There are two kinds of dog guardians, which is the term that is preferred to “owners,” because it is more accurate.
There are the people who sleep in the same bed as their dogs, and those who do not.
I don’t know any who do not, although I thought I would be one of them after I/we adopted Nut Bag. (Not his real name. The only “real” family name I use on social media is my own. There are too many trolls out there with too much time on their hands.)
We adopted Nut Bag from Saved Me rescue, then located in Northern Liberties. They had pulled him out of ACCT Philly, where he had spent a few days as a stray. He had no name tag, no license, no microchip. The estimated first six years of his life were, and are, a complete blank. I hope to write an imagined history of his early years when I have time.
For Half-Pint, it was love at first sight, and she started calling him “my puppy” during our first visit to Saved Me. Now she calls him “the Baby.”
We didn’t take him home immediately because he had some health issues that had to be resolved by their vet, the most serious seemed to be the incurable COPD. It turned out to be the curable pneumonia, so the black and white Shih Tzu mix came home with us, along with a lot of vet bills.
You accept life’s little victories.
Nut Bag was introduced to his crate, which was to be his cave, his special place, where he would sleep.
Many dogs love their crates and regard them as places of safety, like a lair.
Not Nut Bag, who had separation anxiety issues, not unusual for lap dogs. Also teenage girls.
Summoning up my most authoritarian basso profondo voice, I told Half-Pint the dog would not be sleeping in our bed, but in his crate. As a concession, when she began bawling that he would be lonely in the other room, I bought a comfy dog bed and placed it next to our bed, in the master bedroom. [Political Correctness Note: Some Realtors have abandoned the term “master” bedroom in the odd belief that it somehow conjures up memories or images of slavery. People who follow that reasoning need deprogramming from Wokeness, a dread disease of the young and otherwise intellectually impaired.]
So Nut Bag slept in his bed and Half-Pint slept in her (our) bed. She turns in before me because she awakes at dawn to get ready for her day. I think she was a rooster in a previous life.
By Night Two, he was in our bed, and very comfortable, I must say. His bed is now in the living room, where he lounges during the day. All he needs are pajamas to look like Hugh Hefner.
With him in my bed, I became familiar with the term “co-sleeping.”
I have children and when they were young sometimes during the night they would come into the bed shared by me and my wife. They did this when they had a nightmare, or when they had to pee. (Thanks, son.)
The word we had for it was “getting into your parents bed.” I realize that is more like a phrase than a word, but let it be.
Somewhere along the line, sharing your bed with offspring became “co-sleeping.”
So we are “co-sleeping” with our dog.
My daughter has always slept with her dogs, despite the occasional complaint from a fiancé or two. If they didn’t like it, they were soon on the outside looking in. She admits to spooning with them. The dogs, not the fiancees,
After several dogs during her lifetime, and vowing she had her last dog, my sister just relented and adopted another, a homeless pooch evacuated from Puerto Rico.
So my sister is taking Spanish lessons.
She wanted an older, calmer, house-broken dog to chill with. She wound up with an 18-month-old rat terrier/chuhuahua, a high-energy dog that regards everything in the family room as a fire hydrant.
Since Day One, he has been in bed with her and my brother-in-law.
It is the one place he doesn’t pee.
My previous, and precious, dog loved to stretch out in my bed — until I got in. She would then rudely depart to get on the sofa in the bedroom. Great dog, but didn’t like sleeping with humans. At 80 pounds, she would have been tough to move. Nut Bag is one-quarter of that, but . . .
Early on, if he was on my side of the bed, I would put my hands under him to gently slide him close to “Mommy.”
And the first time I did it, he growled.
My own dog growling at me?
Pissed me off, too, until I decided — well, at least he didn’t bite me. You accept life’s little victories.
After a while I learned that if he was on my side, if I simply told him to move over — he would.
Another little victory.
It’s nice to have a loved one’s ass against you during the night.
It used to be Half-Pint’s.
Now it’s Nut Bag’s.
You accept life’s little victories.