In case you didn’t know, I am a dog lover (for those of you who couldn’t manage to read the subtitle to my blog).  My love of dogs is evidenced by several things, including the fact that my clothes are constantly covered in dog hair, I keep extra grocery bags in my car to be used for “impromptu poo bags” and my house always faintly smells like dog pee.  However, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I adore my dogs and they are part of my family.  Quite honestly, I love dogs more than people most of the time, as dogs don’t judge me for eating an entire carton of ice cream, or for sleeping in until noon on Saturday.  If you ask me, dogs really are a girl’s best friend (although dogs can’t make fun of episodes of The Bachelorette with me, so for that, I need to call on some of my human friends).

I’m pretty sure I am considered the crazy dog woman in my neighborhood, and I’m okay with that.  I think I’m considered both crazy and a dog woman, each adjective exclusive of the other.  I’m cool with that too.  I definitely walk out to my vehicle at night, sometimes forgetting I’m not wearing shoes…or a bra…all the while carrying my vodka spritzer in a Harpo’s cup.  I’m also the crazy neighbor that will feed any dog that comes to my house and will chase a stray dog around the neighborhood to return him to his home, even if I am less than properly clothed, and my attire a bit revealing and offensive.

Dogs are, for the most part, my life, and my dogs are the center of my universe (along with my husband, of course!)  So it’s no surprise that at night, our dogs sleep with us in our bed.  You might be wondering, have we bought them nice expensive dog beds for them to sleep on?  Of course we have.  Each dog has a plush bed that is both comfortable and color coordinated with the room where it resides.  But either our dogs don’t like our interior decorating and decor (which is possible, as one of them is British and a bit of a snob), or they prefer to sleep on a comfortable mattress with nice sheets.

For some reason, our dogs don’t want to sleep on my husband’s side of the bed.  Maybe it’s because he alleges he has “restless leg syndrome” although I think this is an excuse he has concocted from too many nights of watching late night TV along with his desire to have lots of leg room (or because he loves those squiggly lines on the commercial).  Maybe it’s because he snores, and frequently talks about spaceships and superheroes in his sleep (that’s enough to keep me on the other side of the bed).  Or, maybe it’s because my dogs like to make me as uncomfortable as possible.  Personally, I think it’s the third reason, as my dogs always seem to find the area on my body that is injured, and slam into it repeatedly.

Last night, I was up late and went to bed around midnight.  By that time my husband and dogs had already retired to bed and were fast asleep.  I tiptoed into the bedroom and attempted to climb into bed.  The key phrase here is “attempted.”  This task was far more difficult than it sounds.  You see, my dogs had commandeered my side of the bed, and there was only room available to accommodate approximately half of my left thigh.  (Granted, this may be a clue I need to start Jenny Craig and shed a few pounds, but midnight was not the time to make such a decision). 

My Yorkshire Terrier was dozing on my pillow, curled up like the prince of the castle that he is.  I knew if I wanted to place my head on that pillow for a few precious hours of sleep, I would need to move him.  I gently picked him up and moved him off the pillow.  He awoke and gave me a death stare for removing him from the pillow, as if the padded mattress wasn’t soft enough to cradle his five pound frame.  He glared at me, clearly showing his disdain for my disregard to his comfort, but he didn’t move back.

With my pillow free, I attempted to crawl into bed.  My 55 pound Lab/Pit Bull mix (Shady Jack) was laying vertically on the bed, right where my legs were supposed to go.  He wasn’t as easy to pick up and move.  He was dead asleep, most likely dreaming of chasing rabbits and drinking from toilet bowls, and he was not easy to wake.  I tried to move him horizontally so I could climb into bed, but since I’m not a yoga master, I couldn’t move 55 pounds of dead weight.  I decided to do what I usually do each night, which is to attempt to sleep around him.  After all, he’s had a hard day of working hard, making money for the family.  Oh wait…that’s me.

I crawled into bed, careful not to disturb Bentley (the Yorkie), and placed my legs on either side of the Shady Jack, so he could continue sleeping comfortably between my legs.  It looked like I had a black dog coming straight out of my ass.  This was not an ideal position, but at least I had made it into the bed.  This is when the third dog decided to join us, because clearly we don’t have a weight limit on our Queen mattress.

The 50 pound golden doodle, Max, threw himself on the bed in a kamikaze type mission, landing squarely on my stomach (which incidentally, had just been filled with chocolate milk.  Don’t judge.  I like snacks).  As I tried to maintain bladder control, he decided to walk over my body to get to the one area on my side of the bed that wasn’t taken by dog or human.  He settled on the right side of my leg, near Shady Jack, and just below Bentley.  By this time, Bentley had wedged himself under my right arm like a football, so my arm was stuck cradling him, as if I was ready to run him down the 30 yard line.  I was completely pinned, which would have been fine if I could sleep on my back…but I can’t.

I then made the ridiculous decision to roll over, but knew I shouldn’t disturb the dogs.  After all, they needed their beauty sleep.  Oh wait…that was me.  I strategized on how best to roll over to my stomach and decided to move my feet first.  I reclaimed my left leg from under Shady Jack’s head, and slowly moved it up and over him so it was laying next to my right leg.  I then quickly moved my right leg where my left had been, in a quick motion, while flipping my body.  I felt like a pancake flipping over on a griddle, which was probably more of an accurate metaphor than I realize, as the temperature in the bed in July with three dogs and two people had to be near boiling.

This maneuver seemed to work, although my new position was far from comfortable.  But, I decided I could live with it for a few hours.  However, around three hours later, I was restless, couldn’t sleep, and I was positive I had lost the ability to use my left arm.  I decided to get up, surrender my spot on the bed, and move to the guest bedroom to get some much needed leg room and sleep.

After retrieving my legs from underneath Shady Jack, I stumbled to the guest bedroom and laid on the bed, stretching out my legs and arms, feeling the comfort of sweet freedom.  Then I heard it…pitter patter…pitter patter….boom.  Shady Jack discovered I had departed from the bed and came to join me in the guest bedroom.  Then, I heard the tiny footsteps of Bentley, who was close behind.  Not to be outdone, Max came running into the guest bedroom looking for the slumber party.  All three dogs jumped on the bed and resumed their spots…in the exact same spot.  So much for a good night’s sleep…

One Thought on “My nighttime battle for leg room

  1. Rhett on July 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm said:

    When sleeping Gooch and Puca insist on curling up right next to and on top of the upper half of my body, the legs won’t do. So far I’ve woken up with a dog nose directly in my face every morning since Gooch came home. More than once I’ve been woken up for pee time by a tongue in the ear including a rare dual tonguing from a dog on each side a few mornings ago. I was impressed with their timing. I think Gooch and Puca may be competing to see who can lobotomize me through an ear canal first. Nothing beats a 70lb (ya Gooch got buff) and 50lb (Puca has gained 10 and needs 10 more pounds) dog sleeping on you.

    I love your posts.

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