Admit it – you’ve slept with a dog… |

Admit it – you’ve slept with a dog…

Heidi Rice
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Fried Rice

“Have you always slept with dogs?” I asked Husband-Head recently.

Husband-Head scrunched up his face in disdain.

“Ummm … I prefer to think that I haven’t, although there was always that one big party at the fraternity house where you don’t remember much the next morning,” he admitted. “And then there was that time when I skipped a social dance class in high school where we were supposed to pick partners and I ended up being paired with Emily Bonk – the ugliest girl in school. …”

“No, I mean DOGS,” I clarified. “Had you ever slept with any of your canine companions before you met me?”

“That’s even more disgusting,” Husband-Head cringed. “And not much of a compliment to you.”

“Did-you-ever-allow-any-of-your-pets-to-sleep-in-the-bed-with-you?” I tried to explain slowly, as if speaking to a foreign exchange student.


I was asking because it seems to be a topic in which people have two very different sets of opinions. Some people are adamant that animals should not be allowed on the bed at all. Others welcome their furry friends to share their sleeping space.

We happen to be the latter.

Our two 100-pound yellow Labs, as well as the 10-pound cat, all sleep on the bed with us. It’s one big happy sleep fest with all five of us in the king-sized bed. Tails are in faces, paws are in backs, legs are all tangled up and the cat is usually on somebody’s head.

It’s all great and cozy until someone has, should we say, a little gas or a snoring problem. …

But some experts totally advise against having pets, especially dogs, sleep in the bed with you as it takes away your authority as the “pack leader.”

In one report, a dog trainer reportedly said that letting a dog in bed is “a sign that the dog is completely in charge. Get the dog off your bed. It can make a bigger difference than anyone can imagine.”

Not a big news flash. Our dogs have always been in charge. It’s no secret that they rule the roost.

And while we disagree, because we like to mug on our pets and say good-night to them in a way that would probably make some people gag, there are some detriments to having too many bodies – human or otherwise – in a bed. We have both complained of back pain from sleeping in cramped quarters, and one night I just couldn’t take it anymore and went to sleep in the single bed in our guest room.

It was pure heaven.

I had all the room I needed to spread out and all the blankets to myself.

“How’d you sleep?” Husband-Head asked me curiously the next morning.

I hesitated to say how well, but he could see it in my face.

“I slept pretty good with the bed all to myself,” he admitted, almost with guilt. “Maybe we should do this more often.”

“Yes, we could be like 1950s TV couples June and Ward Cleaver from ‘Leave it to Beaver’ or Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in ‘I Love Lucy’ and sleep in two separate single beds,” I agreed, enthusiastically.

We were both quiet for a moment as we thought about it.

It didn’t necessarily mean we couldn’t ever be intimate again, for God’s sake. In fact, it might be even more enjoyable without the dogs sitting there watching … not saying a word … just staring … and making you feel really weird. …

“You know, we could just think of the whole upstairs as one big suite,” Husband-Head suggested. “I wouldn’t be far away in the other bedroom and we could still hear each other.”

Yes, we could still bid each other good night in the dark.

“Goodnight John-Boy! … Goodnight Mary Ellen! … Goodnight Elizabeth! … Goodnight Jason! … Goodnight Jim-Bob!”

In the end, it was clear that everyone should be in the big bed so we could all sleep painfully together as one big happy family with tails in faces, paws in backs and legs all tangled up together.

Except the cat.

Sleeping on someone’s head is simply not acceptable.

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her web site at for more columns or to purchase her book collection, “Skully Says Shut It!”

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