Posted by: ritagone | November 13, 2019

Creatures of Habit

For their entire lives (almost 10 years and soon to be eight) our two dogs, Sherlock and Watson (please don’t laugh – we thought we were pretty clever at the time that we named them!) have slept on our California king bed with us, Sherlock tucked between our heads with his own head on part of the king-sized pillow, Watson at our feet, rotating back and forth as one of us moved or rolled over (because we seemed to be disturbing her).

Now, as they are “getting on” in dog years, we’ve noticed some mobility issues (with the dogs, I mean), some back leg problems, mostly as a result of jumping off the bed when they want to get down.  Getting up on the bed is easy: we have a set of stairs and a wooden chest in which we store blankets and other things we haven’t looked at since 1994 at the foot of the bed.  They climb up easily onto the bed via that route.  But when they want down, they have never gone down that same pathway.  They just jump off either side of the bed onto the floor.

Which, as we all know, is fine when you’re a pup, but not so good as you age into maturity.  Like humans, tendons, muscles and cartilage tend to deteriorate, and injuries can more easily be sustained, especially from jumping.  These are small dogs, 15-19 pounds (Sherlock being the lighter dog), but the trip to the ground is relatively long consistent with their weight and age.

So our vet – who has taken care of both of them since their births – suggested getting them to sleep off of the bed from now on.

Easier said than done.

Also like humans, dogs are creatures of habit, and so, when we removed the stairs and the chest from the bed and set up two very comfortable beds for them on the floor this past week, this was caninely – should I say doggedly —  unacceptable.

At the end of our bed we saw two heads looking at us with questions and concern.  They were both up on hind legs staring down at us, or up at us, as the case might be. And, I might add, a bit of “Oh no, you don’t!!” on their faces.  Yes, there was whining.  Lots of whining.

I confess our determination to keep the dogs off the bed lasted a very short time.  Okay, not even half an hour.  (See photo of smug Sherlock staring at camera in victory, while Watson is the black blob sound asleep already.)

Raising children was easier than dealing with dogs.  Children can sometimes listen to reason.  Dogs are too much creatures of habit; they want what they want, what they have always had, and reason plays no part at all.  But then, when they’re up on the bed with you and they look at you with those soulful brown eyes and lick your hand, who can resist?

Obviously not Michael and me!

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