BED WARMERS (or Sharing the Bed with the Baby Wuki)

11/24/08, “In Remembrance” series

As I get older, the more I realize how short the time is that we get to share with Newfs and others.  That may be a universal truth, but to those in the learning process, each advancement feels like a revelation.  Along with that realization, my flexibility increases, so that I can understand the baby-of-the-family syndrome more and more.

When Banker was with us, getting on the bed was only allowed in the morning, and only partially.  He didn’t jump on the bed, but hopped with his front feet only to share some morning affection.  Banker was driven to a sleep schedule more than some.  He would come to get us, sleepy-eyed, when it was time for bed. He may have viewed morning much like I view my fresh cup of coffee each day – can’t wait.  The older he got, the more tendency he had to sleep in.

Banker was the first to get to break the rule of no-dogs-on-the-bed.  Others before him would approach the bed for a sign of life, but I learned how to be very still to keep a Newf from trying to encourage me to wake.  <g>

Parker is the first to make it a routine that the dog jumps on the bed in the morning, sometimes without checking to see if I’m awake (so much for pretending,) to enjoy some on-the-bed cuddling.  This has led to more effort to find ways to manage this and keep the bed reasonably clean and easy for humans to sleep in.  The present effort is a matelassé cover, folded down in thirds across the foot of the bed, and pulled up quickly when indications are that there will be company on the bed.  These are heavy enough to withstand Newf toenails, and being made of white cotton, ours is easily kept clean by washing, with occasional bleaching.  The drawback is in whether you are awake and how fast your reflexes are.  The older he gets, the more flexible I get, still, so that now it is a night-time privilege too, usually beginning with a celebration of the coming of a weekend on Thursdays.  Greg usually goes to bed first, and there has been a nice recent benefit that Parker lays on my side of the bed, so it is pre-warmed when I climb in.  Of course, there is often some space negotiation needed.

There is a progression of night-time cuddling now.  It begins with the Newf laying between the people, head toward the top.  Once the Newf gets warm, he turns with his head near the foot of the bed.  After a while, he hops back down to his own bed, and we all go to sleep for the night.

Yes, Parker is the “baby of the family” and at present, the only child.  When he gets some company, I suppose we will need a bigger bed.


Note:  A sheet one size larger than the bed works well to protect a comforter or quilt from excessive washing.  It can be laid fully over the bed, folded in half from the top down across the foot of the bed, then folded up again bringing the top quarter back up over the original fold.  You can quickly grasp the sheet by the edge and pull it toward you to cover the entire bed, as long as your reflexes are good.

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