Back in December, a couple weeks after Chickenbone's surgery, some of my relatives from New Mexico and Arizona came for a visit to meet Mia. One of those visitors was my brother, who is a sheriff's deputy in Curry County, N.M. As we were explaining Chickens' back injury and his round-the-clock crate rest, Mike nods at the big cage and goes, "So you keep him in the shoe, eh?" Er, the what? Well, in prison, "the shoe" is actually the SHU, or Solitary Housing Unit. It's where the baddies go, confined to their cells alone for 23 hours of the day. The nickname stuck, since "Stick Chickens in the shoe!" is funnier than if we just called it the cage.
Well, when an awesome Chickenbone Jones fan named Meghan read about our troubles with Sal sleeping in the living room to keep the dog quiet, she kindly offered to give us a wire crate that would probably fit in our cozy bedroom. And so we have the small shoe!
We began the transition to the bedroom last Friday night, and it was about as painful as I expected. Chickens basically sat with his whole face and body smashed against the side of the shoe that faces the bed, as close to us as he could possibly get, with this pleading look on his face. I lost track of how many times we had to get up to shush him (after a poop check, of course) and pull his blankets back over his head hoping he'd fall asleep. There was a lot of whining and whimpering, but we hung in there till dawn.
On the second night we had some quiet stretches. Between the two of us, we probably got up to check/comfort/shush him eight times, with a poop somewhere around 4? I think? When that night was over, Sal and I were sorely tempted to sneak in one couch night, just to have a break and catch up on sleep. But once you start down this road, it's just stupid to backpedal, so into the third night we trudged.
Shockingly, we only had to get up four times that night. And it was poopless! There is hope.
And on the fourth night, all was quiet until a poop at around 5:45 a.m. (Which, in the post-baby Pizarro household, is actually a perfectly respectable time to wake up.)
Four nights did the trick. I even let two nights go by before posting this, just to make sure I wasn't going to jinx it! But the past two nights have been peaceful as well. One thing that really helps: Sal figured out that if you want Chickens to fall asleep right away, just wrap him up in his favorite blue blanket before putting him into the bed. That's right, we're swaddling the freaking dog. And good lord, we Ferberized him, too!
And this is how comfy he is now: This morning when I opened the door, Chickens looked up at me and then put his head down and went back to sleep. He loves the small shoe! I told Meghan that if this worked, I was going to buy a star and name it after her. I am so grateful to her, and so very relieved to have this problem behind us and my husband back in his own bed.
Now, who knows how to fix the poop?!!