Not everyone believes in sharing their bed with their dogs and I can respect that. I sure didn't take stock in it in the beginning but soon the cuteness and love from my first GSP Cleo wore me down like a river rock. Before I knew it she had wormed her way into my sheets and now I couldn't fathom not sharing my space with a big warm sack of spots. However all those warm snuggles come at a cost and here are few that plague our sleeping arrangements with Sage Monkey.
The thing pictured above was once a plush and vibrant moose, stuffed like a sausage with fluffy white material, squeekers and rattles in its feet. After its initial partial destuffing and slightly violent removal of squeekers it has since metamorphosed into a crusty, spit soaked, dirty shell of dog love. We call this crusted mess "wooby" and it goes everywhere Sage goes. She does laps around the tent with it hanging from her mouth while camping. She balls it up every night and nurses it until she passes out with it in her mouth. She leaves it sleeping on my pillow like it pays the electric bill.
Thats ok. I wasn't in the middle of an ab workout or anything.
Limited Personal Space
GSP's are appropriately known as velcro dogs. I prefer to refer to them as space hoarders. Never heard of a Space hoarder before? "Space Hoarding" is the craft of excessively collecting all the available area not only from your personal surroundings but all others around you as well. Space Hoarding is also known as Space Hogging, Compulisive Space Taker Upper Disorder and or otherwise more commonly known as Get-out-of-my-three-foot-bubble-you-jerk (Thats GOOMTFBYJ for short). Sage excels at this and works in it like some artists work in watercolor. And like most afflicted dogs she doesn't see it as a problem...AT ALL. Bed time often consists of her laying only in the space my physical being occupies. Or Sage will stand vigil over our heads waiting for the blankets to be lifted before burrowing down to our feet to settle in for the night. She leaves no room for compromise.
Our joke is that Sage wishes I was her Tauntaun. You know that funky reptomammal that is indigenous to that frozen wasteland planet known as Hoth from The Empire Strikes back? Sitting on my lap simply won't suffice....she needs to climb inside my soul.
Rough Snuggles start innocent enough usually by Sage arming crawling around the bed as if she's being propelled by that little stub of a tail. She lays all over your face, groaning and sniffing in glee, angling herself into positions to lick whatever she can; your face your arms. Sadly this phase is unsustainable and it eventually evolves in what we refer to as "rough snuggles". Rough Snuggles are snuggles that spiral out of control and consist of excited paw prodding, point blank face sneezes, the occasional fang nip and in human screams and laughs. They carefully dance that line of fun and painful.
For instance have you ever seen an animal documentary where foxes in winter will leap into the air to break below the surface to get critters for a meal? The worst mistake to be made during rough snuggles is retreating to the presumed safety of under covers. Sage takes your retreating as a challenge and follows the example of the fox except in the morning when sleep is still tight in your eyes she feels more like a polar bear breaking through ice in a search of baby seals.
Bed time is never a dull time with a shorthair. Especially a 52 pound one that can magically metamorphis to such a size she can take up an entire king size bed. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic shifts and changes in the next few weeks as we bring home the new puppy. Who knows.....Maybe we will have two rough snugglers who want to make me their Tauntaun. Lucky me!
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