Thought Wheel

Ann Chiappetta

No Room on the Bed

| Filed under Guide dogs writing


No Room on the Bed

This morning, like any morning in the here and now, I get up and begin preparing for work. Jerry, my husband, is sleeping, surrounded by three other reclining canine usurpers. I stand at the foot of the queen sized bed and think, we really need a king, California king, in fact. I know this is a pipe dream, as it would never fit in our long, narrow bedroom. But, I can wish, and hope one day we will eventually be able to get one.


The three dog balls we managed to acquire on the bed all have unique stories. Some people say our animals choose us and we blithely go along for the ride. Whether its karma or unrealized longing that puts people and animals together, I think that at least some of the pairing is divine intervention and the other part is purposeful choice.


As I contemplate how we somehow became a three dog household, I reach out and stroke each head, marvel at the velvety soft ears, run a hand along the back, fingertips feeling the vertebrae curled into a tucked sleeping position. How do they do that? That can’t possibly be comfortable, can it?


One dog is curled up against my pillow, one is curled up at the foot of the bed and the third is curled up against Jerry’s leg.


I listen to soft doggie breathing accompanied by Jerry’s snores and I get all mushy inside. This is our family, we are the pack and the Beauty Rest queen bed is the den, the most relaxing place to be together.


If I returned to bed, at least one pooch has to move onto the dog bed on the floor beside the bed so I can fit. All I have to do is touch the dog and point to the dog bed and with a grunt, I get my place back. No fuss, no muss, and best of all, pre-warmed.

I was raised in a home that believed a dog belonged on the floor, not on the furniture. Then I met Jerry and Blackie, his 2 year-old pit bull terrier mix and soon after we began cohabitating, I resigned myself to sharing the bed with both of them. After Blackie died, we adopted two puppies and I tried to assert the no bed rule but was overruled by Jerry and the kids. Back then, I still removed the dog from my side and they each learned that if I was on the bed, only one was allowed up or risk being pushed off. Then, one time, as I was lying in bed sick, Rocky came up on the bed and curled up beside me, laying his head on my chest. Until then, I’d never been touched both inwardly and outwardly by a dog. He was comforting me and I felt a connection.


Thanks to Rocky, I know can’t ever bar my dogs from the bed unless it is physically distressing for me. I will put up with the hair and extra cleaning in order to keep that unique connection with the dogs in my life. Even when Jerry grumbles, “Where am I going to sleep?” in mock seriousness, I smile, knowing he’s just being Jerry. A touch, a gesture, and sometimes an extra word is said, and paws slide to the floor and Jerry slips in beside me, his place pre-warmed.




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