Thursday, October 27, 2011


I have struggled for my entire life with insomnia, and much of the time have required some sort of prescription medication just to get me to sleep.

It's an odd malady, not being able to do this most basic of things that seems to come naturally to everyone else. Certainly, it has always come naturally to everyone I've ever slept in the same room with.

From Mom, to every college roommate and commune-mate, to every boyfriend up to and including the current one. Every dog, from the hyper pittie puppies to the anxious shepherds and the stiff older dogs and everyone in between--all have slept like the proverbial log. 

Over the years, I've heard every variation of deep breathing, nighttime grunting and mumbling, and snoring--sometimes for hours on end-- as I've struggled to get to sleep. 

There have been periods off and on when I've done better--years ago, when I camped and slept outside in Arizona and Utah during a six-week backpacking program on the Colorado Plateau, and more recently when I traveled in Guatemala and slept using only an occasional Benadryl. 

And for the past few days, as we've settled into a rhythm with Sandy and gotten used to having a tiny female pit bull packet snuggled in between us. 

It's not that I don't love my other, larger packets of sleeping joy, or that they don't bring me comfort.

It's just that there's something about this particular package of warm breath and snores that allows my mind to be at peace.

Maybe it's that she's so tiny, and sweet, and vulnerable.

Maybe it's the well-being that comes from knowing that we very probably saved her life, and feeling how worthwhile that is.

And maybe its the comforting sensation of again having a compact muscular little red girl dog around. A red girl dog who reminds me with her spunk and her spirit of
Tashi, whose ears and breath and snores I have never stopped missing since she passed away in April. 

Tashi is now in the midst of a long sleep, or maybe she's already entered a new life as a grumpy little grizzly or a spunky salmon swimming upstream or a Buddha incarnate whose growls bring instant enlightenment. 

Or maybe just a little bit of her spirit is making its way to us through our little foster dog, bringing her mom comfort and sleep at long last. 


  1. I can only imagine your previous frustration with insomnia. I hope this new bundle of joy keeps bringing you peace and comfort during those night hours. I love these pictures of her - she certainly is tugging on my little heartstrings!

  2. Hi Kirsten, dad thinks that maybe, just maybe - you should keep Sandy for good. She seems to be helping you, body and soul. Be a shame to lose that. As a supplement to Sandy, have you tried Melatonin (from health food shops)or acupuncture and Chinese herbal tincture from an accredited and trained acupuncturist? Even I go to get acupuncture as part of my on-going treatment and it can help you.

  3. How wonderful that Sandy is bringing you such peace! Fosters do truly brighten and fulfill our lives, whether their time with us is short or long. I hope Sandy continues to ease your mind and enable you to get the rest & relaxation that you need.

  4. Oh what a beautiful thought, the perpetually giving spirit of Tashi still next to you through Sandy. That would bring me so much comfort too.

    I also struggle with insomnia at times. It throws off my whole system for weeks at a time.

  5. I, too, have suffered with insomnia over the years, so I can appreciate where you're coming from. I love the idea that Tashi is visiting you through Sandy ... and really, who knows? I discount nothing.

    Sweet dreams!

  6. I wish I could sleep like dogs do

    Stop on by for a visit

  7. Well, Our dog loves to Sleep, but when the three of us, and sometimes four, are crowded into a queen size bed, he realizes life on his covers in the floor is a better way to go. And so do we.. If only I could take as many naps as he, I would be in heaven.


  8. Insomnia is evil. I also have life-long insomnia, and I think it's going to kill me.

    Sadly, sleeping with dogs usually makes my sleeping worse. Don't take drugs for it, just struggle through. But Sam's right-- melatonin is supposed to help. Try it and let me know if it does. :)

  9. I think Sam's dad is right, you are destined keep that sweet little piglet. :-)

    I struggle with sleeping too; the best I ever slept was on our cruise. :-)

    I finally gave in and got some prescription drugs but there are many other things you can try besides that.

    If you figure it out, let me know!

  10. My Lily sleeps like a log, not me...up at 4:50 am to wake mom
    Benny & Lily

  11. You guys are so supportive! I'm so sorry so many of you suffer from insomnia too. I guess I shouldn't be surprised--writers are known for that.

    Sam, you and your dad have some good ideas. The thought has definitely crossed my mind to keep Sandy, but it does with every foster dog! I am pretty sure that my job is to keep fostering other little beasts, and hope that they all have that same effect.

    I have tried melatonin, with no effect. I've also tried some Chinese medicine and herbal medicine, and have had some good results with a few things--namely Xiao yao Wan and Valerian.

    I'll do another blog post about it soon, since I imagine we're not the only dog bloggers who envy our dogs' ability to snooze!

  12. I miss having a dog (or 4) and/or cat (or 2) sleep with me :) Not that I got the best sleep then but the comfort was sooo worth it :) We will see what happens once I get my puppy next summer :)


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