The Dog Bed Situation: How I Accommodate Two Picky Ladies

Hi, I’m Allison. Read my introduction to learn more about me and my three mixed-breed dogs from Thailand, Jelly, Lorraina, and Manic.

As many of you know, we live in a three-dog household. And as much as I would love for each of the dogs to have their own room, that is not possible. So, we have several dog beds strewn around our home. We have Manic’s toy bed right by the sliding glass doors so he can chew on his stuffed chipmunk and watch the world. We have Lorraina’s lounge that we keep next to the TV so she can nod off while we watch our shows. Jelly has a bed in my office. She likes to keep an eye on me while I work.

This all works out well during the day. However, when we go to bed at night, the battle of the beds begins.

Our Past Sleeping Arrangement

Jelly has slept in our bed since the day we brought her home from the animal clinic in Thailand. (Yes, we ARE those people who let their dogs sleep in the same bed. Don’t judge us.)

We had made her a bed inside a wicker box that we kept on the floor next to our bed. But in the middle of the night, I woke to her crying and trying desperately to climb up the bed. She was so small that she couldn’t climb up on her own. My heart hurt listening to her crying, so I scooped her up and placed her next to my pillow. She was sound asleep within a minute.

Jelly continued to sleep in our bed for over a decade. It was only when she reached her senior years that she got annoyed when my husband or I shifted in bed and jumped her with our legs. She would climb off the bed in a huff and retreat to the couch. Lorraina was already a couch sleeper, but as long as Jelly stayed at the other end, things were fine. Plus, Manic was thrilled to take her place on a human bed.

But when we moved from Thailand to the USA, we had to change things around.

How I get their attention: treats!
Things had to change when we made the big move.

The Beginning of the Battle of the Beds

When we moved to the USA, we were given half a dozen dog beds that we could use around the house. We had three in the main room, one spare, and two in the bedroom. Unfortunately, we had let Manic become a human-bed dog, so that left the girls to choose a bed on the floor.

Lorraina had taken to a larger donut-shaped bed with a thin fleece. It was larger than what she needed, but she seemed to love it. Jelly’s striped bed, equipped with a thick fleece, sat on an ottoman, and she liked sleeping on a little pedestal.

Of course, Jelly sometimes liked to stir the pot a bit and took Lorraina’s bed. Jelly is the “Head Dog”, as the other two were adopted after we had her for over a year. So, when Jelly decided to commandeer Lorraina’s bed, Lorraina couldn’t try to take it back. Instead, she would sit a few feet away, staring at her bed with Jelly in it, and then staring back at me, pleading with me to get her to move so she could sleep. I would have to shoo Jelly out of Lorraina’s bed so peace could ensue.

However, we decided to rearrange the bedroom and get rid of the ottoman, so Jelly’s bed was put on the floor in the corner near the bedroom door.

And this upset the natural sleeping order.

The War Waged On

Now that both beds were on the floor, we thought that there would be no issue. They were on equal playing fields, so to speak.

HA! Joke’s on me!

Lorraina started sleeping in Jelly’s bed. This upset her, leaving me to coax her out so Jelly could sleep. But this kept happening repeatedly; Lorraina kept “stealing” Jelly’s bed. Was it out of spite since Jelly had done this to Lorraina in the past? I try not to judge my dogs, but Lorraina seems like she would hold a grudge.

My husband and I thought it was the beds’ placement. Jelly’s bed was in the corner near the head of our bed, while Lorraina’s bed was at the foot. We switched the beds’ placements.

Nope. Lorraina still opted for Jelly’s bed, rejecting her old donut bed.

Then, we thought Lorraina’s blanket was not fluffy enough. Lorraina is a senior girl, and it does get a bit chilly at night. She would probably love a new fluffy blanket, so we went to the store and bought the fluffiest blanket they had on the shelf. We brought it home, spread it out on her donut bed, and pointed at it proudly, like parents showing their kids the semi-new car they bought them for their 16th birthday.

Lorraina acted like a spoiled teenager who wanted the new 2024 Hondo Turbo Lexus Hybrid ST 2400 (yeah, I don’t know cars) instead of last year’s model and refused to even go near the new blanket. Maybe it smelled strange? We put her old thin blanket on top of the new one, hoping this would entice her. She saw through our actions and was not buying it. She edged towards Jelly’s striped bed.

Jelly in the bed
Jelly in the donut bed

The Compromise

At this point, I did not care where the dogs slept. I was getting fed up with the back and forth.

“You two should be considered lucky that you even HAVE beds,” I muttered to them. “There are some dogs that sleep on the PAVEMENT every night!” Like they understood my frustrations.

I looked down at them and discussed what was going to happen.

“Jelly, you often took Lorraina’s bed when you were too selfish to jump on the ottoman. So, here is what is going to happen.” I crossed my arms. You are officially taking Lorraina’s donut bed, but you are giving up your fleece blanket in exchange for the new one.” I took the fleece blanket from the donut bed and put it on the striped bed.

I looked at Lorraina. “Lorraina, you have won the fleece and Jelly’s striped bed. You have completely claimed her bed and blanket as your own. I don’t know why you did that. Maybe you are a Bitter Betty or a Petty Patty, but you won. HOWEVER, I don’t want to see you ever trying to sneak back to your donut bed. Consider yourself banned from it.”

Lorraina wagged her tail as if saying that this was what she had wanted all along. She climbed into the striped bed with the prized fleece. Jelly settled into the donut bed with the new blanket. She did give me “a look”, which I ignored. Eventually, she settled down and fell asleep.

Manic watched this whole exchange from the comfort of our bed.

I pointed at him. “Stay away from their beds.”

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