Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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!” 

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

               

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Art From the Heart

A mission to empty pet shelters everywhere

A Dog’s Day

Wilton’s K-9 Officer Enzo

To Eat or Not to Eat

The pet-food scoop

Outlaw Dog

Puppy pandemonium in Allen’s Meadow

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

January 2018

No Events
No Events
No Events

Join dōTERRA Wellness Advocate, Gina Olson, to learn how to effectively use essential oils in your everyday life to aid in a wide range of emotional and physical ailments including... •...

Cost: $35

Where:
Red Bee Apiary
Weston, CT  06883


Contact Name: Emily Sabo, Events Manager
Website »

More information

Wednesday, Jan. 17 Author Talk: Sujata Massey – The Widows of Malabar Hill: A Mystery of 1920s Bombay, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Inspired in part by the woman who made history as India’s...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events
No Events

Westchester Community is in need of more than 40 foster homes to provide the county’s most vulnerable children with housing in a safe and stable environment. For more information and to...

Cost: Free

Where:
United Way of Westchester and Putnam
336 Central Avenue
White Plains, NY  10530
View map »


Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: (914) 997-6700
Contact Name: Toyae Liverpool
Website »

More information

Saturday, Jan. 20 Mini Golf in the Stacks at Wilton Library, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wilton Library will hold its first mini golf fundraising event, presented by Bankwell. There will be 18 hole of...

Cost: $5 per player

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Bankwell
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

The opening reception is on January 20 from 4-6pm at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. This is a juried exhibition of student, amateur and professional photographers. The exhibition will be on view...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Class Description:  If you love the big, bold flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon wine by itself, then learn how to enhance your dishes with that flavor you love.  The dishes on this menu are...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: Deborah Miller
Website »

More information

Live Jazz Night with local Musician Michael-Louis Smith at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. Tickets $15 in advance / $20 at the door Visit the link below or call 203 594 3638 for tickets...

Cost: Tickets $15 in advance / $20 at the door

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


Website »

More information

The Westport Arts Center continues its tradition of bringing the best of international talent to Fairfield County with a special concert by the acclaimed Juilliard String Quartet on Saturday,...

Cost: Advance: $40 Members/$50 Non-Members; $60 At Door

Where:
Westport Arts Center
51 Riverside Avenue
Westport, CT  06880
View map »


Sponsor: Joyce Pauker
Telephone: 203-222-7070
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags