I used to joke that I awoke every morning at 3:00 am. Now it’s worse. Since we got the puppy, I’m awake at two, three, and four o’clock.

A couple of mornings ago as we lay awake listening to the little bundle of joy howling in the basement because she wanted us to come down and play with her, I asked my husband if we had made a mistake. We love her, but our energy is drained, eyes puffy, diets trashed as we have been eating for brain power. Sleep deprivation leads to many issues in our lives, and we can die faster from lack of sleep than from lack of food – sites quote two weeks necessary to starve, while only ten days will do us in without sleep.

We need sleep to renew our cells, reboot our brains, and release hormones. Without it, we’re examples of zombies, the walking dead. Something had to change.

My husband suggested a covered lot, something like our other two German Shepherds were brought up in until they could learn the property lines and grow out of the puppy stages enough to feel like they wouldn’t harm themselves accidentally. The cat currently resides in that one and I wouldn’t even hear of evicting him for the puppy. He loves it. People ask how we keep him in. We don’t. Although it is covered, he could get out if he climbed up the walls and between the spaces of the roof and the sides. But he has a scratching post, kitty house, unlimited food and water. He climbs on top of his house sometimes, but otherwise, he’s content. We let him out to roam around every day, when the dogs are up and he’s out of danger, but he runs back to his lot – possibly eager for the security of it.

So, a new lot had to be purchased, along with a new dog house complete with flapping doors that can shut out the wind, and plenty of toys and chew bones. It’s been unseasonably warm, so we haven’t had to worry about the temperature outside. And with a thick covering of cedar shavings, Gretel’s new abode greeted her. She loves it! Thankfully! She can run and play and jump inside of her house, sticking her cute little face out of the flaps at us. We can let her out when we’re home to watch her so that she doesn’t get hurt or wander off the property. And, the very best thing of all, we can sleep! I didn’t even wake up at 3:00 this morning.

Of course, I still have the bags under my eyes, but give it another night or two and hopefully those will be gone as well.

As for dreaming, did you know that within the first five minutes of waking more than fifty percent of our dreams disappear, and within ten over ninety percent? If you are inclined to have a dream journal, better keep it by the bed. Otherwise, you’ll lose most of the memory of those precious insights. Right now, mine would be full of sweet dreams of sleeping in a great bed, undisturbed.

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