Harley & Him: A new sleeping arrangement
Until the last couple of weeks, Dan Rubin was among that minority of Americans who don’t let their pets into bed with them.
That’s right, I said minority, at least according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), which earlier this year released the results of a survey showing nearly half of dog owners and 62 percent of cat owners share their beds with their pets.
That’s a pretty stunning figure — one that shows not just our increasing closeness to our pets, but our willingness to proudly admit it, even to survey-taking strangers inquiring about our bedroom habits.
But back to Dan (which is how his dog Harley is sometimes sleeping nowadays).
Dan is a friend of mine, a former colleague and Philadelphia Inquirer columnist who never got into the practice of laying down with dogs, at least not in bed. He’s a dog lover, but he’s also a sleep lover, and the latter is more easily accomplished without a 113-pound dog squirming about, he notes.
A couple of weeks ago, Harley, his five-year-old bouvier des Flandres, had leg surgery, Dan explained in his Monday column. And his vet declared stairs off limits for eight weeks.
That meant lonely nights for Harley, who — though not allowed in bed — was accustomed to at least sleeping on the same floor as his family.
Dan’s wife, Mimi, wasn’t about to let that happen. She announced she would sleep downstairs with Harley. Dan, like a dog, followed.
They moved all the furniture out of the TV room and replaced it with a futon mattress, then made a sleeping area for Harley, adjacent to it, topped with his favorite blanket.
But the first night, Dan found Harley on his pillow. A few nights later, Harley settled down on Mimi’s pillow, and they decided there was room for all three, kind of, even with the huge plastic cone Harley has to wear around his neck:
” … He has to wear one of those plastic lamp shades – at the vet’s they called it an Elizabethan collar. It’s about the size of a satellite dish, and he knocks about in the dark with the grace of a rutting Triceratops.”
Harley had surgery for a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament. It involved planing the tibia and making a mechanical adjustment so his bones hinge without requiring the support of the damaged ligament, Dan explained.
With Dan’s man cave temporarily converted into a man/wife/dog cave, Dan says he has had to make sacrifices:
“…We can’t watch baseball in bed because Harley likes to rush the screen every time he sees a pitcher go into his windup. Best I can tell, he thinks they’ve got his ball.”
We wish Harley a full and speedy recovery. And we sincerely hope Dan doesn’t give him fleas.
Photo: Courtesy of Dan Rubin
Posted by jwoestendiek September 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american pet products association, animals, bed, bouvier des flandres, columnist, dan rubin, dogs, harley, health, pets, philadelphia inquirer, recovery, sharing, sleeping, sleeping with dogs, surgery, veterinary