April 4, 2009

Love Wrapped in Fur

Jane: It started, as most "bad" habits do, innocently enough.

We'd just returned from the hospital after meeting with a series of physicians to discuss a family medical crisis. Exhausted, emotional, plagued by "what ifs," I retired to our bedroom for a nap.

But with my mind spinning and my body tense, rest eluded me. Then I noticed the gentle breathing of Buddy, our black Lab, who'd entered the bedroom with me. I impulsively tapped on the top of our comforter and said, "Buddy, come on up. Come on up, boy."

Buddy looked shocked at my unexpected invitation. After all, we had a rule about "no dogs on the bed." Wearing a guilty expression, he reluctantly jumped up and settled next to me, wondering if he was "naughty." So I rubbed his rich, soft fur to reassure him. The funny thing was, the more I stroked and petted Buddy, the more he reassured me. As my racing heart slowed and my anxiety lifted, I became able to focus and pray about my concerns. Buddy's presence soothed my weary, worried heart in a way nothing had before.

Buddy gave me a gift that afternoon. I like to call it the gift of love wrapped in fur. His was the exact comfort and distraction I needed. So from that point on, Rich and I bent our rigid rules, and throughout the remaining years of Buddy's life, we invited him onto our bed.

Then Boomer entered our lives. While Rich was away on a business trip, I decided to invite puppy Boomer to jump up on our bed, and let's just say full-grown Boomer now doesn't wait for an invitation. Jump up he does, repeatedly, during the night. Like an 80-pound dive bomber, he lands on legs and hips and bellies, then snuggles into a comfortable position (for him) and snores. On and off, on and off, on and off, that's the pattern. That is, until the wee morning hours when he decides it's time we get up to feed him. Then, looming over us, he licks us until we do his bidding.

Some might think we're nuts. Some just might not "get it." After all, there's the fur. The mess. The heavy breathing (not ours). And I admit, when we're achy or sleep-deprived, we think we're nuts, too.

But the truth is, when life wears you down, your canine companions are there, quick to offer you their gift of love wrapped in fur. So we welcome it into our lives, because everybody can use a little more love.

Now, there's just one thing: What will we do when Daisy gets big enough to jump on our bed, too?


  1. Well, you could buy a room-size mattress and leave it on the floor.

  2. sarah lennartsonApril 4, 2009 at 4:24 PM

    looks like you'll have to get a california king :)
    love, sarah

  3. Karen Casey ArnesonApril 4, 2009 at 4:43 PM

    I feel so left out! Although I do consider myself a "dog-person," circumstances have left me with two cats. Jasper is an overweight "tiger" with the personality of Garfield. Goliath is all black, all legs, and aloof with "strangers," but affectionate with family. Jasper sleeps all day with my son who works nights. Goliath sleeps with my husband, Dennis and me. Do I have to have a dog to leave comments?

  4. No need to have a dog to comment! After all, kitties are "love wrapped in fur" too! :>) Thanks for visiting and commenting. Woof woof!

  5. Sarah--no room for a California king. Think that's because you and Mike want to take our queen bed, ha ha.

  6. Bonnie reacted the same way the first time we invited her up on the bed. Very tentative and guilt-ridden. Now she has no guilt, no shame. In fact, I think she takes the attitude that she lets us sleep in HER bed! She's torn the comforter and added a blanket of dog hair on the bed, what whatev. We love her, and that's that!


  7. I understand what you mean...they seem to know when something isn't right. I've had a skin cancer removed and waiting to see if they got it all or if you go back for more etc gets on your nerves! Cocoa was always trying to be right by me, when I was done with belly rubs and just stroking her she would lay on my feet and not move. They really are awesome buddies!

  8. Jane,

    So beautifully written, as always. I'm so glad you started this blog--and so impressed how well you keep up with it!

  9. It occurs to me that you're really going to enjoy Stray Affections, when it releases in September. Your expression of the exchange of love between the wounded and their dogs is beautiful, Jane. Wonderdog Butch sends you a WOOFing shout from heaven!

  10. This bloggerin' is keeping me awake so might
    as well add my two cents worth. Me thinks
    sooner or later I have to get one of them thar
    critters, later rather than sooner. Seems
    like I's missin some of that thar bedfellow-
    ship but am too old for the kind Jane & Rich
    are havin with Boomer & Daisy! Had me a Randy
    (Collie), Ernie (Rascal), and Phoebe (Shitzu)? sp, not all at one time! My eyes are droopin,
    time to hop into bed (not really, this hayseed
    don't hop no more.)These blog-writin folks are
    doin a mighty fine job (even if they're keepin
    me awake). Carol the Hayseed (my mister calls
    me that--come from Michigan, don't ya know?)



"Daisy, are they clean yet?"

Happiness Is . . .

Happiness Is . . .
a warm puppy named Daisy!