My boyfriend, Sweet Pants, has a lovely dog — an old Black Labrador. She's a rescue who was given the name of "Buena" before he adopted her, and that's what he still calls her. And she certainly deserves her Spanish name: She is a very, very good dog who almost never barks or misbehaves in any way. She's also kind of old, and not terribly affectionate ... until she gets to know you a little better. She used to ignore me completely when I showed up at his place. Now, she runs to the door when I arrive, wagging her tail so hard her whole body shakes — and I am deeply delighted by it. Despite her advanced age, I talk to her in a goobery baby voice whenever I see her. I adore her.
And yet ... I do not want her in the bed in which I sleep. It's a logistical thing, in part: I find it hard enough to sleep through the night when there is a human next to me, twitching and turning and snorting now and then. It's doubly hard when there's a large animal doing the same. But it's also partly a hygiene thing. It seems a little gross to me. I don't even like getting her hair all over my pants when I sit on the couch. I put a clean sheet down on it before we watch a movie.
The New York Times did a story over the weekend about sleeping with your pets. They noted that a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control found that somewhere from 14 to 62 percent of household pets in America sleep in bed with their owners. "The reasons are well documented," the writer noted. "First, touching, human or otherwise, raises levels of oxytocin in the body, creating feelings of contentment. And, of course, the comfort that an unconditionally loving animal provides in bed is an emotional balm, especially for the depressed, lonely or anxious."
All the same, there are some health risks. In the same C.D.C. study, "two California doctors warn that allowing pets to sleep in the bed can be dangerous and can spread ... pathogens that go from animals to people," as the Times writer continues. "According to Bruno B. Chomel, a professor at the University of California at Davis, and Ben Sun of the California Department of Public Health, the risks are rare, but real. They cite instances of fleas from cats transmitting bubonic plague. Cat scratch fever is a danger, too, they say, as are various forms of meningitis, Pasturella pneumonia and other infections."
So where do you guys come down on all this? Like me, do you kick Fido out of the bed — or insist that sleepovers must take place at your place, under your hair-free duvet? Do you think I'm being impossible, and that if I relaxed, I'd realize how lovely it could be to have Garfield wrapped around my head on a chilly morning?
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Selena Gomez Has a Total Kitchen Fail In Her Forthcoming Holiday Cooking Special
Hey, it happens to the best of us.
By Rachel Burchfield
Prince William and Prince Harry Will Probably Only See One Another for One Occasion Henceforth
And it’s not an occasion anyone relishes.
By Rachel Burchfield
Princess Kate “Felt Like a Caged Animal” While Living in Kensington Palace
Her family of five relocated to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor in September 2022.
By Rachel Burchfield
30 Female-Friendly Porn Websites for Any Mood
All the best websites, right this way.
By Kayleigh Roberts
The 82 Best Cheap Date Ideas for Couples on a Budget
"Love don't cost a thing." —J.Lo
By The Editors
Diary of a Non-Monogamist
Rachel Krantz, author of the new book 'Open,' shares the ups and downs of her journey into the world of open relationships.
By Abigail Pesta
COVID Forced My Polyamorous Marriage to Become Monogamous
For Melanie LaForce, pandemic-induced social distancing guidelines meant she could no longer see men outside of her marriage. But monogamy didn't just change her relationship with her husband—it changed her relationship with herself.
By Melanie LaForce
How the pandemic has mutated our most personal disunions.
By Gretchen Voss
16 At-Home Date Ideas When You're Stuck Indoors
Staying in doesn't have to be boring.
By Katherine J. Igoe
Long Distance Relationship Gift Ideas for Couples Who've Made It This Far
Alexa, play "A Thousand Miles."
By Jaimie Potters
15 Couples on How 2020 Rocked Their Relationship
Couples confessed to Marie Claire how this year's many multi-stressors tested the limits of their love.
By Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW