Doctor Stormy At Your Service: Sleep Deprivation Our Specialty!

Sometimes animals have names that fit them perfectly. Barky Barkerson might be a good one for my little friend. Stormy? Perhaps the most unlikely name you could pick for this little dog.

She gets to nap...

She gets to nap…

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Thursday night we had thunderstorms in the Twin Cities. I can safely say that they started around 2:40 that morning. That’s because the breathing started about then. Breathing. As in “Wake from a sound sleep with a sheep dog standing two feet away breathing heavily and loudly.” I thought for a minute that the ghost of our Old English was back: he specialized in breathing loudly when he wanted your attention. It’s not possible that a 35 pound dog could make the same level of noise that a 90 pound dog could, is it?

Why, yes, it is! When the exhalation festival didn’t get sufficient attention she moved to plan “B” – paws on the bed, her face six inches from mine.

Stormy doesn’t like to be held or comforted like other dogs I’ve known. Instead of hopping on the bed and being safe, she prefers pacing. So pace she did. Me? I rolled back on my side and went back to sleep. For 11 minutes.

The breathing was back. Given my bad hearing and the ambient noise in the room with the fans, that’s pretty amazing. But I rubbed her face, said soothing words, and turned to face the wall.

This time it was more like 8 minutes. This went on from 2:40 until about 5:40 when I threw in the towel and got up to make breakfast. We hit the back door just in time to catch the last of the rain.

She, being very tired from her activity, took a nap while I made something to eat. I left a little early for work and stopped for two enormous caffeinated sodas, a 24 ounce coffee, and a package of caffeine stimulant pills at my favorite gas station.

For the next 10 hours I consumed all the buzz drink and pills I could stomach, finally hitting a decent level of alertness around hour 7. She, on the other hand, was at home barking and snoozing.

I can’t be mad. She’s terrified of the noise from thunderstorms. But can’t she show this anxiety by passing out? I need the sleep.

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