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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Microstory 909: The Benefits of Sleep

I actually don’t like sleep, and I already talked about the importance of it for my Stepwisdom series, so I’m not going to go over all that again. I’m just going to say that I have a newfound appreciation for a good night’s rest. I recently got a puppy. Her name is Daisy Quake. She’s an English Coonhound, and a little rascal. We picked her up when she was only six weeks old, which may have been a bit too young. She immediately took to her new family, and didn’t seem too upset about leaving her mother and siblings. She did have trouble sleeping, though. I was told that she would need to go out to do her business as often as every hour. This wasn’t going to be great, but I could have handled it. Unfortunately, it was a lot more complicated than that. She would cry as soon as we put her in her kennel, which was, admittedly, too large for her. Wild canines live in dens, not mansions. She needed something large enough for her to turn around, but no larger. There was no way of knowing why she was crying. She could have needed to go out, she could have already made a mess, or she could have just wanted lovies. The only thing I could do was put her in the bed with me, even though I never thought I would be that kind of person, because animals are dirty. Those first few weeks felt like hell. As much as I loved her, she was a massive handful, no more so than when I was trying to sleep. Now that she’s a few weeks older, she can usually make it through the night— far sooner than the websites predicted she would. I’m still losing sleep, though, because she’s too young and small to survive outside alone, what with the foxes and coyotes, and she sometimes drinks too much before bed. I’m also worried about her, which makes it hard to fall asleep, which is a problem any source of stress can cause. It’s good for me, nonetheless. At FedEx, I’d spend hours alone in the tower; my only hope of a bathroom break coming if I so conspicuously announced it on the radio. Just as that taught me to hold my own bladder, my dog’s inability to do so has taught me to survive on less sleep. Of course, I’ve been sleep deprived before, but not like this. This is chronic, and as unhealthy as it is, I think it’s making me a more flexible person.

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