This morning, after days of trying every possible trick in the bag to get my wireless router to start talking to my cable modem again, it came to me in a flash, like a revelation from heaven: Delete the entire network, reset everything, and build a new one from scratch. Lo, it will work.

Lo, it didn’t work.

But then, just as I’d figured on spending the next month stealing a free wireless signal from my next-door neighbor, AND using the enforced down time to do something completely different, like start noodling around with fiction again, I opened the laptop and everything is working smoothly again, and I have no idea what happened, but it happened, and lo.

So much for my fiction career.

But what the hell — why not start a discussion on this story, which I read over the weekend, about people who sleep with their dogs. I mean, in the bed with their dogs. According to this story, 40 percent of American dogs share a human’s bed.

As part of our family’s long-running comedy routine, in which one of us will speak the thoughts of our canine member, we have an unending debate over the dog sleeping with us. I’ve never objected to a dog in bed, but Alan is appalled by the very idea. For years, Spriggy slept in his own bed next to ours, and after Alan’s allergies reached a crisis he was banished from the bedroom entirely. (He now sleeps within sight, out in the hallway.)

I’m always intrigued at the different permutations of human-animal sleep my friends confess to. I’ve known women who slept with huge Labrador retrievers or German shepherds next to them. Vince’s Daisy sleeps under the covers. I dog-sat a Springer who insisted on curling up in the curve of my knees, and patiently readjusted himself after every shift in my own position. It was really sweet and cozy.

Do you sleep with your pet? Why or why not?

Posted at 4:34 pm in Uncategorized |

16 responses to “Healed.”

  1. brian stouder said on January 2, 2005 at 8:14 pm

    “Do you sleep with your pet? Why or why not?”

    Nope – she’s a cat, so really the question reduces to “Why does she choose NOT to sleep with us?” – and part of the answer is her feline attraction (for whatever reason) to sleeping with her tormentors (our 6 year old daughter most nights, but our 9 year old sone some nights)

    The reference to the bachelor apartment got me laughing – especially the “every night” part (EVERY night??!! Egad!)

    We once had a fellow on the other side of the wall who had his significant other over every weekend. If we left the TV on, we could mostly cancel the ambient sounds of carnal exuberance…except we couldn’t fail to notice that she was a giggler! A major, major giggler!

    It seemed as if the more intensely active things became, the more hysterically she laughed!

    Honestly, I had to (discreetly) admire the fellow; he must have had the most absolutely secure male ego of all time!

    Or maybe THEY had a pet hyena?

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  2. Dorothy said on January 2, 2005 at 8:41 pm

    Yes, most definitely. We’ve been married for 25 years and have had a dog (or two) consistently throughout that time. It just seemed perfectly natural because the puppy was always a member of the family. Dublin (Irish setter) got too gangly and eventually stayed on the floor. Peanut (Cocker Spaniel) came along 18 months after Dub and she kept our feet warm. After those two passed on, Atticus (Golden Retriever mix) fit nicely behind the curve of our legs, and then Domino (Border Collie) joined the family about 2 years later. Now we only have Augie (another Golden mix) and he starts off on the bed, but eventually moves down on the floor to the pillow/dog bed we bought for him. He’s a snuggly little thing who is slow to wake up in the morning and is a joy to start the day with! Neither of us suffers from allergies so I’m sure that’s a factor in all this generous sharing on our part. But Mike and I could not even fathom having a dog and NOT having him or her with us. It’s our very strong opinion that people who have dogs and only keep them outside might as well just buy lawn ornaments. They’d be lots cheaper and less messy.

    BTW – we have two kids also. I don’t want anyone to think we are eccentric oddballs who live only for their animals. Both are in college.

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  3. Nance said on January 2, 2005 at 10:06 pm

    Please grant, Dorothy, that there’s a middle ground between “on the next pillow” and “in the back yard all night long.”

    That said, I think the woman in the story who sleeps with her 150-pound Newfie — with her husband in another room — has lost her mind. Her dog would probably be happier sleeping outdoors, as she herself acknowledges he likes a cold room. He has the coat and the breeding for outdoor life. Even in Wisconsin.

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  4. colleen said on January 2, 2005 at 10:40 pm

    Pre Husband, the cats slept with me. Husband doesn’t like that they don’t make it through the night, so they are banished. This especially bothers Claude, who should really be named Eddie Puss, because he LOOOOOVES his mama and gets really upset when he can’t sleep rightnexttome.

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  5. colleen said on January 2, 2005 at 10:41 pm

    Pre Husband, the cats slept with me. Husband doesn’t like that they don’t make it through the night, so they are banished. This especially bothers Claude, who should really be named Eddie Puss, because he LOOOOOVES his mama and gets really upset when he can’t sleep rightnexttome.

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  6. vince said on January 2, 2005 at 11:35 pm

    Why does my dog Daisy sleep in my bed, even under the covers? (when she chooses; it’s always her choice.)

    …. so I can get my favorite pooch mentioned in one of America’s best blogs, that’s why!

    How else could she reach a national audience?

    Thanks Nance!

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  7. Dorothy said on January 3, 2005 at 8:19 am

    Yes Nance there is a big difference, you are right. But I wasn’t referring to just bedtime – I mean people who leave their pets outside 24/7. To each his own, but my heart tells me a real dog lover would not keep a dog outside all night and all day.

