Sharing the Bed

I never actively decided that I was going to let Kenya sleep on my bed.

I didn’t have a strong opinion on the Pets-in-the-Bed issue; I’d never given it much consideration. The cat had never wanted to sleep on the bed with me,  as that would have meant giving up crucial opportunities to push glassware off counters, lick plastic bags that had been errantly left out, and attack any bits of me that were hanging out of the bed and/or moving under the covers in a manner that he deemed suspicious. I’d like to think that he felt he was protecting me, not fiendishly torturing me into sleep deprivation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the latter.

But back to the dog…

My mom did not share my ambivalence. “You’re not going to let the dog up on the bed are you?” she asked with genuine concern (and a slight grimace).

I would say Mom is definitely Anti-Dogs-in-the-Bed (or up on furniture in general). Since she was at my house the night Kenya became a family member I took her wise, motherly advice, dragged the cedar-scented Costco dog bed into my room, and arranged it on the floor near me. Kenya circled and flopped down; I crawled under the covers and switched off the lamp. The silence that followed lasted only a few short seconds, replaced by pitiful whimpering.

Sucker that I am, I immediately sat back up, and without really thinking about it, patted the foot of the bed. I watched her leap gracefully onto the spot that I’d offered. She seemed to say, “Well, that was a strange little segue, what with the joke about the floor mat, but I’m glad you’ve come to your senses.” She curled herself into a little ball, and slept through the night.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

It’s not that I mind her being on the bed, far from it. There is something comfortable, perhaps reassuring, about her being there.  It just takes some… adjustment.  I have not shared my bed with anyone since- well nevermind- suffice it to say that it’s been a while.

In fact, I only recently acquired my ‘big girl (read: queen-size) bed’. Tiny apartments are not conducive to large beds. I was greatly enjoying the new-found pleasure of sprawling. Okay. Fine. I was greatly enjoying the idea that I could sprawl. If I wanted to. I don’t. Apparently. I still have ‘a side’ and my brain doesn’t seem interested in changing that. And now, it’s becoming a moot point.

Over the first week or two Kenya slowly moved from her little ball at the foot of the bed, inching closer and closer to me, until I woke up one morning balanced precariously along the edge of the mattress. One more good stretch on her part and I would have been on the floor. The next morning? I was wedged horizontally across the pillows at the top of the bed.

She isn’t a huge dog. She just wants to cuddle. The bedtime routine now involves her running and jumping onto the bed, bouncing around until she comes to a stop, sitting up as close to where I will be pulling back the covers as possible, and wiggling with excitement. When I can move her enough to get under said covers, she drops her head and paws across my chest and sighs contentedly, ready to sleep.

Waiting for me.

 

It’s adorable. But, confining. Reminiscent of other experiences in sharing the bed… now that I think about it. Cuddling is nice, for a while. But eventually I want to escape from under an arm and sleep in my own space. I can’t handle feeling pinned under the blankets.  Plus, Kenya snores. Not unbearable, but impressive sometimes. Not that I’m judging, I might be just as loud. I’ve been tempted once or twice to get up and sleep somewhere else, or at least to trick her and crawl back in on the other side, but I think she’d find me.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is my friend who has two beautiful Siberian huskies, who are both allowed to sleep not just on the bed, but in the bed. Important preposition when you are considering two gorgeous, Nordic monsters who shed jaw-dropping amounts of fur. Seriously, forget dust bunnies, you could make a full menagerie from what the pair of them leave drifting around the house in a single day… Little dust giraffes, and penguins, and  kangaroos.

Wingnut and Rivet

 

I guess that, much like beautiful people, beautiful dogs generally sleep where they want.

I’m happy with our sleeping arrangement. Having Kenya there means I have to wash the comforter more often, but I don’t get scared of being alone in a whole big house. This will just be an opportunity for me to be the boss. To demand my space and not feel bad if I have to push her away.  As the alpha.

I suppose that, should I not move forward with the current plan of becoming an agnostic nun, I may someday find myself back sharing the bed with someone who is allowed under the covers, and Kenya may find herself booted. We’ll see. For now it’s a non-issue.  And for now, she makes a pretty good guard against things that go bump in the night.

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~ by Lindsey on October 24, 2010.

6 Responses to “Sharing the Bed”

  1. My family has two cats. One is a bed-sharer at night, but she will only sleep with my mom. If my parents want to cuddle, Sheba is there to break them up. She’s very possessive.

    The other cat, Leo, is only interested in beds when they’re being made or when someone is reading in one. His idea of making the bed is to curl up under the blankets so you’ve got this big purring lump to work around, not entirely like the Husky in your photo.

  2. I understand your situation fully–even the agnostic nun options. LOL. I have two pups who’ve trained me into my side of the bed quite nicely.

  3. My best friend’s german shepherd sleeps in the bed with her and her husband! She sheds, and snores… I don’t know how M & R stand it, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. Your dog is adorable! I want one 😦

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