Thursday, January 14, 2010

They Put the Fur on the Furniture

"Ah, Cocoa. Are you comfortable? Would you like another pillow? Or are you just fine, draped as you are amid the blankets?"

"Well, I might like a nice cup of tea and a biscuit--and a crossword puzzle. I do like to have a little lie-in on Sundays."

Erica kindly sent me this photo of her lounging girl. It made me smile. Until recently, I took a serious stand against animals on furniture. My Roma tried once, on her first night, to get into the bed. My husband and I told  her no way, and she never breached the divide again. (Although once, while camping on the Appalachian Trail and staying in a lean-to with benches for sleeping, I hauled her up to sleep between us. Even though it was August, the temps were near freezing. Roma protested—until she got in between the sleeping bags. Then she snored all night.) A few weeks ago, though, while I was standing in the living room folding laundry and idly watching a cooking show on TV, I heard an unexpected rustling sound behind me. When I turned, I discovered the Muzz sitting on the sofa, a forbidden zone, wagging her tail. She was sitting in my usual spot and looking only a little anxious. I had suspected for some time—maybe since the summer months when I worked on UT campus and was away from home for nine hours every day—that Muzzy had been sneaking onto the couch. Friends, I must admit that she looked so cute on the sofa that I let her stay. I put down an old quilt, and now every night she curls up against my thigh while I do crossword puzzles or talk back to the news. Roma will occasionally check in. She-who-never-got-on-the-furniture looks appalled at how low standards have fallen before she leaves the room in disgust.

Still, we all seem to have mutually decided that there will be no dogs on the bed, at least while I am in it. I don't bathe Muzzy regularly enough or trim her nails neatly to deal with her all night. But plenty of folks I know sleep with their dogs. What is the expression? "Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas." Thanks to Sentinel and other flea meds, that's no longer the problem. In our case, I think that I could persuade the Muzz to get in the bed with no problem. But as someone who lives and works at home, I need at least some small piece of real estate that is dog-free. (The bathroom? Forget it. Unless I shut the door, I have an audience.)

I'd be interested in hearing about others' rationale for dogs on the furniture. Stay dry today!


  1. The woman who rescued Cocoa from under an abandoned house described how she had made a little nest for herself out of a pile of leaves. Melted my neat-freak heart forever. If I have to vacuum and do a load of laundry every single day, so be it. As long as Cocoa is Cozy.

  2. Rationale? We're supposed to have a rationale?

    As I type this, Mindy is camped out on the sofa behind me as I sit on the floor.


Please write a comment here or e-mail me directly at Thanks!