Thank goodness for bare minerals and coverup! Following two sleepless nights in a row, it was inevitable I would wake up looking ragged with dark puffy circles under my eyes. For a moment I thought I may have forgotten to take off my mascara before going to bed, but nope – those dark smudges were the evidence left behind after struggling to get away from the incessant licking sound keeping me up all night long.
If you are like the millions of dog owners who share their beds with their fur covered best friend (the all over the body fur covered, not the friend with just the fur covered back), you know what I am talking about. It’s that moment when you are awakened, keenly aware of a slurping sound emitting from the center of your bed. Despite trying to push your dog to the other side or pull a pillow over your head, you just can’t escape the sound. You begin to whisper loudly “stop it, leave it, go to sleep” but no matter how much pleading or prodding, your dog just won’t stop.
Following a long week working a tradeshow in Vegas, I looked forward to falling into my own bed and snuggling with BOLO and Henry. Ah, the tranquil comfort of having sweet dogs snuggled warmly against my legs and body is something that helps me fall asleep quickly. I am part of the 50% of dog lovers who enjoy sleeping with their dogs. The other 50% actually get a good night of sleep.
Initially, drifting off to dreamland seems to happen so easily, and although I doubt I ever get a full night’s sleep, BOLO made certain I got NONE. Just as I was all tucked in, enjoying the simple pleasure of being in my own bed, and exhaling one final big breath of air, the licking started. At first, the sound was somewhat subdued but it only took about 30 seconds before it turned into “nails on chalkboard” level of irritation. Realizing something was bothering her, I tried to find out what was causing her discomfort and offer her some help. With no solution in sight and desperate for a reprieve from the sound, I put in some earplugs and attempted to relocate her somewhere else on the king size bed. When a last ditch effort to bury my head under pillows did not work either, my only choice was to escape to the guest room in hopes of some “shut eye”.
Throughout the next day, although she moved a little slower- after all she was up all night too- she seemed to be fine. Yep, basically “normal” BOLO…until it was time to go to sleep again. Ugh…another full night of slurping, licking, and nibbling at her paws. Monday was the first I could get her in to see the vet and it could not come soon enough. We discovered she was having an allergic reaction to something which caused her paws to become inflamed. Poor sweet girl, I felt so badly for her. Following an injection of medication to provide immediate relief, topical swabs, oral meds to start later, and a switch of her food, she finally slept through the night last night and I did too…I think.
Never Sleep Alone…indeed! I would not have it any other way. I recall the words Jon said to me after he acquiesced to my “gentle” pleading to bring Zoe, a Dalmatian/Lab puppy, into our lives. Before he finally “caved”, he told me that “Under no circumstances at all would the puppy be allowed in our bed”. Thrilled to have my first puppy, I immediately agreed! I was so in love with this adorable stark white puppy with perfectly symmetrical black ears (spots to follow in the months to come), I would have happily slept on the floor with her if I had felt the need. As it turned out, I would never have to “suffer” the discomfort of sleeping on a hardwood floor.
Following a morning out running errands, I returned home eager to take Zoe out to show to our neighbors. She had been with us less than a week and I wanted her to have a chance to settle in a bit before sharing with, basically….everyone. To my horror, when I went to her crate, she was no where to be found. I searched around the house and started to panic. Jon, who was Captain of a US Navy Ship at the time, happened to be home taking a nap. Fearful of waking him with the pounding of my feet on the wooden floors as I raced from room to room, I took off my shoes and tried to calm down. The puppy was gone and I was about to launch into a major meltdown. I had to wake Jon so he could help me find our missing “baby”.
Low and behold….as I approached my sleeping husband, I noticed something white tucked under his arm. In our bed, sleeping soundly and snuggled close to Jon with his arm lovingly wrapped around her, was Zoe. Thus began our 16+ year addiction to hair on the bed and the pillow too, to finding the occasional buried toy or bone, having no leg room…but always having a soft armrest, being pushed to the very very VERY edge of the bed while an expensive dog bed lay empty on the floor, feeling a wet nose as it peeks out from under the covers, experiencing a four legged spoon or paws in our backs, and having guaranteed “fall guy” to blame “it” on.
Sleeping with your dog or cat is certainly a personal preference, but according to the American Pet Products Association, nearly half of dogs sleep in their owner’s beds. The survey they conducted found that 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs and 32% of large dogs sleep with their owners. Studies done at the Mayo clinic conclude that sleeping with pets likely interrupts sleep patterns, making it highly probable that a lot of people in this country are operating with less than optimal sleep.
Given the fatigue I have felt the past couple days, this is likely true, but the joy, comfort, and safety I feel with BOLO and Henry curled up on our bed far outweigh the occasional fatigue that is easily resolved with a walk outside, breath of fresh air, or a good cup of coffee.