I go to the gym several mornings a week before I start work. It’s quite early when I leave the house, before oh-dark-thirty even, so I try my very best to be quiet as stumble into yoga pants and tennies. This morning, however, it took everything in me to not laugh out loud. Joel was on his side of the bed, out like a light, but there was Eleanor, stretched out beside him, all four paws in the air (that is her lone concession to being hot). The two of them looked like an old couple, still in love after all these years, even if one of them did have a slight hirsuitism problem.

We have what is best described as a “family bed,” meaning that Joel, Eleanor, Beatrice, and I all share. Beatrice, at least, has the decency to confine herself to the foot of the bed for most of the night. She even goes as far as curling up in a ball and keeping an ear alert for strange noises. (Her ears are quite large, even though she is a German Shepherd puppy. We have fond hopes that one day she’ll either grow into those ears or that we’ll get free HBO for a bit.) Eleanor, on the other hand, likes the middle. The entire middle. She stretches out lengthwise between us, her head on the pillow next to mine. I cannot tell you how many times I have turned over in the night to find myself nose-to-snout with her.

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Cuddle, spoon, or snuggle, thy boon companion is Eleanor.

We really did try to move them to dog beds. I went and bought the girls their very own Fat Boys, one in midnight blue and the other in teal. (They need to look good while they sleep, you know.) The look of horror on their faces when they realized that I wasn’t going to boost them up into bed caused me to crumple like a cheap tent. Those dog beds have remained on the floor, untouched, unattended at night.

It is my firm belief that the more expensive the dog bed, the less likely that said dog will slumber in said bed. If you have evidence otherwise, I’d love to hear it. As it stands now, mum is going to ask me to bring up those untouched Fat Boys for her own pack. But wait–Mattie is on the bed now, too, meaning that only Bob has the decency to use the dog bed for its intended purpose.

Maybe I need to redefine that definition of “family bed.” Joel, Eleanor, Beatrice, and I don’t share so much as Eleanor and Beatrice let us keep a bit of space. That won’t last forever, so perhaps I should look into seeing just how comfortable those expensive dog beds are. After all, someone has to use them.