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  8. Mindy said on January 3, 2005 at 9:54 am

    Our first two pooches, both Labradors, weren’t even allowed on the living room furniture although both of them ruled the rec room sofas. It worked out well since the one who was calm enough to be left alone in the house while we were gone really thought he was livin’ large when he could nap on the living room sofa undisturbed. Eli, our Chocolate Labrador, endured major surgery for hip dysplasia when he was seven months old, so I softened and allowed him to be on the new furniture. Both new sofas and the new chair are now glorified dog beds. Sheets are kept on everything to keep it from becoming poochy and are easily washed, but my living room always looks like someone is recovering from the flu.

    As for sleeping in the bed with us, no. I can’t stand the snoring in living stereo when Eli is on the floor next to me and must relocate to quieter quarters. Snores in each ear would be a fate worse than traffic court.

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  9. Chuck Lopez said on January 3, 2005 at 3:12 pm

    Hey, Nancy! Been visiting this website/blog ever since Soho turned me on to it. Remember Focus magazine? I was the editor, but you knew a lot more than me (I?).

    Anyway, to the dog stuff. My wife and I have rescued and fostered a lot of dogs over the years, but one Dobie we fostered (we had named him Moose, but now he’s known as Beau) ended up with my wife’s parents in Florida. To make a long story short, he’s the bed dog of all bed dogs. Amy’s mom and dad recently shelled out several thousand dollars for an oversized, lower-than-usual king-size bed so Beau would have easy access.

    That’s devotion.

    What good is the money if you can’t indulge yourself — and your dog?

    — Chuck Lopez

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  10. alex said on January 3, 2005 at 6:29 pm

    Yeah, dobies are quite the bed dogs, as I recently found out after adopting one. Couldn’t coax her onto the bed or any piece of furniture at first. Then one night came a loud thunderstorm, and now I can’t get rid of her.

    It wouldn’t be so bad, although when she scratches she usually ends up clawing me to pieces. These days the sheets are filthy in no time flat. And why on earth does she have to sleep with her ass in my face?

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  11. Miss Beth said on January 3, 2005 at 7:44 pm

    A year ago, I would have thought all of you were bonkers. That was B.G.–Before Guinness, the 80-some pound Rottweiler mix we rescued last February. I used to laugh and smirk at the schmucks coming out of PetsMart with armloads of toys, treats and general doggy-crap–now, I am that schmuck. As to her sleeping in the bed: physically impossible, as we have a smallish bed and are not waifs in any sense of the word. But she does get to sleep in it if one of us is gone for the night. And boy, does she know it…plus, she can light up a room, if you get my drift. I’d prefer to NOT have that blow up in my face, asleep or awake.

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  12. mc said on January 4, 2005 at 9:16 am

    Wow, I’m feeling really lucky that I own a nine-pound shih tzu who still ends up impersonating a bowling ball in the middle of the bed. Can’t imagine sleeping with a behemoth… then again, a few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to imagine owning a fluffy little lap dog. And now I’ve got two of ’em.

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  13. joodyb said on January 4, 2005 at 11:44 am

    dogs in college? wow. and that DOBERMAN knows why she’s sleeping with her ass in your face!

    Notorious bedbugs, the Weimie is the first to weasel ever to her way in (only because Mark was in the hospital and I was scared, for the first time, of many things – oh, and she was 10 months old at the time and nowhere near her adult size).

    Thus began our battle. Her forays became more frequent. In the days of the old sofa, I am ashamed to report, a favorite napping situation was “Long Dogs,” with Pearl stretched the length of the human in the crease. Not a bad thing in a Minnesota winter. One dog’ll do ya.

    I was so accustomed to this arrangement that once on a vacation with friends in Mexico, sharing a bed w/ Kristin, I awoke and, thinking I was home, started patting her backside. She remarked to the crew the next day that I thought my spousal unit was along on the trip. My clarification that I thought she was Pearl is one of her favorite dog stories. She too sleeps with her dog. And mine, sometimes.

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  14. Lex said on January 4, 2005 at 9:56 pm

    We adopted two cats soon after moving in together, and for about a decade they both slept with us most nights, the dainty blue-Burmese mix perched high on Ann’s hip and the 18-pound orange tabby between my feet with his chin on his paw and his paw on one of my ankles. Under the covers, of course.

    After Ann developed horrendous allergies, they both became outdoor kitties (albeit with a heated kittycat house for winter). They both lived to ripe old ages and we miss them both terribly.

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  15. Loulou said on January 5, 2005 at 2:33 pm

    after I lost my cat, Ramon, in tragic circumstances I was pet-less for a long while, but the house was so tidy and there was no-one [!!] to greet me when I came home. So on the anniversary of his death I went miles and miles away to look at long-haired Chihuahuas. [I lived in the Saouth, and otherwise I’d have had a choice between beagles and pitbulls.] Actually Hershey chose me, as his sibs rolled around on the grass playing and he sat on my feet. He was 3 mos old and slept [?] on the floor, but a few weeks after I got him he used my bedspread as a rope ladder and I woke up to find him ensconced on my bed. And that’s all, she wrote. Twelve and a half years later he’s still sleeps on it/in it, depending on how hot he gets. And I’m the one moves over. He does keep me warm in the winter, is very faithful, and loves me all to pieces. What more could I ask?

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  16. Sue said on February 2, 2005 at 10:41 pm

    My significant other refuses to sleep without the two dogs in the bed. One is fine..but the other one is a 2 yr. old undisciplined Lab that takes up most of the bed and leaves me with only a small part..and then the covers are impossible to move as well. Its really a problem, and I dont know where to go with it. Right now I am so frustrated, and without a solution..everytime I sleep in the bed with the dogs I end up having a few hours of sleep. Shouldnt she start to wean them off the bed so we can enjoy our togetherness and get sleep? Or is that just being cruel..I like the dogs..one more than the other, but Im not a dog hater, I just am frustrated.

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