Blondie Bear has been with us since March of 2013. For most of that time, she has lived in the house with us as a family member and slept in the bedroom at night. Blondie and Cochise had beds of their own to sleep in, so we never let these 85 to 100 pound dogs jump into our bed with us. We continued that policy even when we started collecting Beagles.
When it would rain, and especially when it stormed, Blondie tended to curl up on the floor beside my side of the bed to draw comfort from being near me. This became her normal nighttime sleeping location after a while.
When Rebel arrived, he was used to living outdoors full time and had insecurity issues. He was also starving and I needed to feed him, often hand feed him, small amounts every couple of hours. And it was winter. So it made sense to bring him indoors where I could more easily work with him.
He did not like being crated and made a huge fuss if I was not right there with him, so for anyone to get any sleep I started sleeping on the sofa next to his crate. In time that morphed to him sleeping tethered to the sofa I slept on. Rebel’s innards had settled down so he no longer had to go outside every hour or two because of diarrhea, and he was sleeping through the night without attempting a rampage on anyone nearby. I decided we could move to the bedroom and he could sleep tethered to the bed. But that displaced Blondie Bear.
Sometimes, Blondie would join Rebel and me in the living room. As long as she was out of range of Rebels tether, she could sleep unmolested by a rowdy Rebel who decided to play at 2:00 am. When we moved to the bedroom, Blondie slept at the foot of the bed: out of range, but as close to me as she could get.
After this went on for several weeks, Blondie got perturbed and stated that she wanted her sleeping space back.
Rebel agreed that they could share that side of the bed. Actually, what Rebel said was that I could release him to sleep wherever he wanted, and Blondie could have his space. But that didn’t sound like a good plan to me, so I moved his afghan down to the foot of the bed (which is closer to Selma’s crate anyway and the two of them like to be near each other) and Blondie resumed sleeping beside me.
That has been working quite well. Even when I get up at night, they both lift their heads to look at me, but then decide to stay where they are and go back to sleep. If I get up early — before either of them feels a need to go out, both stay right where they are and continue sleeping until that need arises. Rebel does not bother Blondie, nor has he tried to sneak up on the bed (while we are in it). The next step will be to see if we can dispense with the tether and he will allow the other sleeping dogs to lie.