February 10, 2015

Dog Spoons

Cooper livin' large on the couch

As most of you already know, our family dog, Cooper, is at the end of his life. He has bladder cancer that has spread and our vet has said he has a month or two left before things get bad. So we are giving him medication to keep him comfortable and trying to fill his remaining days with lots of love. He has stopped eating dog food, but since I transitioned to making him chicken and rice, his appetite has been revitalized...at least for now. But the biggest change in his little, day-to-day, doggie world is that he is now allowed on the couch to cuddle, and he has moved from his dog bed on the floor of our master bedroom, to the master bed. And here's what has happened...I have fallen in love all over again.

I had forgotten how much I love dog spoons (curling up with with your favorite dog). There is something comforting and reassuring about sleeping with a dog. The weight of their side against your leg or the gentle pressure of their paws against your back. It's different from sleeping near another person. I find it more calming and more comfortable. My husband gets too hot. And my kids move around too much. But my dog, well, he's just right.

When I was growing up we had a dog named Cocoa who loved to nestle in the crook of your knees when you laid on the couch. It was her favorite spot, and I would often adjust my position just so that she could lay there. My dog Jack liked to be near me all the time and was a total bed hog...but not by spreading out and taking up the entire bed. No. There would be me laying right along the edge of the bed, then Jack laying right along my side, and then a wide open expanse of empty bed to our left. He always had to be touching me. So if he got hot and moved away, he would extend one paw out to touch my side. I loved that.

But when I got married and had kids there didn't seem to be room in the bed or on the couch for a dog. There were babies and small children and less space and less available attention and, well, people who cared more about dog hair than me. So, when Cooper joined our family he mostly stayed on the floor. At the time it didn't seem like that big of a deal.

Now that Coop has found his way into our bed, he happily lays right down the middle between my husband and me. And even though it means that I have less space in the bed, and that someone's always laying on my covers, making them much harder to adjust, I find that I just don't care. And did I mention that he snores? Um, yeah. Don't care. For some reason I love having him sleep by my side. And I love having him cuddle up next to me not he couch when I read or watch some TV in the evening. Why is that so soothing? I don't know. Just is.

So after a lifetime of dogs (first Susie then Cocoa then Jack) nestled near me on the couch and the bed, I hadn't realized how much I missed having that with Cooper. I am sad to report that I think I did both him and me a disservice by not letting him up to sleep near me. But I'm glad that this is how we're going out. With dog spoons.

Until next time, go get yourself some doggie cuddle time. I promise you that it's so worth the dog hair on your clothes and stinky breath in your face. It's so, so worth it.

Cooper waiting patiently for us to come to bed

P.S. Last night Cooper had some gas that smelled faintly of burnt rubber. Not really the smell that you want to go to sleep with. But guess what? Didn't care.

P.P.S. Thanks to my husband for letting Cooper up to cuddle with us. It's a nice gift for Cooper...and for me.

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