I am the ham to their slices of bread. Pinned by their hairy draped bodies I am unable to turnover or otherwise make myself comfortable if my muscles cramp. What is worse, once the snoring commences there is little I can do to alleviate it, the usual nudges or admonitions of “roll over” one would use were it a human producing such foghorn like sounds is useless with them. If I am lucky the pair become synchronous after a period of time becoming rhythmical in their dissonance and, in an odd way lulling me into sleep. If it is an unlucky night it will be an endless hee haw melody ending suddenly for no apparent reason and then starting up again with equal unpredictability.

I am fortunate that these two are not prone to gas. Trapped as I so often am, one can only imagine if they were to commence gaseous relief simultaneously. As it is the occasional slip causes no small distress. For others such as myself this alone is reason to pay careful attention to the diet of the Labrador Retriever. Perhaps in space no one can hear you scream but trust me, that astronaut never slept with multiple Labs in his space suit.

Don’t misunderstand me, there are advantages to my sleeping arrangements. The cold of winter and my miserly heating habits are abated by the closeness of this living furry sleeping bag. Someone somewhere must have calculated the BTUs generated by a sleeping Labrador Retriever, surely it is no small number. Multiplied by two in my case, it cannot be insignificant.

There are dangers of course. There is the gas danger already expounded upon above, but there is also the dream factor. As most dog owners know our canines are avid dreamers and they get physical about it. There are the occasional yips and growls, an upturned lip indicating a dream that is not so sweet. And then there are the dreams that involve action and by action I mean running. Dogs must run a lot in their dreams. Or in the case of my dogs, it could likely be swimming. In either case woe to the being lying next to them when such a dream rolls out in full fury… it can be dangerous. The frantic running/swimming motions are enough to slide off pajamas and expose bare skin to the raking of Labrador claws. If your nighttime attire is sufficiently armored to protect yourself, you may still be subject to bruising and at the very least a disturbing wake-up call.

If I find myself awake in the middle of the night and in need of a pee the groans that commence as I extricate myself from their web of legs, necks, and tails is enough to make me beg for forgiveness. I wonder if they think to themselves, “we can hold it till she gets up in the morning, what’s up with her?” When I return I quickly forget my apologies when I find that invariably my pillows and blankets have been claimed by them exclusively, all five of them, not even a neck roll to spare. If I try to gently slide them over to make some room for myself I am met with the true definition of “dead weight.” How do they do that? So quickly and silently in my brief absence.

Yes, owning dogs can be inconvenient, maybe they have limited some of my options, but sharing my life with them has enhanced it, and maybe saved it in ways I will never know and cannot fully understand. Most importantly each and every morning, regardless of how beautiful or miserable of a day it is, their tails wag and they are pleased to be out in it. It is a good reminder that each day has its merits, and that the same old thing can be exciting in of itself.

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