glitter" who might have some more ideas

for you, she's an experienced dog mom, too!!



:-6
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moonpie
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by moonpie »

AppalachianLady;738161 wrote: Can Glucosamine be mixed with Tramadol and Benadryl (the vet told us to give her Benadryl for itching, she has skin allergies)?

If so, I'll get some today, perhaps that will give her some extra pain relief. Thanks very much! :)


I think I would check with my vet on that just to be on the safe side before you get any. By the way welcome to FG, I hope you enjoy it.
AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

valerie;738166 wrote: Glucosamine is good for joint support, but it can be a little hard on

older tummies so I would give it with a small amount of food. (And

yes, you can give it in addition to the others)



Didn't realize that about the needing to "go" at night, but you

definitely don't want to stop that, it is very good for her to be

able to flush stuff through her system.



You sound like an experienced dog mom, sure glad that girl found

you!!



What's her name?



:-6


Thanks for the advice about glucosamine, I'll hide it in a yummy piece of roast beef (her favorite people food). Does it come in different strengths, or just one strength?

Her name is Li'l Bit. I have no idea where I got that name, she just looked like a Li'l Bit to me. Her nickname is Pumpkin (all my critters have nicknames), and I think she likes that name better. ;)

I can't remember ever not having a dog, so I guess I am experienced with them although I've never encountered anything even remotely like this before. Sometimes it's good to just step back and let someone not involved evaluate the situation, since others may think of things I may not see. I really do appreciate all the helpful advice I'm getting!

While I appreciate your kind words, between Li'l Bit and me, I think I'm the lucky one. She has enriched my life in so many ways, just by being my sweet loyal little buddy. :)
AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

moonpie;738171 wrote: I think I would check with my vet on that just to be on the safe side before you get any. By the way welcome to FG, I hope you enjoy it.


Good advice, I just left a message for the vet. :)

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone. This seems like a great forum with very friendly participants, maybe I should look around! :)
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valerie
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by valerie »

Boy, do I ever know what you mean on the stepping back bit! It's

happened to me before!! That's partly why I hope Red Glitter sees

this. You never know. Even if she can only add moral support! ;)



I think it's good you called your vet about the glucosamine. I

gave my old girl human grade from Costco 'cause it was cheap,

but her weight was about 65 pounds even in her old age. Your

vet might be able to help you with dosage for your smaller girl,

maybe break tablets in half or something if you need to! Or,

might even suggest Cosequin, made specifically for dogs.



:-6
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911
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by 911 »

Welcome, Lady!

My dog does that howling thing when he is in a deep sleep. I have no idea why. It starts off low then gets higher and higher until it reaches it's peak. He will start all over again if I don't wake him up or he doesn't wake himself up.

The only other time I have ever heard him make that noise was once when the tornado sirens went off and he was outside. But that was just once. He never does it when he is awake. Scared the bejeesus out of me the first time I heard it, and in the middle of the night it can be quite unnerving. But when he wakes up he wags his tail and I tell him to go back to sleep and he's fine.

Has the vet checked her urine? She may have crystals (I know cats get them but I don't know if dogs get them) from too much protein. Or perhaps kidney stones. When my cat would get crystals, she would walk like that and not want to be touched. She would walk and then squat, walk, squat, walk, squat.

Cats are supposed to have a lot of protein, but not too much, but dogs should have more grains than cats. That's one reason dogs love kitty poop! :wah:

I hope you get it figured out. Best of luck and thanks for being there for all your babies. :-4
When choosing between two evils, I always like to take the one I've never tried before.

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AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

911;738198 wrote: Welcome, Lady!

My dog does that howling thing when he is in a deep sleep. I have no idea why. It starts off low then gets higher and higher until it reaches it's peak. He will start all over again if I don't wake him up or he doesn't wake himself up.

The only other time I have ever heard him make that noise was once when the tornado sirens went off and he was outside. But that was just once. He never does it when he is awake. Scared the bejeesus out of me the first time I heard it, and in the middle of the night it can be quite unnerving. But when he wakes up he wags his tail and I tell him to go back to sleep and he's fine.

Has the vet checked her urine? She may have crystals (I know cats get them but I don't know if dogs get them) from too much protein. Or perhaps kidney stones. When my cat would get crystals, she would walk like that and not want to be touched. She would walk and then squat, walk, squat, walk, squat.

Cats are supposed to have a lot of protein, but not too much, but dogs should have more grains than cats. That's one reason dogs love kitty poop! :wah:

I hope you get it figured out. Best of luck and thanks for being there for all your babies. :-4


That's a good thing to ask my vet when he calls back. Li'l Bit doesn't squat or act like it's possibly a urinary problem, she just walks really fast all over the place. But, you never know, she might react differently than another animal. I know he checked her urine a while back, maybe it's time to check it again.

