Some of the worst sleep ever last night, I’m a zombie today. (Also, I had literal zombie nightmares. In one of them, Dave Wayne encouraged survivors to come to my house for a standoff. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but didn’t really end up working out that well. Pretty entertaining, actually, probably not so much nightmares as much as scary but entertaining dreams with tension in them. Like a Walking Dead episode.)

My wife was sleeping at her dogsitting job’s house, and I knew she was going to come home early. I was supposed to get Sydney up and get her started, so I set the alarm, no problem. After what seemed like a lengthy period of tossing and turning and being pinned down by dogs, the chihuahua went out in the hall and started barking. This is unusual, she is not yippy and she never gets up in the middle of the night to bark, so I figured Anette was home and that I’d missed the alarm.

I jumped out of bed and started turning on lights and getting dressed and the half-asleep dogs bumped around me in half-asleep confusion and I went out to get Sydney up because I figured I was already late and the alarm hadn’t gone off. Luckily, I checked before I woke up the girl, and it was 12:something AM. The night was barely started.

Wide awake, adrenaline flowing, I tried to go back to sleep. It took what felt like forever, but eventually I’m deeply asleep again. The chihuahua goes in hall and barks again, and I’m up stumbling around again. Luckily and sadly, it was just a little after 1:00am. The other dogs don’t move much this time.

This happens a large number of times, I stopped counting, but more than 5 and less than 10. I only jumped up and bashed around for the first three, but they still woke me up pretty completely until I could verify that it wasn’t super late or that there wasn’t a snake or rat or chupacabra in the house that only she had noticed or something. After the last one – some time after 3am, but I didn’t check this time – the chihuahua found a spot next to my head that she hadn’t been able to get to before, and she settled for the night.

Then I realized what had happened; she had a trick she’s used every once in a long while when there’s no space on the bed where she goes in the hall and barks for a second. The other dogs run off to investigate, and she claims whatever space she wants when they leave. They all come back when they realize there wasn’t anything, squeeze into their old spots more or less and everyone’s happy except the distorted humans. But they’re hip to her now, so she had to try more than once, and I’m the only one it ended up working on a couple of times.

After I spot that the sun is really coming up and I know that I actually will have to get up any second, I settle into the deepest three minutes of sleep I’ve had in ages. For whatever reason, I sleep best when I know it can’t last for more than five minutes.