Sun, 12/12/2021 - 10:51am

Editorial: December 10, 2021

Hey, move over

Hey, Move Over

There has been so much written about owners letting their dogs sleep on their beds at night. We all have, at one time or another, let our dogs sleep on our bed. When we are in a social situation we might deny it because there is always one person in the room who thinks it’s disgusting to let a dirty dog on the bedding. But we know better. They bring emotional comfort at the end of a stressful day. They plop down on the bed and quickly fall asleep, giving you a relaxed atmosphere in which to unwind. The benefits of lowering your blood pressure and the companionship they bring are immeasurable. A pat on the head, and off to dreamland.

We know what they give us in this unusual sharing of sleeping space… but have you ever thought of what your dog thinks about sharing a bed with you? At day’s end, as you enter your bedroom to retire for the night, Rover is right behind you. Eager to get on the bed, he has to watch you go through the evening ritual of tooth brushing, face washing, relieving yourself (for the first time of the night) and, yes, undressing. Unimaginable, the things they see. It’s enough to want to close your eyes and sleep. Then we have the process of getting into bed. As the owner tells friends and family, “There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my dog and his comfort.” The dog knows you are lying – for instance, you won’t give up your pillow, you get the lion’s share of the blankets, and you are pushing him to the foot of the bed. That is, after he has warmed up the part of the bed you like to sleep on.

These indignities our dogs can live with; it is the other nocturnal issues that even a happy, tail-wagging Beagle has trouble with. Finally, all the first rounds of positioning are over, you turn on the television to watch the late news. Now you have fallen asleep hours ago and the news has turned into a war movie with loud explosive noises, to which you are oblivious, but they startle the dog. Now awake, he repositions himself for the second time that evening, only to be kicked, even though unintentionally. With him settled for the moment, now you have to respond to nature’s call and stumble out of bed with a few choice words that the dog thinks are directed at him. Then you turn on the light, and if that isn’t disruptive enough, you flush the toilet, which sounds like a tsunami. So now with the room awake, you get back into bed, pet the dog on his head and start the process all over again. Sadly, this is repeated two more times during the night. Peace overtakes the room at last – until your dog is awakened again, to the odor of the remains of that spicy Mexican dinner you had earlier in the evening. Another insult to the dog, but you are blissfully unaware. 

It’s been a long night, with several interruptions. Oh, and how about that early-morning alarm clock going off that sounds like an air-raid warning during the Blitz? It’s not like your dog has to get up and go to work. While you fall back to sleep, thinking about the bond between you and your dog, the dog is thinking: Enough of this bonding stuff – why didn't I sleep on the couch?



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