Friday, February 18, 2011

Where The Wild Things Are....They're in My Bed!!

I know a lot of dog gurus are adamant that your dog should not sleep with you. Conventional widsom would state that your dog should not sleep with you, especially when you and your husband share a full sized mattress (I didn't even know that there was anything between "queen" and "twin".) Especially when she is 90lbs of golden retriever love.

Our male golden, Dante, is now 9 years old and really prefers the cool touch of our leather recliners and couches to the hot, cramped bed. With the exceptions of the mornings. He loves to cuddle with you so long as you pet him. Continuously. Once (and IF) you fall back asleep and quit petting, he heads back for one of his recliners.

Shelley, after we rescued her, slept on the floor at the foot of the bed. For maybe two weeks. Then, halfway through the night I'd wake up with back pain, and find her curled into as tiny of a ball as she could manage, tucked away behind my legs. Naturally, I lacked the heart, and the lower body strength, to remove her.

Shelley is my shadow at night--even when my insomnia strikes, she sticks close by and follows me room to room. If I nap on the loveseat, she still tucks herself into a ball behind my legs (see picture, that's my legs her feet are flopped over!)

And so it's gone for the two years we have had her now.
I have not had a day completely off of work since the New Year. So when I found a sub for today's Step and Pilates classes, I was overjoyed. I wasn't just going to sleep in...I was going to sleep ALONE, in the cold, dark guestroom, for as long as I wanted.

It was supposed to be so easy.

I fell asleep on the couch, with Shelley tucked in with me. I snuck out from around her and snuck into the guest bedroom. As I was settling in, I heard the tinkle of her collar roving through the house, and then stopping in front of my door. I waited to see if she'd wander off to bed with my husband, but no.

I couldn't bear the thought of her sleeping at the door, quite obviously locked out. So I let her in.
So much for my plan to sprawl out and sleep alone, not being awoken by hungry dogs and their tickly whiskers in the morning. As we settle in, I hear more tinkling of a collar, and then hear my male Golden push open the door.

And so of course he hops in the bed, and I find myself lovingly flanked by my faithful friends. And when my husband fed and pottyed them this morning, he asked if he should keep them out, since my plan to get uninterrupted sleep was already not going to plan.

And I said no. They reassumed their positions, and I slept like a rock, comforted by their devotion and love.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Puppy Love

So, if you haven’t heard this story, and are not squeamish, you can catch up about the Canadian man who inhumanely slaughtered dozens of sled dogs after the business that used them could no longer afford to keep them, at this link here:

If you’re squeamish like me, I’ve probably told you everything you want and need to know about it.

It’s no secret to my friends and family that I am a “dog person”. My two rescued Golden Retrievers (from the fabulous Golden Retriever Rescue of Houston!) are an exuberant manifestation of pure, uncomplicated love, and I am honored to live and learn in their presence. I truly feel privileged that I get to share my life with these two animals.

Especially when you consider what abuse we, as the most inhumane species of all animals, perpetrate upon our faithful, loving companions. From dogfighting to abandonment, dogs bear the brunt of human sickness and selfishness and become victims of horrible crimes of the human soul.

What a gross disrespect of the animals that chose to throw their lot in with us thousands of years ago! Dogs and humans have evolved symbiotically throughout the millennia and share a special psychological and spiritual bond that humans share with few—if any—other creatures. (Neurobiological Nerd Alert: if you have an interest in learning more about our co-evolution, watch the NOVA special “Dogs Decoded”. Available on Netflix Streaming via Xbox Live. It will absolutely blow your mind!)

So, the aforementioned article really cut to the quick of my soul. I truly lost sleep last night not only thinking of the sadness of the loss of canine life…I was also thinking of the human lives that could have been enriched if those slaughtered dogs had been adopted into loving homes. We all have our favorite breed of dogs, mine obviously being Goldens since I was raised with (and by?) them as a child. But lately, I have developed such an appreciation for the Arctic breeds, such as huskies. This is owing to my participation with Rummy’s Beach Club, a private dog pool where owners can bring their dogs and play in the pool for an hour. In addition to swimming my dogs there, I currently teach aqua pilates/yoga for humans there!

Rummy’s is named after a blind Siberian Husky who was rescued by Houston’s own Husky Haven. With my business partnership with Rummy’s, I have been so lucky to spend time with Rummy and the rest of his pack. Spending time with him allows you to experience the grace of forgiveness and love.

So, in honor of the dogs lost in this incident and countless unreported others, I ask you to please sign the from the Animal Defense Fund petition to take a stand for sled dogs below.