A while ago the Internet told me that letting your pets sleep on the bed can give you anything from worms to bubonic plague. The story quoted a vet from the University of California who concluded, “Having a stuffed animal in your bed is fine, not a real one.”
I mentioned this to Brew when he got up this morning. He didn’t look convinced and bounced downstairs as usual to pee on the patio, as if to point out that stuffed animals were in fact a fire risk in certain circumstances.
I’m sure people have lots of good reasons why they don’t allow their dogs on the bed. If those reasons are the fear of accidentally eating lots of husky coat (along with the number of house spiders urban myth says we’re supposed to consume during our sleep), or actually wanting to get a reliable night’s sleep, I’ll give them those.
Some people, however, do get a bit pedantic about these dogs needing to “know their place”. The bed - like the sofa, recliner or bizarrely in my house occasionally the dining room table – according to people who get their knickers in a twist about such simple things holds supernatural powers. Like the ring in the Tolkien stories, these simple items of household furniture enter our dogs’ fluffy brains and turn them into power crazed tyrants. Or not, of course.
In my house, Bed Dog isn’t so much a status thing as an indicator of intelligence. Intelligence in doggy terms is having the common sense to do what you need to do to get what you want; and whoever is smart enough to not wake me up, annoy me or cause me pain gets a regular spot on the bed. It probably isn’t very fair but I don’t think dogs understand the concept of democracy.
Smarty-pants Hex and her brother Spook (although he will occasionally greet you pre-alarm with an exuberant body slam) showed great promise as bed dogs from a young age. They clearly discussed it with Tigerlily (one of the Bed Dog Greats) and listened to the tell-tale, restless pitter-pat of nails on the wooden bedroom floor and learned what makes a 2am Fail. She hasn’t got it from her mum. Raven’s attention span can’t get her through a full night without forgetting herself and randomly running up and down the window sill and barking at the street light.
It must be from Brew who is the ultimate Bed Dog. His brother Pyewacket doesn’t like the bed and prefers the role of Ultimate Bedroom Floor Dog (a completely different, but important, role with its own set of skills). Brew understands “My Feet Are Cold, Brew” and takes appropriate action. Brew knows Mummy Must Not Be Disturbed and while, to be honest, it’s just a little bit unnerving to wake up with a completely immobile dog staring at you very, very hard, it’s better than being slapped across the face by a paw.
Oh and I haven’t caught the plague just yet.
Mel Hannam will be writing a regular blog for SnowPaw Store over the coming months. Mel has a small kennel of Siberian Huskies, Mystic Charoite Racing, and races dry land throughout the winter with most of the UK organisations.