Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Way It Is: Dogs in the bedroom are hazardous to your health

Daily Forum column for 3-31-11

Allowing your dogs to share a bed or even a spot on the floor near your bed seems simple enough — that is until you start losing sleep or potentially even limbs.
As Princess Stella slept soundly in the exact center of the bed, between my male counterpart and myself, it became clear that she had a hidden agenda.
Half of my body was freezing while the other half remained toasty, snug under the blankets. The 9-pound lead brick had gathered a small heap of the blankets to use as her plush pillow, effectively taking a good portion of the small amount already left for me.
I gave a tug only to have the princess roll with the blankets, taking up even more of my side of the bed.
Score 1 for the pooch.
While she slept soundly on my half of the bed and my counterpart snoozed away on his side, I decided it was time to take a midnight trip to the bathroom. This sounded easy enough, too, but I was wrong!
Tiptoeing my way to the foot of the bed I was faced with an obstacle of Mt. Everest-sized proportions. Ace, the 90-pound king of my household, was sprawled spread-eagle blocking the entire route out of the bedroom.
In the pitch black I braced for the challenge that laid ahead.
With one arm placed firmly on the edge of the dresser, I extended the other in the direction of the bed should I need something to catch my fall. I scooted my feet along as not to step down and crush one of Ace's dopey black ears or worse, his tail.
As my big toe grazed something warm and fuzzy I realized it was time to take that big, giant leap in hopes of clearing my hurdle.
The first foot made it, but as I rounded the other corner, hand firmly on the foot of the bed, my left foot stumbled over Ace's rear end.
Drat, he got me!
Rolling to his side and letting out a deep sigh, the event didn't appear to affect his sleep at all.
As for me, stumbling to keep my balance as not to crush one of poor, unsuspecting Ace's limbs sent me face first into the dirty laundry hamper, stubbing my toe on a large chew toy along the way.
Score 1 for the other pooch — who has a queen-sized bed of his own in the spare bedroom.
The trip back to bed was a bit more successful and as dawn broke through the window, our little, lead brick sprung into action.
Face to face with the boyfriend, she stood her ground, tail wagging, on his chest.
When that failed to garner the requested attention, she took the leap across the bed landing squarely on my stomach. There was the attention she was looking for.
Convincing her that it was entirely too early to be awake, I offered half of my pillow and a doggie massage. She soon returned to dream land.
Score 1 for the owner.
A few short hours later, she had found her perch on the boyfriend’s chest and this time she wasn't giving up.
When licking his face and bounding around didn't work, she went straight for the throat.
Pawing at his neck and face, she had his full attention, but he still wasn't out of bed.
The fur-baby princess gave it one more attempt with a right hook to his left eye.
Within seconds she was happily playing outside while her target took a closer examination of his wound in the entryway mirror.
And as the evidence of his attack remained a few days later, the dogs took the win.
–Megan Tilk is a reporter and weekly columnist for the Maryville Daily Forum. She can be reached at

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