Zamperini and the Pursuit of Sleep

I am thrilled to announce the newest member of our family, Zamperini.

"Zamps" is a Rhodesian Ridgeback/Lab mix, named for the main character in the best-selling novel Unbroken. We chose this name for him because like Louis Zamperini, this young man is fast, and has struggled mightily.

We adopted him from the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society, which rescued him from a "kill shelter" in Okanogan County. As the story goes, he was labeled "unadoptable" and spent three months in a cage entirely exposed to the elements.

Considering we're still nursing the wounds from losing our beloved Pearl, we're not sure who saved whom. We love him, and he seems to love us. It's a perfect fit.

He is a puppy- we're guessing about a year old. And because it has been 8 years since we last had a puppy and at that time had a full 20 acres for Pearl to stretch her legs compared to today's standard city-sized backyard, we underestimated a puppy's need to run. Add to that the fact that Ridgebacks are recommended as ideal running partners and our dear "Zampypants" clearly has endless amounts of energy to burn. And this energy level appears to crescendo at about 1:30am.

Because I struggle with insomnia it's especially cruel to be awoken by a joyful puppy in the middle of the night. Sleep is my drug, and I'll do just about anything to get it. But every night since this young pup has joined our family, I've been "Zamped." At least until last night.

It occurred to me the other day that if I could find a way to burn all or most of "Zamptastic's" energy in a pre-emptive strike, I may get a decent night's sleep. And good grief, it worked. Our first good run together resulted in 7 blissful, uninterrupted hours of sleep. So, I laced up my running shoes, grabbed the leash, and we welcomed the sunrise together again.

This is actually a genius partnership. "Zamps" is happy, healthy, and well-exercised. I maintain a level of fitness that I anticipate will be above and beyond what I would do solo. And, we both sleep. Win-win.

Thank you Zamperini. I look forward to  many years of sunrise runs.

Jennifer Korfiatis