Every Dog Has Its Place
Growing up, our big dogs always slept in the garage on their bed made of old blankets. The little dogs slept inside the house, usually with one of the kids. But they never had a special place in the home to lie down and sleep. A place they could go to when you tell them to stay because they are annoying you or your guests. A place for them to be when you are not home and you don’t want them roaming around and in some cases chewing furniture or whatever.
After I moved out of my parent’s home, I had two cats. Both lived for 20 years. I love dogs and cats but cats are easier when you are single and don’t own a home. Cats can sleep anywhere, and mine did. Often I woke up with them draped around my head.
When we finally bought our own home I was so happy to finally get a dog. I looked for over 6 months. Every week I went to the Humane Society and looked for the perfect yellow lab to bring home. Not a puppy, and adult that could be around my 3 year old and that would not disrupt the household too much. I finally found Belle. She had her issues and we never knew exactly how old she was. I remember bringing her home and thinking – we don’t have carpeting. She can’t sleep on the hard floor. So I got her a dog bed, put it in a corner where she could see what was going on and be a part of the family but have her own space. I taught her “Go get in your bed” which I know now is way too long of a sentence. She was good about that and spent a lot of time there. She was older than we thought and was only with us for 3 years. I still tear up thinking about her – she was really a sweet lab.
The dogs I have now have a small bed in the living room, which they share. Both 90 lbs., they curl up together and sleep if I am in the living room. They tend to follow me all over the house. Dan says it’s like I am lugging along 2 big bikes. I see why it is annoying to him. They don’t care if they cut in front of him to be by my side. I especially love when I am in the bathroom and I see an ear or paw sticking under the door. At times I have seen 4 paws! Anyway, they also have their own big beds in the backroom where they sleep on at night.
I have found that giving them their own place, making it comfortable and teaching them to stay there helps them feel secure.