Dogged dreams: On snuggling, bed crowding and sleeplessness
Sometimes it really does feel like I'm sleeping with the enemy. All the snoring, the aggressive "snuggling," the jockeying for prime position, and the inter-pet conflicts… it's enough to make you wonder whether it's worth it. Which, of course, it is. Because nothing beats sleeping with your brood.
I'm lucky. I don't have to share my bed with a human. Unless I'm on vacation with the boyfriend, I've got my "queenie" all to myself — that is, except for the three evildoers (as I lovingly refer to my nighttime crew).
The cast of characters: Vincent (Frenchie, 5), Slumdog (pug mix, 2?), Gaston (min pin, 1?). And for a couple of nights I tried out the kitty (Laz, 6 months), who bit my toes with wild abandon. It was not fun. Hence, he was summarily banished from the bed chamber. (The punishment fit the crime, methinks.)
Vincent snores like a freight train. You can hear him through walls. This can be a problem at 3 a.m. when sleep eludes me.
Slumdog will occasionally vomit on the bedspread. But what's worse is when he and Vincent play their nightly game of who's-got-the-best-spot, which changes every time my position shifts (which happens a lot if I've indulged in an afternoon shot of café Cubano).
Gaston is by far the best. He finds an indisputable place beneath the covers and curls himself into the teensiest ball you can imagine any nine-pounder could muster. As with the other dogs, his goal is to remain in direct contact with my person regardless of my sleeping posture. And for some reason, his readjustments are imperceptible. This is not so for the other two.
As if the snoring, rustling, and one-upping weren't enough, there's also the occasional gotta-get-up in the middle of the night to consider. Sometimes it's me. But mostly it's them. When Slumdog has found a late-season avocado and consumed it in its entirety, you can bet he'll be asking to go out. Or not asking if you're slow. 'Nuff said.
Gotta get up to hit the bathroom after way too much post-run rehydration? Expect to move to the other side of the bed as they'll inevitably have colonized the warm spot you just abandoned.
What does this have to do with pet medicine? Not much. Except that I can't help but think that sometimes it plays into how well I perform my job the following day.
So should I forsake the communal bed in the interest of a perfect night's rest? Hell no! I plan to enjoy the spoils of the barn-backyard-bed transition of American pets whether it kills my sleep or not. Because even a moment's perfect snuggle is worth the loss of a few hours' worth of sleep. So says this family bed addict. How say you?
Dr. Patty Khuly
P.S. The dogs aren't the only ones who like to sleep on me ... here's Laz just before he curled up on me while I slept outside by the fire pit.