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Sleep Training a Jerk Russell

I've been so tired lately. The last time I got a good night's sleep was...let's see...3 weeks ago? 4? I finally, finally scheduled an appointment to have a sleep study done. Hopefully, it will shed some light on my lifelong (yes, even as a baby) sleep troubles.

Exhausted at work yesterday, helpful coworkers pointed out, "You look SO tired!" (I'd actually thought I looked pretty good.) Sexy Nerd was out of town on a business trip, so I decided to get to bed nice and early. No internet or TV, a comfy, cool room, despite the scorching heat wave we've been experiencing here in Albuquerque, and twice my usual sleeping pill dosage (don't freak out - I usually break the pills in half) meant I had a good chance of catching up on some desperately needed sleep.

Or so I thought.

Our dogs have a nightly routine which you must never ever vary from, lest you destroy their little dog worlds. Even though I was getting to bed a bit earlier than usual, (like, an hour) I made certain to keep things normal for Pica and Biscuit, including ample time to play outside after their dinner, snuggle time upstairs in our bedroom, and goodnight smooches. It's pathetic. After they were tucked in and the lights were out, I went upstairs and got in bed. A good night's sleep was going to be sooo perfect. Until...

Bark! Bark! Bark!

Actually, that's a bit of an understatement. It was really more of a...


Which, translated, I assume means something along the lines of


Followed by nonstop barking, whining, howling, and some sort of high pitched shriek my ears were probably only able to hear 1/8 of.

I opened my eyes, glaring a death stare into my ceiling. Perhaps Pica would stop if I ignored her.

(Yeah right.)

As I waited for her theatrics to subside, the little voice at the back of my mind grew concerned. What if Pica was hurt? What if there was something terribly wrong, like the dishwasher had exploded into a ball of grease and flames, and Pica was actually a hero dog trying desperately to alert me? How would I ever be able to live with the guilt of leaving Pica and Biscuit, my sweet, precious fur-babies, downstairs to die a fiery death? I slumped out of bed to investigate.

Pica was thrilled to see me. The barking continued, but she ran away from me and went to the cupboard. The cupboard where we keep the leashes. That fiery death thing suddenly didn't seem so bad.

Nevermind the darkness outside. Nevermind that mommy is full of sleeping pills. (Well, sleeping pill, at least.) In Pica's twisted mind, it was time to go for a walk.


Nothing I tried could deter her. Each time Pica was settled down, all comfy in her bed, and I'd returned upstairs, I'd close the bedroom door and wait. No sound. Ready to finally sleep, I'd get back into bed, close my eyes, get comfortable and relaxed and sleepy and no longer want to strangle her. Every time I was on the brink of sleep, the hysterics began again. I tried waiting, allowing Pica to self-sooth in a bizarre twist on Ferberization. Surely, she would lose interest or exhaust herself soon. But if you know anything about Jack Russell Terriers, you know that's not at all how they work.

Also, never get a Jack Russell Terrier. They're cute as puppies, but no. NO.

Every time I came downstairs, Biscuit had a look on her face like, "Oooh, you're in trouble now." Pica, however, always had a big, dopey grin.

Such a jerk.

Which makes sense since, apparently, we were going for a walk.

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