Sleeping Dogs

Last night, I tried to scoot my dog’s ninety-pound body from my spot. After trying for ten minutes, I only managed to nudge her two inches. 

It’s that wonderful time of year when dog owners all across this nation pause and ask themselves, “Why am I sleeping on my own God forsaken sofa?”

Take me, for instance. This morning, I woke up on a couch with a stiff back and a TV remote lodged in a delicate region.

This is unfair. I’m a grown man. I shouldn’t be sleeping on a sofa when I have an expensive bed.

A bed which my coonhound, Ellie Mae, stole from me.

I remember the day I bought my bed at a mattress designer store. A salesman with a skinny mustache, who kept using the words “in-CREDIBLY affordable memory-foam” every few sentences, sold it to me.

We agreed on an incredibly affordable mattress-mortgage with zero down and one hundred forty-three percent interest; he delivered twelve hundred pounds of memory-foam to my doorstep.

But it was worth it. The mattress pamphlets explained that this product would eliminate back pain and leave me looking like the leading man from a Just For Men Shampoo commercial.

But when the bed entered my home, I never got to use it. Ellie Mae leapt onto the mattress, walked in circles for eight minutes, collapsed, and has not moved in a decade.

This makes restorative sleep impossible. Because sleeping beside a restless coonhound is like sharing a sleeping bag with three Harlem Globetrotters.

When Ellie Mae hits deep sleep, she begins whimpering, twitching, flailing, and snoring. And there goes the night.

When you consider these facts together, a very frustrating question comes to my mind, as I’m sure it does to most non-dog owners: “What are three Harlem Globetrotters doing in a sleeping bag?”

Anyway, when a dog overtakes your mattress, it’s for life. There’s nothing you can do about it.

Last night, I tried to scoot my dog’s ninety-pound body from my spot. After trying for ten minutes, I only managed to nudge her two inches.

She didn’t even quit snoring. Instead, she began emitting gaseous vapors which were strong enough to shatter most residential light bulbs.

Thus, I grabbed my pillow, hung my head, and walked to the couch. I laid flat on my back. And even though I hardly believe it, I actually fell asleep.

I slept so hard that I dreamed. I dreamed about life. About middle school.

There I was. Middle-school algebra. My teacher—a woman old enough to predate ketchup—spoke to me in a nasal voice.

She walked closer. She removed her thick-rimmed glasses. She glared. She took me by the wrist. Then, unable to control her feminine sensibilities any longer, she aggressively licked my hand between the fingers.

I awoke to a coonhound, licking me.

It was two in the morning. My hand was sticky and smelled like a toilet brush.

Then, my dog crawled onto my sofa. She curled beside me. She is the warmest thing you’ll ever feel.

She fell asleep with her head beside mine. She has a gentle way of breathing that makes me sorry I never had kids.

I should’ve moved back to my bedroom. After all, my expensive mattress was finally dog-free. But I didn’t want to leave her, you see.


I love this animal with all my heart.


  1. Pamela McEachern - October 23, 2017 8:04 am

    It’s hard to move away from unconditional love, we are all gonners, same with cats. I have both and they are my babies. Hope you get some shut eye soon. Peace and Love from Birmingham

  2. Beverly Rhodes - October 23, 2017 9:36 am

    I feel your pain and peace listening to “sleeping dogs laying”

  3. Suzette Allen - October 23, 2017 9:44 am

    Why ami reading this at 4:39 a.m.? Two spoiled rescue dachshunds. How can one 11.6 pound girl dog can take up this much space? Why is she kicking me in my ribs? My male dachshund is asleep above my head on my pillows. We’ve only had him 10 months. He was 5 or 6 years old when we brought him home. We had lost our male dachshund suddenly on Thanksgivng at only 10 years old. We were heartbroken. I love every hair ball floating on my hard wood floors. I love every snort, snore, foot in the rib, treat begging inch of these two. Stella and Patch. There’s nothing like the love of a dog. I just got a kick to the ribs again because it seems that my arm inadvertently touched the Princess. Thank you for hating this wonderful story. Stella and Patch love it too,

    • Suzette Allen - October 23, 2017 9:46 am

      Thanks for sharing…..not hating. That’s what I get for trying in the dark.

  4. Sherry Gorman - October 23, 2017 9:55 am

    With all my heart… absolutely! Thank you for eloquently expressing how I feel about so many things in life!!

  5. Jan Silvious - October 23, 2017 9:58 am

    Only certain people will understand. I do. Thanks.

  6. candyalso - October 23, 2017 10:06 am

    Where is Jamie during this adventure? A person who loves animals gains my trust right off! Great story, once again!

    • Deena - October 23, 2017 8:36 pm

      I wondered where the sweet wife was tooooooooo!

  7. Amy - October 23, 2017 11:01 am

    I can relate very well as my redbone coonhound hogs my bed too. I find it difficult to comprehend how they can take up an entire bed one moment and in the next they are all circled up so tight and small in a “coonieball” that I miss seeing her at first glance.

  8. tracyfridley - October 23, 2017 11:47 am

    Possibly my most favorite story, yet! It sounds just like a night at my house. ?

  9. Sarah Braley - October 23, 2017 11:50 am

    I love your love for your dog!!!! I love my dog the same. She is nicer than any people I ever have met.

