Downeast Dog News

About Beds

By Nancy Holmes | Mar 01, 2021

Last evening, Boss was playing with one of those chunky, thick paper things she calls “book.” I tried to get her to play with me, but she just kept playing with the book. I guess it’s play. She just sits there looking it, and once in a while, moving one of the inside papers. Yawn! I danced around with my plastic food dish. Trying to be cute, I took it into my crate and pawed it around making a noise against the sides of the crate.

When I gave up playing and went to my bed, there was the food dish, right in the middle, where I wanted to curl up. I whined at it, but it didn’t move. So I grabbed the fuzzy cloth bedding out from under it, spread it in front of the crate and lay down with a loud groan. In case anyone was listening. After a few minutes she came over and laughed, “Why are you lying on the floor instead of moving the dish?” I thought, What’s so funny? I want to lie on my bedding, not play with my dish. She moved the dish, and arranged the fleece in my bed so it was sort of bowl-shaped. I curled up in my crate, and she went back to her toy, mumbling something about me I didn’t understand.

Which leads me to a topic dear to most of us dogs: Beds. I’ve seen dog beds that were just flat, like humans’ beds. That’s what Boss used to fix for me, but I’ve shown her that beds are supposed to be bowl shaped. Cozy. She saw that when I tried to make my bed right, I swept my front feet out sideways, trying to move the litter up and out of the hollow. After all, my ancestors didn’t have big, soft pieces of cloth-. They had leaves and litter and earth that they piled up around themselves to keep out the cold drafts.

So Boss fixed a box with a small layer of newspaper and big pieces of fuzzy cloth. Woof! Was I happy! I circled around and around, pawing the fleece up against the sides of the box. When I got too enthusiastic, sometimes I lost a piece over the edge of the box. She’d get it back in the box for me.

But one day when I’d been enjoying the bed’s nice earthy, doggy smell, Boss said, “Phew! That old bed stinks!” She threw it away and washed the cloth. Now all I have is the flat mattress in the crate. I like the crate because it has walls and a roof like a den, but no matter how much I paw the cloth – and I even bite it sometimes – it never gets like a nice cozy bowl.

Dog beds aren’t the only good places to sleep. Boss’s bed is wonderful, even though it’s too flat. When she goes away without me, she pulls a big cloth over her bed. I hop up as soon as she leaves, and I have a nice nap right on the pillow smelling so deliciously of her. I keep hoping she will let me up on the bed when she’s home. So, I stand by the bed and look at her until she feels me looking. But she always just shakes her head and says, “No. Off.” Why not? I don't get it. When she is in her bed, she lets me up. It isn’t really big enough for both of us, so if she keeps waking me up by kicking me, I go back to my crate. Of course, if it’s really cold, it’s worth the kicks.

Hot weather is another story. Outdoors, I use my sideways digging to clear the hot upper layer down to cool soil. Boss sometimes doesn’t like that. I don’t know why. Indoors I scratch at the rugs trying to get down to the cool part underneath. She doesn’t like that either.

On this sunny winter day, I don’t want a bed. There are bright places on the floor that are like outdoors in the sun. What a pleasure to stretch out flat in the warmth and drift away to hunting mice in summer fields.


Wishing you warm beds and happy sleep-travels,