Thanks for the suggestion! :)
911
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by 911 »

Dogs will walk like that when they are in pain.

My other dog had a bone spur on his spine and if he turned the wrong way he would let out a yelp that would freeze your blood and then act as if nothing happened. He was a tough old bird. God love him

Maybe it's her arthur and it bothers her when she sleep too long in one position. If the vet can't come up with anything else, perhaps you could try one of those heated beds. That would help with the arthur at night.
When choosing between two evils, I always like to take the one I've never tried before.

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valerie
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by valerie »

Mulling this over for a few hours... have you had recent bloodwork

on her? Because thyroid probs came to mind...
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AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

911;738225 wrote: Dogs will walk like that when they are in pain.

My other dog had a bone spur on his spine and if he turned the wrong way he would let out a yelp that would freeze your blood and then act as if nothing happened. He was a tough old bird. God love him

Maybe it's her arthur and it bothers her when she sleep too long in one position. If the vet can't come up with anything else, perhaps you could try one of those heated beds. That would help with the arthur at night.


Sorry to hear about your dog's bone spur. Was the vet able to correct it?

She does walk very strangely when she sleeps too long in one position. I have thought about a heated bed for her, maybe I should go ahead and get one.

Thanks for the suggestion!
AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

AngelEyes82;738228 wrote: You pretty much got the advice you need.. I just wanted to welcome you to FG. :) Hope everything turns out alright.


Thanks for the welcome and the well wishes; you have a pretty cool forum here, and I very much appreciate the suggestions I have gotten, as well as the friendliness and kindness of your participants. :)
AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

valerie;738346 wrote: Mulling this over for a few hours... have you had recent bloodwork

on her? Because thyroid probs came to mind...


The vet hasn't done any blood work on Lil Bit in a while, he just treats her for what he knows she has. I will ask him to do some new blood work on her, just to be sure we're covering all bases. Thanks! :)
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nvalleyvee
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by nvalleyvee »

Val and Red are great dog advice people - you are in good hands. My dogs sometimes bark in their sleep and "run" but that's it. I've only given benedryl for venomous stings.

Welcome to FG!
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RedGlitter
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by RedGlitter »

Hi AL,

Welcome to FG.

I have no doubt that dogs dream and I would say it's perfectly sensible that your dog would have nightmares about what happened to her.

I did think of my late Lhasa who was elderly and she would let out at random, horrible howls. We took her to the vet and he said she was having the dog version of a heart attack. It happened several times and we ended up letting her go because we couldn't allow her to suffer. I'm not saying that's what might be wrong with your dog but it wouldn't hurt to ask your vet about the possibility. I don't know why it would only happen in the nighttime though. Still I'd ask the vet about that.

I lean toward the nightmare idea mostly and also the arthritis. It's possible she goes to move and something doesn't move quite right and pains her. My vet put my dalmatian on glucosamine and chewable baby aspirin for his arthritis. I don't know what dosage would be right for your dog ofhand, but I expect a call to the vet office either the vet or one of the techs could advise you on that.

Bless you for taking in this sweet dog. It kills me to know she was abused but I'm sure she is loving the new life you've given her.

I wish I could be of better help but when I'm unsure I always go back to the vet. :)
AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

RedGlitter;738473 wrote: Hi AL,

Welcome to FG.

I have no doubt that dogs dream and I would say it's perfectly sensible that your dog would have nightmares about what happened to her.

I did think of my late Lhasa who was elderly and she would let out at random, horrible howls. We took her to the vet and he said she was having the dog version of a heart attack. It happened several times and we ended up letting her go because we couldn't allow her to suffer. I'm not saying that's what might be wrong with your dog but it wouldn't hurt to ask your vet about the possibility. I don't know why it would only happen in the nighttime though. Still I'd ask the vet about that.

I lean toward the nightmare idea mostly and also the arthritis. It's possible she goes to move and something doesn't move quite right and pains her. My vet put my dalmatian on glucosamine and chewable baby aspirin for his arthritis. I don't know what dosage would be right for your dog ofhand, but I expect a call to the vet office either the vet or one of the techs could advise you on that.

Bless you for taking in this sweet dog. It kills me to know she was abused but I'm sure she is loving the new life you've given her.

I wish I could be of better help but when I'm unsure I always go back to the vet. :)


Hi, Red Glitter, and thanks for the info!

