Where does your dog sleep?

Does your dog sleep in your bed? A bed of her own? In a crate? Outside?

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

There are a lot of varying opinions on this topic. Traditional dominance-based trainers are strongly against allowing dogs in human beds, saying that it makes the dog think she can be the “alpha.” This theory is now considered bogus (dogs don’t want to be tyrants; they just want to be comfortable and close to their humans!), but it’s still a belief that persists among many. Other people think dogs ought to always sleep in their own crates. Still others keep dogs locked up in garages or laundry rooms, or worse, outside and chained to a tree.

Growing up, Emma had a bed of her own in the living room, but she quickly decided that was not her thing, and slept the rest of her days in my sisters’ beds. My sisters shared a room and Emma seemed to prefer that room to sleeping with me, to my long-lasting dismay. I tell myself she slept with them because there were more bodies to watch over in that room (my baby brother often joined them on the floor, so she had three kids to watch instead of one moody teenager, me), but I don’t really know why. I’m sure she had her reasons.

I’ve shared a few beds with dogs and the experience has been that dogs are bed hogs. Yep. One of my best friends and I shared a double bed with her adult lab/GSD mix, Ava. Ava wanted to sleep right between us and pound her legs into my back and/or face throughout the night. (I think she was trying to push me, the interloper, out of the bed…) The best animal bedfellow I’ve had was a cat, truth be told: Beloved Kitteh, my Denver roommate. A cat is a good size for a bedfellow, especially a cat with a temperament like this one: Endlessly snuggly and gentle; not the type to bat at one’s eyeballs.

Anyway. My husband has made it clear that he’s not really fond of the idea of sharing our bed with a full-grown German shepherd. And, as dog-crazy as you all know me to be, I find myself agreeing with him on this point. I think it may be a hard thing to prevent–as we both love cuddling with dogs–but I want to make that a house rule from the beginning.

So, how do you make a dog bed appealing? I’m thinking of putting it at the end of our bed, or on either side of our bed. And getting a really comfortable one. While they tend to be a bit pricier, Drs. Foster & Smith has a great selection of high-quality dog beds.

What are your sleeping arrangements with your pooches?

Loving dogs through the years

I was trawling through old photos the other day and realized there were a handful of people documenting my inherent magnetism toward dogs throughout my young life… These photos begin around 2007 and span up until the present. Somehow, it was heartwarming to remember that my deep love for dogs has not wavered over time.

2007. Not even sure whose dog this was, but I found him at a party and decided to make him my friend.
Christmas 2007. In a field with Marley, my cousin's lab, who is also featured on my "About" page.
Summer 2008. With my aunt and uncle's dog, Sadie. Cute but stupid! She looks so happy here.
Possibly 2008? That's baby Dublin there!
September 2010. Found a sweet, old dog on the road near the cabin where we were staying.
October 2011. With Bo on a hike.
And just for good measure: The only cat I've ever loved, Kitteh, my roommate in Denver, summer 2009.