Sleeping with DogsFriday, October 03, 2008
The first thing you discover when you bring a dog onto your bed is the striking difference in weight between an alert, awake dog and a dog at rest.
Rule Number One: The deeper the sleep the heavier the dog.
Most people who sleep with dogs develop spinal deformities rather than rent the heavy equipment necessary to move their snoring canines to a more appropriate part of the bed. Cunning canines steal precious space in tiny increments until they have achieved the center position on the bed - with all covers carefully tucked under them for safekeeping. The stretch and roll method is very effective in gaining territory. Less subtle tactics are sometimes preferred. A jealous dog can worm his way between a sleeping couple and, with the proper spring action from all four legs, shove a sleeping human to the floor.
Rule Number Two: Dogs possess superhuman strength while on a bed.
As you cling to the edge of the bed, wishing you had covers, your sweet pup begins to snore at a volume you would not have thought possible. Once that quiets down, the dog dreams begin. Yipping, growling, running, kicking. Your bed becomes a battlefield and playground of canine fantasy. It starts out with a bit of "sleep running", lots of eye movement and then, suddenly, a shrieking howl blasted through the night like a banshee wail. The horror of this wake-up call haunts you for years. It's particularly devastating when your pup insists on sleeping curled around your head like a demented Daniel Boone cap.
Rule Number Three: The deeper the sleep, the louder the dog.
The night creeps on and you fall asleep in the 3 inches of bed not claimed by a dog. The dog dreams quiet slightly and the heap of dog flesh sleeps breathing heavily and passing wind. Then, too soon, it's dawn and the heap stirs. Each dog has a distinctive and unpleasant method of waking the pack. One may position itself centimeters from a face and stare until you wake. The clever dog obtains excellent results by simply sneezing on your face, or they could romp all over your sleeping bodies - or the ever-loving insertion of a tongue in an unsuspecting ear.
Rule Number Four: When the dog wakes - you wake.
So, why do we put up with this? There's no sane reason. Perhaps it's just that we're a pack and a pack heaps together at night - safe, contented, heavy and loud.