Recently, I posted a Facebook photo of Morgan on the bed. It was captioned as Do you let your dog on the bed? It generated the most comments that I’d ever gotten. So I decided it warranted a blog of its own.
As a boy I can remember my grandmother always trying to keep their Yellow Lab, Duke, off the bed. She’d come in and shoo him off and not more than twenty minutes later he would be back on the bed. Of course, that was the safest place for Duke when me and my two younger brothers showed up at his house. We lived a few blocks away from Nana so we were there often.
But I think this shows that a bed can be more than just a place to sleep. It’s a place to take comfort and feel secure. Morgan loves being on the bed and I love having him there. We cuddle and watch TV together. He seems particularly amused by Rizzoli & Isles. Sometimes I write at night in bed and I like having him right next to me. I can run my hand along his big goofy head. I just have to look at him and I relax. It’s like a meditation.
Nicholas, my first Golden, and I had a mutual appreciation for the bed-companionship. Twenty-five years ago, when my partner died, facing an empty bed at night was the most painful time. Nicholas sensed my despair and would jump up on the bed. I’d put my arm around him and run my hands along his big broad head twenty or thirty times until I finally drifted off to sleep. Sometimes in the evening if a storm came up, I’d feel the bed rock a bit in the middle of the night and I knew that Nicholas was jumping in – afraid of the lightning and thunder. I’d put my arm around him and we’d fall back to sleep.
However, not all my dogs liked being on the bed. My second dog, Willy, did NOT like the bed at all. Even with a bribe. He’d jump up, take the bribe and then jump right off. But I think this had something to do with how Willy joined our family. When Willy came along Nicholas was too old to be on the bed and puppy Willy liked to sleep on the floor near Nicholas. Then, even after Nicholas crossed over the bridge Willy continued to sleep on the floor. Another reason was that when I would finally get Willy up on the bed he liked to stretch out across the entire foot of the mattress. He refused to lay like a person, top to bottom, and I think I might have pushed him a few times with my leg. Naturally, I always started out in a curled up position to let him sleep but I think when I fell into dream world I might have hit him with my foot.
As I said, Morgan loves the bed and I love him on it but because of his weak back legs I don’t like him jumping on or off by himself. I prefer that he put his front paws up and wait until I lift him up. More often than not, he waits. But if I’m too slow and he becomes impatient he gets down. He backs away and then comes running forward and leaps up onto the bed. It’s always a surprise to see his big body come flying through the air and he makes me smile.
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