Pets: In or Out of the “Family” Bed?

There are obviously two sides to every story – and this one gets a lot of heat from both sides. Some people are so in love with their pets that they dress them up in daily outfits, take them to Pet Spas, Portrait Studios and even therapists.Then, there are those that treat their pets as animals and make sure they have the comforts of home yet have specific boundaries like having them sleep outside of the bedrooms, barring them from the kitchen when food is being served and even having them sleep outside the home! There has to be a middle ground, don’t you think?

As a child we had a pet.  Her name was Candy and she was a cute little Beagle mix. I definitely remember she was NOT allowed in our beds. I would sneak out of bed in the middle of the night and “kidnap” her and put her in my bed and then make sure to put her back in her bed before my parents were up.

As an adult with children of my own, I never had a problem with my Yellow Lab or Mastiffs sleeping in the beds with my children. I thought it would give us both a sense of security and warmth. I treated all my dogs as if they were second children. And now that the kids are older, well…Stella is the “baby” and coming in at a healthy 45 pounds of pure stockiness, she lives with me and not the kids anymore. I never realized just how HOT these dogs were! Besides hogging the blankets and digging herself a nest at midnight, three am and the such, she is way toasty! I find myself in a spooning position with her at times – with my ass hanging onto the nightstand. The cat, Lucy is adorable and nearing 12 years old, mellowing by the second. So, rather than wanting to sleep by her former independent self, she feels the urge to joint the party in the queen sized bed.

Well, now there are four “bodies” in this bed. Me, my boyfriend, the dog and the cat. I am writing this today because last night I was literally up every twenty minutes. The dog was in sleeping  horse position after wriggling out of our spooning position, the cat was on my head (and we are all highly allergic to her) and my boyfriend was practically bare assed on the floor! The dog kicks the covers, the cat potentially swats your feet if she is down at that end, and in the long run there are two miserable people in the bed that desperately need their sleep! 

That all being said…… the loss of covers, the amount of heat given off, the allergies, the swats, and the overall sense of discomfort – I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I know. I’m pathetic. I love the security. I love mentally telling myself that I am lowering my blood pressure by petting my dog before I drift off to sleep. I adore the look on their little faces knowing that they count on us unlike any children ever could.

They give affection, joy and love without expecting anything in return! The welcome I get when I come home from work or when I step out of the bathroom (as if I have really been gone THAT long) is ridiculously warming. Maybe it is something that people go through when experiencing “empty nest” syndrome… I’m not sure. I just know that in this debate, I am on the side of the pushover. Sure, I’ll wake up some mornings spitting cat hair out of my mouth and putting frozen spoons on my eyes to calm the swelling, but other times I wake up and see two fur babies that I owe a responsibility to. AND I also see the need for a King Sized BED in our future very soon!

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Author: Thea Ferzola


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