Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bed Dogs

Although for the last 40 odd years, I have lived with dogs (many of them!), and have never been bothered by them sitting on the sofa, I have never really been interested in having them share my bed.  I actually even begrudged the space that my human partner took up in the bed, since I move around a lot in my sleep and do not really like to smack into obstacles.  I have had a lot of dogs that would sleep on the bed during the day, and would then sleep next to the bed or in a dog basket at night, and it never was a problem for them or for me.

Habibi, however, has become my bed dog.  This came about very insidiously and was, of course, my fault.  From puppyhood, he slept very contentedly next to the bed.  But last winter, I was scheduled for an operation, and after putting it off as long as I could convince my doctor to go on doing tests  (doctors and medical care are definitely not my favorite things and I avoid them as much as possible), finally the time was coming when I would have to go into the hospital.  It was winter, and I was depressed and cold and unhappy, and spending a lot of time curled up under a blanket watching daytime television, which didn’t do much for raising my spirits.

One day, Habibi had not been feeling too well – maybe he had eaten something outside that was bothering him, but he didn’t want to eat, and he was curled up in a ball next to the sofa shivering.  What would be more natural than to lift the blanket, call him up next to me and cover us both.  We both immediately felt better!

Habibi is an extremely bright dog, and once was enough – he had learned that he could push his nose under the blanket to make a space, and climb up next to me.  I found this very comforting, and so it became a habit.

The last few days before the operation, when I was feeling particularly vulnerable and worried, Habibi decided that I needed comfort at night as well, and climbed up on the bed and curled up in a little ball at my feet.  This did make me feel better, and he was curled up in such a little ball that he really didn’t take up much room…

So Habibi became a bed dog.  Once these things start, there is no going back.  And it would be fine if things has stayed that way.  But the curling up in a ball has become lying flat and stretched out.  Habibi is not a small dog, and he can take up a considerable amount of space when he does this.  He also is a very tactile dog – actually one of his very endearing characteristics;  he likes to be in contact with me, touching my body.  This is fine during the day time, when he likes to lean against me, or lie sleeping with his body pressed against my leg, but at night I find him pressing against me and taking up more and more of the bed as he tries to be closer and closer…

He has also decided that he likes to lei not just on the bed, but on the blanket.  So I find myself trapped under a blanket with a 25 kilo weight holding it down and not letting me move.

But it is nice having a warm body there…


  1. I belive some dogs are just ment for us to help.. and Habibi is this very dog who could help you with your fear and gave you possibility to feel comfortable and busy thinking of him instead of your hospital trauma.. they are sometimes wiser than we are, and if we belive in their instincts, that will make our lives easier and happier.. he is for sure your 4-legged treasure

  2. I can never get my dogs to even jump up on the bed, I would love it if they were cuddlers. Then again, some dogs sense your needs and want to take care of you. Their presence is better than chocolate. :)

    Have a happy Hanukkah.

  3. There is no other way, you need a triple bed

    Dan Simkin