As a Dog Dad, I am facing a peculiar situation; my sleep is suffering. Before you start telling me to cutback on the caffeine or get rid of blue light (which, by the way, check and check), hear me out. You see, my sleep disturbances are being caused by a very sensitive duo: Dog and Dog Mom.
If you are anything like us, you are okay with your pooch being in the bed. In fact, we encourage Maddie to come hang out with us right before we hit the hay. Maddie, astoundingly, puts herself to bed right around 10:15 pm or whenever she decides that she’s had enough of us. We then retreat to our respective halves of our large, queen size bed and fall into dream land.
At some point, in the middle of the night, Dog Dad faces invasion. Dog Mom tosses and turns and as she crosses into enemy territory. Maddie heads out on a recon mission and finds the best possible location in the bed that she can sneak herself into without detection. Dog Dad lays helplessly asleep as his territory faces invasion.
We’ve all had disturbances in our sleep that don’t quite wake us. You feel irritated or possibly something in your dream starts to become bothersome. What we don’t always realize is that many times these internal struggles are due to our external environment. In the case of the bed-space takeover, the struggles are caused by discomfort from being crammed into a tiny corner of the bed.
For me, I start to get tight hips and my back starts to hurt as Maddie creeps at my feet and forces me to start curling up. The breech from the Dog Mom side of the bed forces me to retreat to the edge of the bed, resulting in a full-blown fetal position that leaves me with rolled shoulders and poor breathing mechanics.
To make matters worse, we are yet to buy ourselves a high quality mattress. Instead, we have a middle-of-the-road memory foam mattress, which translates to one thing: sweat. The mattress by itself causes me to wake up in the middle of the night sweating. Add blankets, another body, and your 50 pound pooch, and you’ve got the likings of a 95 degree summer day.
So what’s a Dog Dad to do? The answer might seem glaringly clear, but let’s not jump to conclusions. Step one, you say, is to get the dog out of the bed. This is almost always my initial thought, but at 3 in the morning you don’t always think straight. Plus, have you ever looked at your beloved pup sleeping, curled up in a little ball dreaming about chasing squirrels? I created a blog based on my experiences with my dog, do I seem like the type of person that is giving his peaceful pup the boot in the middle of the night?
Option number two is to push back on the Dog Mom front…. Do I really need to explain myself there? Wars have been started for less.
Option three is to pack up and head for the couch. In my opinion, couch sleep is not a great situation to be in. Not only are you on a surface that is not designed for sleep, you are in an environment that becomes oddly foreign in the middle of the night. At 7 pm during Jeopardy, it doesn’t feel much more at home than on the couch. But in the middle of the night, you suddenly start to notice the LED lights shining bright, the various sounds from your refrigerator and other appliances, and feel much less secure than you do in your bedroom.
With the couch option out, we can reasonably conclude that there is only one viable option remaining: staying put. This is a tough option to swallow initially because it goes against your internal beliefs to fight back and take a stand. But with great consideration of the matter and a thorough analyses, we begin to recognize that what was initially perceived as an act of war, is an act of love.
Your loved ones gravitate towards you and seek your comfort throughout the night. Keeping this firmly planted in your mind will make the occasional cramp and the extra sweat entirely worth it. As with many aspects of our lives, we sometimes forget to appreciate what we have and be grateful that we have it.
Dog Dads facing a crowded bed should not feel frustration and discontent, but rather acknowledge how lucky they are to be surrounded by the duo of Dog and Dog Mom. Dress lightly for bed, spread out early, and embrace the companionship that will come to you throughout your night. Remind yourself that nothing lasts for ever and some day you will look back on those crowded nights as some of your favorite memories.
What are your dog sleeping arrangements like? Does your pup sneak in? Does he respect the no-fly-zone? We want to know! Leave your comments below!