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Who Do You Sleep With?

Why some people are dog-tired (and don’t care)



Photo by Soloviova Liudmyla

Recently we hosted a dinner party, and when our guests arrived, Allie and Lucy, our Bichons greeted everyone enthusiastically. The dinner for eight began beautifully. The avocado and grapefruit salad and butterflied leg of lamb with rosemary were flawless. Wine flowed and the conversation was brisk, cordial, and animated. There wasn’t a problem we couldn’t solve. All was right with the world. 

As I went into the kitchen to bring out the chocolate mousse for dessert I overheard one of the guests ask the assembled group, “Do you let your dogs sleep on your bed?” 

Conversation stopped momentarily. Then, suddenly answers started flying, creating a seismic shift from politics, global warming, and Time’s “Person of the Year,” to dogs on people beds, pro and con. Voices were raised and faces reddened as opinions were passionately shared. 

One of the guests, a vet, shared her professional knowledge. We learned that most dogs sleep 12 to 14 hours a day, varying by breed and daily activity. Horses and cows may sleep only three or four hours. Bats and possums take the snooze prize, logging 20 hours of shut-eye a day. 

It turns out that dogs have sleep patterns similar to humans, and also experience dreams. “Adult dogs will spend ten to 12 percent of their sleeping time in REM stage, which is when they dream,” the vet said. “Have you ever noticed your dogs’ legs pawing at the air, or seen the animals quivering or growling when they’re asleep?” We all nodded. “They’re having doggy dreams and I recommend not waking them because the expression, ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ is apt.” 

We were all better informed but the question about appropriate sleeping arrangements remained unanswered. 

“Why should our dog have full-time bed privileges when our kids are only allowed in bed with us when they’re sick or scared?” offered one dinner guest, the mother of three young children.

“We used to let Shelby, our Burmese Mountain Dog, sleep on the bed but the rules changed when he started obsessively pawing the duvet to establish his territory. There was no room for us,” said a Wall Street investment broker. 

“When Buster was little everything was fine,” chimed in my neighbor, a nursery school teacher “But when he got his big-dog voice and started barking wildly in the middle of the night, Buster got busted. Now he sleeps on his dog bed. I still feel guilty. “I don’t” said her husband, to much laughter.

The German shepherd owner, a sports psychologist, perked up. “Razzle and Dazzle used to sleep on our bed. When nature called they went out the dog door, did their business, jumped back on the bed, and went right back to sleep. But I could never get back to sleep. Sleeping privileges on our bed were revoked!” 

“Too many romantic moments were ruined by Lily Bud, so my husband banished her,” lamented the Chihuahua owner, a serial volunteer.

I listened patiently as I served the mousse. Finally I felt compelled to enter the conversational fray,. 

“I must admit,” I said, that our dogs have no regard for our need of uninterrupted sleep. And though they’re small, they’re utter space hogs. We often talk about banning them from our bed but never have the heart to turn them away. They’re family and we need each other.”

 “Aren’t you concerned about Lyme disease?” asked one guest. 

“Of course we are,” I replied. “I had one of the first recorded cases of Lyme in Connecticut, so we’re vigilant. We check our dogs throughout the day and always before bedtime.”

Remembering my miserable battle with the disease, my thoughts drifted back to memories of Winnie, our first Bichon, who was my comforting companion throughout my Lyme ordeal. He never left my side. Every time I napped Winnie would climb up on the bed and snuggle next to me. 

Several years later, as Winnie’s life was slipping away he was no longer able to climb onto the bed. It was our time to comfort Winnie and reciprocate his devotion. We placed his favorite pillow beside our bed where he lay peacefully. He wanted to be with his family––his pack––to the very end. I honestly don’t know who needed to be comforted more. 

I took a sip of wine and exchanged a meaningful glance with my husband. “While we respect all of your opinions, in this household we let our dogs sleep with us. We live for their unconditional love, and they live for ours. Now, raise your hand if you want more chocolate mousse!” 

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June 2018

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Cost: FREE

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KMR Arts
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View map »


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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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10 Main St.
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View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store Loft Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-9003
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
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Pinckney Park
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Cost: $37-$42

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Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

A hands-on introduction to woodworking for kids! In this 4-day afternoon camp, kids will plan and create a one-of-a-kind project such as a wooden stool. Skills include sanding, drilling with a...

Cost: Fee: $210 / $190 for family members (supplies included)

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Cener
681 South Ave
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View map »


Telephone: 203-594-3638
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More information

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: The Smithy Store Loft Gallery
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Pinckney Park
177 Rowayton Ave
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Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

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Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

A hands-on introduction to woodworking for kids! In this 4-day afternoon camp, kids will plan and create a one-of-a-kind project such as a wooden stool. Skills include sanding, drilling with a...

Cost: Fee: $210 / $190 for family members (supplies included)

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Cener
681 South Ave
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Telephone: 203-594-3638
Website »

More information

Oil paintings by Carol Brightman Johnson will be on display at the Smithy Store Loft Gallery from May 25 to July 7. Hours: daily from 10:00 to 5:30 Subjects include horses, dogs, orchids,...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy Store Loft Gallery
10 Main St.
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store Loft Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-9003
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

See Shakespeare’s fairytale fantasy of love and magic potions at in a park setting on the Long Island Sound. The play is in the “round” as the...

Where:
Pinckney Park
177 Rowayton Ave
Rowayton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

A hands-on introduction to woodworking for kids! In this 4-day afternoon camp, kids will plan and create a one-of-a-kind project such as a wooden stool. Skills include sanding, drilling with a...

Cost: Fee: $210 / $190 for family members (supplies included)

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Cener
681 South Ave
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Telephone: 203-594-3638
Website »

More information

Oil paintings by Carol Brightman Johnson will be on display at the Smithy Store Loft Gallery from May 25 to July 7. Hours: daily from 10:00 to 5:30 Subjects include horses, dogs, orchids,...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy Store Loft Gallery
10 Main St.
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store Loft Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-9003
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

See Shakespeare’s fairytale fantasy of love and magic potions at in a park setting on the Long Island Sound. The play is in the “round” as the...

Where:
Pinckney Park
177 Rowayton Ave
Rowayton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

Oil paintings by Carol Brightman Johnson will be on display at the Smithy Store Loft Gallery from May 25 to July 7. Hours: daily from 10:00 to 5:30 Subjects include horses, dogs, orchids,...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy Store Loft Gallery
10 Main St.
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store Loft Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-9003
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

See Shakespeare’s fairytale fantasy of love and magic potions at in a park setting on the Long Island Sound. The play is in the “round” as the...

Where:
Pinckney Park
177 Rowayton Ave
Rowayton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

KMR Arts is proud to present MAYDAY, an exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Vaughn. Please join us for the opening reception with the artist on June 2, 2018, from 3-7pm, 2 Titus Road,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot , CT  06794
View map »


Website »

More information

Oil paintings by Carol Brightman Johnson will be on display at the Smithy Store Loft Gallery from May 25 to July 7. Hours: daily from 10:00 to 5:30 Subjects include horses, dogs, orchids,...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Smithy Store Loft Gallery
10 Main St.
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy Store Loft Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-9003
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

More information

See Shakespeare’s fairytale fantasy of love and magic potions at in a park setting on the Long Island Sound. The play is in the “round” as the...

Where:
Pinckney Park
177 Rowayton Ave
Rowayton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to present “Melissa Meyer: Hitting the Right Notes,” her first solo exhibition with the gallery.  The show will open with a public reception...

Cost: Free

Where:
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840


Sponsor: heathergaudiofineart.com
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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