There are so many decisions to be made in life. Some should be made with your heart, others with your gut and then there are the brain decisions. Most decisions concerning our dogs should be made with our brain. Far too often our heart gets in the way of brain decisions; which is when you must sit down and think clearly; leaving your heart in the other room. Just recently we have been discussing the idea of having Luke sleep on the floor now. We have modified our bed several times to incorporate safety for him. We put a long body pillow at the end of the bed to keep him back from the edge. We removed our box springs to lower the bed just in case. But as he ages and becomes more wobbly I have feared that he might just fall off the bed during his move about time during the night.
Lately he has become more restless; he seems to find it harder to get comfortable. Which means that he is up on his feet way to much for my liking. I wake up each time to ensure that he doesn't tumble off so I'm not sleeping great either. Leaving my heart in one room I sat and made a brain decision. It was time, time for Luke to sleep on the floor. No, it's not an easy decision; it hurts like hell actually. But as much as it hurts; it is the correct and intelligent decision. With my heart and brain back together I thought about where to start the transition. What would be the easy for Luke?
We have two huge dog beds in our room; which are rarely used. Although Luke has taken to sleeping on them during the day as getting onto the bed is so much work for him now. I decided that he must be right beside me; otherwise I couldn't see it working. So I took one of the beds and put it right beside me. In fact it is in the exact spot where I put crates with new puppies in them (Elsa). This enables me to reach and touch when needed. Both new puppies and now old Luke need a hand of reassurance. He always wants to know that I am there. If he knows that one fact; it is enough for him.
Tuesday night was our first shot at floor sleeping. I worried as I had not been sleeping well that I'd have another sleepless night. You can only go on sleepless nights for so long before something crashes. I am happy to say that it went amazing. I slept, Luke slept, we all slept great. When we first went to bed we had a few "I need on the bed" moments. I firmly told him "no" and asked him to come and lie beside me. "Lie beside Momma," is a phrase that he is very familiar with. He is the ultimate "beside Momma" dog so this worked in my favor for the transition. That night I only heard him up once; he was up and got a drink which may have been quite novel for him. :) When I woke up, there he was; on his bed where I had hoped that he would be.
Last night was even better, no stirring at all. We did have a little issue at bed time as he ran and threw himself up onto the bed. I immediately told him "no" and lifted him down to his new bed. He got up once more on the bed (determined little guy) and I again lifted him down. As I write this blog he is still asleep by my side. He has checked in on me several times but looks too comfy to move anywhere soon. Watching him get up yesterday morning and try to get those shaky legs under him made me more clear of the correct decision.
Now Elsa must learn that she is not allowed on the bed until I get up. Typically she is up very early in the morning; like 3:00-4:00 early. I don't want her upsetting this new thing so she needs to wait until I get up so that if Luke wants up as well they will both be on the bed. Right now she is on the bed and he is still sleeping happily on his new spot. A few more days of this and we will be into our new routine.
Some decisions need the full attention of our brain; the heart can join in later, once the correct decision is made. Not easy but right.