In which DD’s cottage has wall-to-wall doggy beds.
Illustration by Jenny Lamont
Two dogs (Sammy the Maltese and Sheba the German Shepherd-Labrador-mix) and two cats (aka The Twins – Arty-Fat-Bum and Brother Lewie) should equal four beds. But no… four dog baskets, three continental pillows, two couches (which Sheba thinks are hers), several chairs – and our own bed! I know, I know, it sounds excessive and only an animal lover would understand the reasoning that good bed options are necessary.
They have more than a few options in the loft office, which is looking more and more like a hippie den, from which they can gaze lovingly at The Dad and me as we work feverishly on Happy Tails magazine all day, and can feel part of the family. In true hippie fashion (don’t ask, it is too long a story), we also sleep up there on our mattress… on the floor; this serves as yet another irresistibly comfy option for the fur kids. Sammy, with the full sense of Maltesey pompousness, enjoys the added height over her fur siblings, much preferring the office chairs when she can sneak onto them – and has been known to growl menacingly if I happen to forget and mistake her for a comfy cushion, or to sulk worse than a grumpy teenager if she is physically removed off The Dad’s chair. Being the doting momma, I am more inclined to work standing up rather than move dear Sammykins.
Yet more tempting options are available downstairs – as well as the spare bed, which is their first choice (whoever claims it first), there is also a continental pillow in Aaron’s room for the nights that we all hole up in there to watch telly and they then have to draw doggie chews for the prime position on that one pillow, although the ‘loser’ gets to cosy up with us ON the bed. And a basket in the lounge, just in case there is not enough space on either of the two couches.
Options are necessary, I say, as Sammy doesn’t do ‘sharing’. She will growl viciously if Sheba or the we-don’t-give-a-damn cats chance their luck for a cosy-up; the intensity of said growl is even worse if she has a chew-toy or captured sock in the basket or bed with her.
Come night time… they all carefully select their places. Sammy-don’t-touch-my-sock curls up on the couch downstairs (with as much laundry and shoes as she can drag ‘to safety’ under the couch). Sheba follows me upstairs where I neatly fold up the throw from the bed and then lovingly put it next to the bed, making it YET ANOTHER bed. And The Twins? Well, they mostly stay out all night but if they do venture back inside in the wee hours, they will either choose James’s office chair or a basket.
Too many options, some might say – everyone needs somewhere to lay their weary heads at the end of the day…. And even with all those options, we wake to find both dogs fast asleep on the bed with us – bliss!