  10. Marty from Alabama - October 23, 2017 11:57 am

    Love me, love my dogs. All three are world class yappers that we’re not wanted by others. They run our house.

  11. Joan Dake - October 23, 2017 12:28 pm

    Oh how I can relate to this…I think one could use my eleven pound Chihuahua for a football at night and she wouldn’t notice…if I try to move her she becomes jello oozing this way and that…and oh how I love her and my heart is so full of her. Love ya, Sean, Elie Mae too. Jo

  12. Sandra Smith - October 23, 2017 12:29 pm

    My twelve pound, whatever she is, who ran & jumped into my car, into my lap (where she promptly peed) off of Hwy 45, nine years ago. ( yes, we tried diligently to find her people) after almost getting splattered on the road, might as well be an elephant in the bed. You can NOT move her, and if you DO manage to get a few free inches of mattress to lie down on, she rolls herself right into the small of your back, and becomes a bulldozer. (Sounds like one & shoves like one) !
    My, hundred pound malamute was easier than her !

  13. Marlo Kirkpatrick - October 23, 2017 1:15 pm

    My husband is frequently banished to the upstairs bedroom – because his snoring keep me and the FOUR dogs who share our bed awake. There is nothing like that warm, furry body pressed so close to yours to make you feel loved, safe, and appreciated. Years ago, before I met the (human) love of my life, I dated a guy who told me, “I am NOT sleeping with your dogs.” To which I replied, “No one invited you to.” Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last long. Love me, love my dogs.

  14. Judy Miller - October 23, 2017 1:47 pm

    I am wondering where Dear Wife is, in all this confusion?

  15. Charmaie - October 23, 2017 1:49 pm

    We have two seventy plus pound rescue mutts who kinda let us share the king size bed with them. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

  16. charlette n voss - October 23, 2017 1:53 pm

    If you never do another thing besides love your dog unconditionally, you will still be a hero to me. And I completely get it. 3 beagles in my bed. The husband gave up years ago.

  17. Martha Fondren - October 23, 2017 2:06 pm

    I have a 4 pound Yorkie, Zeke, who seems to take up most of the bed and snores just as loud. I often don’t move for fearing of waking him up. That’s love, my friend.

  18. Jack Quanstrum - October 23, 2017 2:54 pm


  19. Janet Mary Lee - October 23, 2017 3:13 pm

    How can you not love this story!! I have slept with 4 rather large dogs in bed at one point. And we slept well! I miss it more than you can say. I am afraid my 19 year old border collie will break something if he jumps down, and it is not fair to let the younger hound up without the older one. I am thinking of putting the mattresses on the floor to solve that problem! I miss the snoring and snuggles! I did wonder where poor Jamie was sleeping. Hopefully she claimed her spot first, lol!

  20. Linda Chipman - October 23, 2017 4:27 pm

    Thanks for writing about one of my favorite things – Dogs! I have a 50 lb. lab mix with the longest legs ever and I love her with all my heart……..but she sleeps very peacefully in a crate.

  21. Susan - October 23, 2017 4:32 pm

    I think I’ve found the 3 Harlem Globetrotters…they’re in our bed doing shooting free throws with our 13 year old cocker spaniel. I was always too afraid to open my eyes to see who they were and now you’ve told me so I can at least sleep a little easier (when said cocker spaniel puts down the basketball.)

  22. Mary Ellen Hall - October 23, 2017 10:10 pm

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE this story Sean!!
    Your story sounds MUCH LIKE the nightly relationship my husband has w/ our 95 lb. lab, Nestle’.

  23. She Thomas - October 23, 2017 11:21 pm

    Love my doggies!!

  24. Rusty Hampton - October 24, 2017 1:31 am

    Great story. Sounds familiar. While our rescue dog Blue snores loud enough to wake the neighbors, and our rescue dog Layla yips and yips, our rescue dog Finn takes turns pushing his butt into into my face and then Cindy’s face. Then he falls into deep sleep and turns into a 150-pound weight that WILL NOT move, and when you try to move him he growls and growls until you leave him be.
    Dogs rule in our house, too.

  25. Mary Katherine Arens - October 24, 2017 3:15 am

    I would love the know more about your wife. Sainthood awaits her.

  26. Tish Gressang - October 24, 2017 12:44 pm

    words of a true dog lover !!

  27. kathi hill - October 30, 2017 10:02 pm

    I don’t know how people have room for a dog. We barely fit in our bed, what with the three cats and all. Ha! Bless your heart, you got it bad!

  28. Nancy - January 17, 2020 12:08 am

    Mine likes to snuggle under the covers between my husband and me. And Lord in Heaven, don’t touch her while she’s sleeping! She growls to tell you to leave her there!

  29. sue mcclure - February 13, 2020 6:16 pm

    Love your sense of humor. I’ve had a lot of dogs in my bed over the 25 years (since my divorce) but I finally put the gate up on the bedroom door when Hunter, my I.W. wanted more air conditioning air and laid pretty much on my head, where the window A.C. was blowing. Trying to get him off, I thought, wouldn’t this be an awful obituary. I still train pups when I’m housebreaking them and still let my newest male I.W. come in and snuggle when he gives me that look and sigh from the gate, but no more sleepovers in my bed. I notice my bedroom is a lot messier now that I don’t make room for them or put things out of their reach.


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