Before I married my husband 23 years ago, I slept with my dog. Molly would start the night in her bed, and I'd be in mine. But invariably, I'd wake up in the middle of the night to find my little 25-pound mixed poodle snuggled up beside me. Just as invariably, I'd smile and go back to sleep.
Flash forward a few years, to when I did marry Stan. He loved Molly, and she returned his affection. Most times we were a happy threesome, but Stan drew the line at bedtime. He did not want Molly in bed with us. I understood--after all, it was his bed, too. Fortunately, teaching Molly to stay in her own bed wasn't a problem, nor was it a problem with either Cory the Sheltie or the Divine Miss Allie, the two dogs we've had since Molly went to the Rainbow Bridge.
But today I read this post by my good friend and colleague Roxanne Hawn, and felt a twinge of envy. And while Allie has always been very good about not attempting to share Stan's and my bed, I know she'd love to be offered an invitation to do so. How do I know? Because years ago, when she and I vacationed at Camp Gone to the Dogs, Allie made it abundantly clear from the get-go that she would not be relegated to a crate or even a bed on the floor. The very first night we were there, she hopped up onto the college-dorm sized bed with me. There she stayed, and we were both blissfully content.
Yes, I love my husband. If he were not here, I would profoundly miss his presence in our bed and everyplace else. But every now and then, like today, I miss having a canine presence in my bed, too.
And to those who say that dogs don't belong in people's beds because it will give them delusions of dominance over those people, I say dominance, schnominance. There are some circumstances in which human-canine co-sleeping might not be a good idea: if the dog isn't housetrained, is a resource guarder (the bed could be a resource), or is a teeny-tiny thing that would be crushed if you rolled over. But for other canines and their people, I say let them sleep together.