Whos been sleeping in my bed?

By Vicki Todd

Lucy! How did she end up in my bed?! As if it wasn't crowded enough with two kids, Big Blanket and Boo-Boo Barney Bear--and now the dog, too? I think I'll blame my parents: they let me sleep with Gigi the toe-biting poodle when I was kid.

Lucy is no ordinary bed partner. Why? Because she is no ordinary dog. I began to realize this when the mailman started to do the Hail Mary pass with the packages so he doesn't have to come near the door. The lawn men run for cover like men in combat when Lucy is outside. When I take her for a walk, dog-fearing people cross to the other side of the street. To me, she looks like a supermodel: tall and sleek and in need of a good meal. Like a supermodel, she stands 5'11"on her hind legs and weights 100 lbs. How scary is that?

As a pup, Lucy had a fetish for Barbie legs and reindeers. She managed to chew the legs off of 17 Barbies when I wasn't looking. My five-year-old girl would burst into hysteria upon finding a Barbie with one leg dangling and big teeth marks on her head. I did my best to console her by making special-needs chairs for the Barbies so they would be able to sit. Ken had no problem with the legless Barbies, since he lost his head a while back. That's not Lucy fault--the Ken-culprit is the big brother, playing a bad prank on his sister.

I would have liked to capture Lucy's reindeer feast on video for the show, "Amazing Pet Tricks," but I didn't catch her in the act. She managed to remove 42 paper mache reindeer from the Christmas tree without tipping it over. After removing the reindeers, she proceeded to bite off their heads. Barbie legs and reindeer heads, quite a meal. Fortunately, she's a good dog, but that's hard to explain to a five-year-old whose legless Barbies are surrounded by 42 headless reindeer.

Lucy is a Great Dane, the gentle giant of dogs. Scooby Doo, Marmaduke and Lucy all have something in common: they do as they please. It's not easy maneuvering a 100+ pound Dane around when she doesn't want to budge. However, she is no Scooby Doo--not even Scooby Snacks entice this stubborn dog to obey. I have tried my best to keep the small pony off the furniture: mousetraps, balloons, newspaper, nothing deters her. I know that when I leave the house she takes up her position and stretches out from end to end on my leather sofa. How else do the pillows magically end up on the floor everyday when I'm gone?

When Lucy's not lounging on my sofa, I usually find her on my daughter's bed. Her single, pink, fluffy bed. The Long-Legged One takes up the entire bed. My daughter's only option is to sleep on top of her. My son is convinced that it's the fluffy, pink comforter that lures Lucy, so he has asked me to make him a duplicate fluffy, pink comforter for his bed!

After a full day of following me around giving me the head-nudges to scratch her ears, I found the canine princess on forbidden territory. My husband was out of town and the kids were tucked in their own beds. I found her with her head nestled comfortably on the pillow, of course. When I walked into my bedroom, she raised her head, but didn't bother to move. She obviously felt it was her god-given right to be on my bed. I coaxed her with a Scooby Snack to no avail. I gave in, figuring what's the harm? She can sleep with me tonight.

That night quickly turned into a week. I became accustomed to spooning with a Dane. Our nightly ritual went something like this: Lucy would wait for me to remove the comforter, then she would put her front paws on the bed and wait for me to lift her up. (I know I am crazy.) Then she'd slide under the sheets and gently lay her head down on a pillow. It was like having a man to cuddle with while my husband was out of town, and I wasn't cheating on him! She snored, but only a little. When my husband came home from his week-long business trip, he said: "You didn't. You didn't. COME ON VIK, YOU DIDN'T!"

"You let Lucy in the bed, you know you'll never get her out!"

It seemed to bother him a lot more them me, but I was sympathetic and made her get down. She slumped away, tugging at my heart.

The next night I was out late and came home to find my husband fast asleep with his arm wrapped around a Dane. I quietly slipped into bed, letting Lucy lay between us. The rest is history. We put up with her puppy dreams, earth-shattering night visions that cause her to kick her legs as if she is having a seizure and make barking noises that wake-up the neighbors. Her favorite position is on her back with her legs rigor mortis, pointing up towards the sky. When the kids sneak into our bed, it can get a little crowded. I confess, I have been known to meander upstairs to find a bed all to myself, but usually we just have one big family bed. I just pray that if my entire family goes in their sleep, someone will come and get the dog out of the bed before the neighbors see.

© 2003 Vicki Todd and The Rebel Housewife, LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

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