Leslie Phelan on why dogs make great cuddle partners, that is, until they don’t
By Leslie Phelan
Animals are innocent, right? It’s humans who are capable of vengeful things, while animals are like furry angels hovering around us, simple in the mind and free from sneaky motivations (outside, of course, from those applied towards stealthily acquiring food).
At least, that’s what I thought until I came to live with Sadie.
I moved into the spare room of a buddy’s place, and Sadie was his dog. She was a beautiful girl, a bit small for a Boxer but it made her the perfect downtown loft dog. She was affectionate and sweet, had come totally crate-trained, and was a pleasure to walk and run with. We became fast friends, to the point that I would let her sleep in my room with me every night until she farted and I had to kick her out. I loved her so much; but man, did she ever start messing with my life.
When I’d go out at night, Sadie would pee ALL OVER my bed. Eww! She’d soak my pillows and sheets, desecrating my sacred sleep spot. It was infuriating and violating and the worst news ever to come home to. Cursing her life at 3am as I threw my soiled sheets in the wash, I’d begin my ignoring dance with her that would last about 24 hours until the sheets were clean and back on the bed and my fury was forgotten. She was cute and easy to fall back in love with.
Until she did it again the next week! I was both horrified and offended, and couldn’t figure out why she would do such a thing to me repeatedly. After ruling out a urinary infection or sudden incontinence, I knew the catalyst was something psychological rather than biological.
I read up on it a bit and found some conflicting theories. Some people suggested she was marking my most intimate place to let the world and I know that I have her protection. Others asserted that she simply loved me, and smelling my sweet scent as she cruised by my bed prompted her to pee on it in order to add her own musk to the already stellar bouquet. While the notion could have been somewhat flattering, it still left me with a wet bed. And plus, I knew in my gut there was definitely more to it than that . . .
Sadie looked different to me after she’d done the deed and was waiting for me to discover it. She would slink around all Quasimodo-like, her eyes half closed like she was pre-emptively shading herself from the vexatious glares that were about to come here way. Then I put it together and understood what was going on.
Sadie didn’t like that I was now going out at night after having laid low most weekends since moving in. It dawned on me that she was pissing my bed in the spirit of a grumpy old bat who disapproved of my young-and-single lifestyle, intending to thwart a potential hook-up in any way she could. What a bitch! This was her attempt to sabotage me.
I honestly didn’t care if love and concern were at the heart of it; I couldn’t deal. I started locking my door when I went out, and began closing it behind me so she couldn’t get in and hide under the bed. Desperate times called for desperate measures! A wet bed was NOT something I could get used to.
I’m sad to say that our relationship never fully recovered after that. I still think of her fondly, but now she is just another former friend in the memory bank of those who’ve turned on me. For real though – pee my bed once, shame on you. But pee my bed twice and we might never cuddle again. Just sayin’.