Something Fishy

Something Fishy
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's been a family secret, well, just something we didn't talk about

For years it has been a family secret. Well, maybe not a secret, just something we didn’t talk about much.
The secret is that for years our dogs have been sleeping with us. Not our big coon dog, Mutley. He was just too big, but the the rat terriers -- Augie, Buddy and later Tyler found their way under the covers.
Over the years, I learned we weren’t that unusual (at least related to our dogs and their sleeping habits). More and more friends confided that they also sometimes felt they were being pushed out of their beds by the canine friends.
While our dogs spend much of their time in the house, they also spend considerable time outdoors--including in the woods hiking or squirrel hunting. However, I have never found a tick or other nasty in the bed traced back to the dogs.
We are fortunate to have two wonderful vets who help care for our dogs--Dr. Frank Stokes, and when we are in Florida, Dr. Carol Thompson of Lake Wales provides the care.
In this brave new world of electronic technology, Dr. Thompson regularly sends us an email newsletter called VetStreet (, and an item in the current issue caught my attention. Dogs or pets in the family bed.
“It's a topic so divisive that it has been known to be a significant factor in choosing a spouse: Do you let your pet sleep in your bed with you?,’ reads the lead paragraph in the newsletter.
“In some households, it's the norm. All pets are allowed everywhere, all the time. In others, it's no pets on any furniture, ever. But in many, the answer lies somewhere in between: Perhaps the cat or small dog is given a spot to snuggle, but the Great Dane has to remain on the floor.”
Surprisingly -- at least to this old writer -- many of the vets permit pets to curl up with them.
Some people are allergic to close interaction with pets, so there is good reason to keep your pet at some distance, especially when curling up after turning off Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show.
According to the writer of the newsletter, the publication polled VetStreet readers and veterinary professionals (such as veterinarians, veterinary technicians and office managers). The results indicate sleeping with an animal friend is not as unusual as one might think. 
Of those polled, more than four out of five readers and three out of four veterinary pros said they would permit a pet to share a bed with them.
In my retirement years, when an alarm clock is rarely used, the dogs have served to let me know it is time to rise and shine and turn on the coffee maker. When Tyler jumped off the bed, it was the signal for my feet to hit the floor.
Unfortunately, Tyler slipped out the door and was hit by a car several weeks ago. Our hearts were broken, and now we a rescue dog, Missy, part terrier with maybe a mix of beagle and dachshund.
She is very content spend the night in her kennel in the sun room, so I don’t anticipate her migrating to the bed. But, recently she jumped on the bed to join me for a nap. Time will tell.

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