Monday, September 20, 2010

Puppies and Marriage: a lesson on limits

This past weekend we watched E's family's miniature dachshund, Pookie.

halloweenie 2009 047
(us at Halloweenie in downtown San Diego last year)

I was excited to have her for a couple days, because I grew up with a dog (or two, at times) and we've both been missing having one around. I loved having her roam our back yard chasing the rabbits, and cuddle on the couch during a movie.
But there is a line I draw on pets: they do not get on my bed.

I realize that many of you dog owners might think its a silly or unrealistic rule, but I feel really strongly that our bed is intimate space. I take care to make it every day, and never allow laundry or junk to pile up on it. Our room could be a disaster, but the bed will be clean and made. It's an oasis in our house.
(although, I should make it clear that this is for me--E doesn't really have the same feelings)

I've always known if we get our own dog, it wouldn't share our bed. So what's the problem?
Pookie has only ever slept on the bed.
She is unable to accept that our house has a different rule, and wimpers, whines and runs around the bed trying to get up there with us.

What exaggerates the problem is that, despite her small stature (she can't even jump up to our bed if she tried!), P has a severe insecurity complex that causes her to go NUTS whenever E and I are being playful, hugging or kissing. She won't even let me rub his back without getting all barky and jealous.

We managed to get through this weekend with E either on the couch with her, or P in her doggie bed (even though every hour or so she freaked out and woke us up). But E's mom is going away for 8 days next month and I have no idea how to deal with it then!

Do we manage a sleepless night or two to train her to stay in the doggie bed on the floor (for just a week before she goes back to E's mom's bed), or do I compromise on my sacred one place in the house?
I don't want to be unreasonable, but I do feel really strongly about dogs in our bed.

Does your pet sleep in bed with you?


Katie said...

I prefer the dogs do not sleep in our bed. 1) They don't smell great, and I don't want dog stink in our bed (2) I am mildly allergic to them, and I don't want a dander filled bed of misery.
That being said... one of our dogs will lay on the bed occasionally, but at night she prefers to sleep in her dog bed (our bed is too crowded for her). Unfortunately the only thing our other dog learned in his foster homes was that it's ok to sleep on the people's bed. Not only does he insist on sleeping in our bed, but throughout the night he progressively moves from the foot of the bed to right in between hubby and I with his head on my pillow. I am constantly kicking him out, and sometimes he'll comply, but more often than not he bounces right back up. If we crate him, he howls his earsplitting beagle howl all night - either way (crating, or repeatedly kicking him out) I'm up all night. We're trying to teach him (with treats) that the dog bed is an awesome place to be, but in the meantime, I'm just doing what I can to get a decent night's sleep- and that means the dog is usually in our bed. :( Good luck! When we pet sat my sister's doxie, he was a lot easier to crate at night, and we had a much easier time keeping him off the bed.

Katie said...

P.S. Having our dogs has shown me what kind of parent hubby would be. He has absolutely NO idea of the drama that goes on all night long because he sleeps right through it. Often, the dogs will wake up and hear something outside, and start barking like maniacs... and he sleeps right through it! I'll tell him about it the next day, and he has no idea it even happened. Let's just say, I am now even less inclined to ever want children. We know who would be up every time the kid woke up crying. Not cool.

Mandy Hornbuckle said...

Ha. We just did exactly the same thing with my parents' dog when they were gone. I ended up giving up and letting him sleep up there. And then, of course, our dog had to get up too because (according to my husband) it wasn't fair that she didn't get to come up too. It was a madhouse. But actually, it calmed him down quite a bit (eventually).

Mandy Hornbuckle said...

Oh, but I did give them both baths first.

Ali @ His Birdie's Nest said...

I prefer not to have my doggies sleep on my bed too. We don't currently have a dog, this was when I lived with my parents... but this is the plan when we get our own dog.

My family dog, Barney, used act in a similar way when Jason & I would hug or kiss. He'd bark like crazy and whine. Because I lived with Barney we knew Jason was had to show Barney that Jason was above him on the food chain. Good Luck :)

Jessica Lynn said...

I'm actually going to take a different stance! I was always completely and 100% adamant about NOT having our puppy sleep on our bed...until my husband deployed and I physically needed my dog there with me. I made sure that she slept on his side and it was always above the comforter. Having her sleep on the bed actually forced me to wash our sheets more often, which was a good thing!

Now, with my husband back, if our dog gets on the bed she always goes to the foot of the bed and always above the comforter.

Caitlin said...

Nope. Not on the bed. I LOVEEEEE Calla and I love to snuggle with her...but she's not allowed on our bed. Her bed is right next to me, I can pet her from the bed if there's a storm or something, but she does not get to sleep in our bed.
Our rainy camping trip she slept in the back of the subaru with us and it was a total pain.
Nope. Sorry Eric. I love you bunches, but Pooks needs to learn her limits : )

Kelly Loy Gilbert said...

Oh my goodness--what a little diva that dog is!! Hahah, that made me laugh.

I've never owned a pet bigger than a turtle, so I have no feedback. But I think you're being totally reasonable! I certainly wouldn't want a dog in my bed either.

Sara McCarty said...

Oh this is so hard! Our dog doesn't sleep in bed with us, but mainly because she's just not into cuddling. Our cat, on the other hand, must be close to us at all times and ends up sleeping in bed with us every night. There's hair EVERYWHERE. I'm used to it now so it doesn't bother me as much, but we do wash/change our sheets a couple times a week.

Micah and Catherine said...

Izzy isn't allowed on the bed except to cuddle on Saturday mornings because we wash the bedding every Saturday afternoon. We try to also keep her off all the furniture except the ottoman which she has claimed as her own.

nodakademic said...

I do not like animals on the bed. Mr. N would like it if the cat slept on the bed with us, but I really hate the hair and being woken up whenever he moves, so I generally will shut the door to the bedroom and keep him out. I wouldn't mind it if he was 1) not so squirmy and 2) stayed at the FOOT of the bed, but so far it just hasn't worked out that way.

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