Sleeping Dogs


Dear Dharma,

I’ve seen in previous posts that you are a dog owner and hoped I could get your opinion on an issue. It would seem that my husband and I are at odds about something that doesn’t seem like it should be a hot button issue. Yet based on the sheer amount of arguments, it’s pretty evident that’s exactly what it is!

The issue at hand? Where the dog sleeps.

I have no problem with having the dog in the bed. My husband is completely against it and believes that dogs sleep on the floor or worse, outside.  I, on the other hand, enjoy having something warm and sleepy to cuddle with through the night. The dog and I have been an inseparable pair since before my husband was even in the picture. So, he has seniority right?

I just don’t understand why my husband can’t deal with it and let it go!

So how do we come to an agreement that we can all (the three of us) live with?

Dog Snugglez Are the Bestz

Dear Dog Snugglez,

Yeah – in our house, it started with “Dogs belong outside!”  And then it was, “Okay, the dog can come in the house, but not on the furniture and sure as hell not on the bed!”  And now on any given night, you’ll find either one (if not both) of us contorted like a Bavarian pretzel around the dog who is snoozing blissfully across the centre of the bed.  Diagonally, just to make the best use of his space.

If the two of you were getting a dog together for the first time, I would say this was something you should have worked out ahead of time.  The fact that you already had the dog who had long ago secured his spot does change things to a certain degree, but it doesn’t put you entirely in the right.

What to do!

If you want to win this battle you must change tactics.  Telling your husband he comes second to a dog and can pretty much pound sand is doing more damage than Fido and 20 of his friends could ever do on their own.  No one likes to be dismissed and the words “Deal with it, let it go!” scream “I do not care one tiny Milk Bone what you think or feel.”

If you presented this in a way that communicated you actually did care about your husband’s feelings, you might be surprised at how much he would be willing to compromise.

Find a time when there hasn’t been a recent dog fight and try something like, “I’ve been thinking about our ongoing situation with Buster’s sleeping arrangements and I hate that it’s become a bone of contention between us (haha, get it?!?)  I would really like to find a way that all 3 of us are happy, but I’m not sure how to go about that.  What are your thoughts on some of the ways we could compromise?”

Obviously the rest of the conversation depends on what your husband says next, but mainly, be willing to hear his thoughts, flesh them out to see if they workable and make sure he knows he’s important too.  Maybe even apologize for dismissing him previously.  Since, you know, that probably wasn’t the coolest…

At the end of the day, however, he did know what he was marrying into.  It would have been great if he had picked this fight before committing til death (or dog) do you part.



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