I like to think she is happier here. I know for sure that she is safer, because here she lives the life of Riley, no stress at all and definitely not even a hint of abuse or neglect. Our critters are like our children, we love them all very, very much. :)

I will definitely have her checked out at the vet's. I'm going to ask him for a complete exam with blood work, x-rays, urinalysis, etc. just to be on the safe side. I have heard of giving dogs baby aspirin, and since the other prescription arthritis med isn't working well, perhaps we should try it. I'll check with the vet first.

Thanks again! :)
gmc
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by gmc »

posted by appalachianlady

Can dogs have nightmares of things which have happened to them, given that she was so horribly abused before we got her? Could she be looking for (or running from) her old owner? Or is there another possible explanation for it? Our vet is at a loss as to why this would be happening.


Dogs certainly do dream-usually they are chasing something but they will also have nightmares. We had a retriever that had been neglected as a pup and would obviously be having a nightmare on occasion. as time went by they got fewer and fewer Currently we have a rescue dog we were the third owners at eight weeks when we got it. Occasionally it also has dreams about something or other that causes it distress. It is also terrified if anyone goes near it with a walking stick and runs away.

It seems your dog is waking up terrified by something it remembers-all you can do is calm it down and make it feel safe. It's perfectly normal behaviour-a human can rationalise and realise what is happening dogs can't. I wouldn't put it in a cage as it seems to be trying to escape from something-maybe it was penned all the time and might associate a cage with ill treatment you never know, feeling trapped might shatter the confidence it feels in you. Whether it is sleepwalking or not I wouldn't like to say but either way talking to it will calm it down and it will respond asleep or awake. IMO that is I make no claims to be n expert in doggy behaviour

It may be distressing but it is normal understandable behaviour.
AppalachianLady
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by AppalachianLady »

gmc;738627 wrote: posted by appalachianlady



Dogs certainly do dream-usually they are chasing something but they will also have nightmares. We had a retriever that had been neglected as a pup and would obviously be having a nightmare on occasion. as time went by they got fewer and fewer Currently we have a rescue dog we were the third owners at eight weeks when we got it. Occasionally it also has dreams about something or other that causes it distress. It is also terrified if anyone goes near it with a walking stick and runs away.

It seems your dog is waking up terrified by something it remembers-all you can do is calm it down and make it feel safe. It's perfectly normal behaviour-a human can rationalise and realise what is happening dogs can't. I wouldn't put it in a cage as it seems to be trying to escape from something-maybe it was penned all the time and might associate a cage with ill treatment you never know, feeling trapped might shatter the confidence it feels in you. Whether it is sleepwalking or not I wouldn't like to say but either way talking to it will calm it down and it will respond asleep or awake. IMO that is I make no claims to be n expert in doggy behaviour

It may be distressing but it is normal understandable behaviour.


Thanks for the insights, GMC. She does seem as if she is running away from something, now that I think about it, because she doesn't have her nose to the ground. I should think a beagle would do that if she were looking for something in her sleep, since they are bred to be hunting dogs.

Perhaps I haven't seen this behavior before simply because I have never had a dog who had been abused to that extent before. That makes sense. We do talk calmly to her, trying to let her know everything is okay. She's hard of hearing, though, so we have to make sure she is looking at us or else she doesn't even know we are talking to her at all. That is probably part of the problem, since she cannot hear us soothing her.

On the bright side, although she "runs" around, she always returns to the area where I am, even though she doesn't want to be touched, so I think that means that she trusts me to protect her from whatever has frightened her. That is, of course, true, both of me and her "daddy". We both like this poor abused little dog better than we like most humans, LOL.
tibbyowner
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by tibbyowner »

Hi! I joined the forum just to tell you that my 161/2 year old tibetan spaniel was put on tramadol (synthetic morphine) last weekend for pain relief for a urinary infection. He immediately started to exhibit the same symptoms. Awake with yelp, pace all night, wouldn't stay in the bedroom, went out and didn't know why he was there , staring into space. During the day he was fine. Next night same thing. Took him off the tramadol and symptoms disappeared immediately. I found your post while trying to figure out the problem. i hope this helps. There are lots of different types of pain relief. He has 1/2 of prednoleucotropin twice a day with no side effects. Good luck!
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valerie
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by valerie »

Welcome, Tibbyowner... good for you for taking such good care of your boy! I hadn't

heard that about the tramadol before but it's interesting.

Just an FYI, you might want to check the upper left in the green bar of a post, there is

a date there, the last post in the thread was a little over four years ago! Don't be

embarrassed, happens to the best of us!

Is your boy's name Tibby? How long have you had him?
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Snooz
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Dog nightmares/sleepwalking?

Post by Snooz »

I like reviving old threads, I see it as a form of archeology.

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