“Come on sweetheart, get down please” I tried reasoning with my new furry friend.
He obeyed. For a few seconds anyway. Then he jumped back up on the bed.
“Come on babe, get down and go and sleep in your new bed” I attempted to assert but failed miserably.
This was the scene that happened on our first day together as guide dog and guide dog owner, or what would later be known as guide dog and guide dog maid. I am the first to admit that discipline is not my strongest point, and neither is conformity. So, asking Munch to do what he was told and to obey the rules was never really going to work, especially as I had fallen for his loving rebellious way of being the second I met him. I knew very little about dogs when we met and was lucky enough that he had been so highly trained, so he was well behaved. Or so I thought.
What I hadn’t realized was that he sensed a soft touch when he saw one and I was that one. He had decided that my bed looked far more comfy than his on my bedroom floor so although he listened when I told him to get down, he got straight back up and we repeated this act about four times until I decided it wouldn’t hurt for him to sleep with me on his first night with us as I knew he would be missing his trainer. What I didn’t know was that this was the first of many battles with where he would sleep.
As a rule, guide dogs are not meant to go on beds or sofa’s in case they try and do it in other people’s houses and such. I think this is another lesson that Munch must have missed in training as he usually goes by the rule of “I must always sleep on sofa’s or beds despite having dog beds of my own”. Over the two years, he has turned his nose up to many a dog bed. Introducing one at a time to his Lordship, he has rejected all types in favour of human ones. The battle of will is always won by the stronger one.
He loves a bit of variety in life and doesn’t like routine much which is reflected in the locations where he sleeps. He usually starts off the evening on the sofa curled up with Angus like matching bookends, as I sit on the floor meditating. It is after this nightly ritual that we have, that his bed hopping will commence. Ignoring his designated dog bed, he will move between either of my sons’ beds and my bed or go back to the sofa. Unless I feel my six stone sweetie thud into bed with me in the middle of the night, I use the sound of his helicopter happy tail hitting whichever soft surface he is on in the morning to locate him,
I have however now found a bed that he loves and wants to sleep on, especially in work. It may not be well padded, basket shaped, expensive or designer but he loves it. Maybe I finally got him his favourite regal colour? Who knows? What is even better is that he has now found his ideal cushion to go with his new bed. His heart shaped white cushion fits perfectly under his head that he likes to have elevated when he is sleeping. I think as soon as he has an eye mask, a personal masseuse and a hot water bottle I think he will have his perfect sleeping routine if he starts with these basics.
Life can be so hard being a pampered pooch.