Monday, February 07, 2011

A unique dog bed solution

Last weekend, Dozer informed us in no uncertain terms (via an overnight marathon of nonstop whining in our faces) that the floor was no longer an acceptable place of repose. He's old, his joints are creaky, and the floor is TOO HARD, even with a big pile of blankets to nest in.

Now, I don't mind letting the dogs on the bed occasionally. But there are disadvantages to dogs on the bed, including furry sheets, very little personal space, no cuddling with spouse (when allowed on the bed, Dozer always sleeps between us), and what I call "midnight vanishing blanket syndrome."

Our conclusion was that Dozer needed his own comfy mattress to sleep on. We considered various options, including a twin mattress, a thick foam slab from a craft store, and a very big dog bed.

But we ultimately settled on a unique compromise: a crib-sized mattress (this one was from IKEA).

Star practically melted into the new dog bed.

The advantages of a crib mattress, rather than the other options, were quickly made clear. First was the size. A twin mattress wouldn't fit in our bedroom, and would be difficult to move around. A large dog bed would still only fit one dog. A crib mattress was a perfect fit--for two dogs, plus a pillow and a blanket.

Fits neatly in the corner of the bedroom.

The crib mattress also proved most suitable for cleanliness. It's a thick foam piece inside a soft, washable zippered shell. Fitted sheets for crib mattresses are also readily available and very inexpensive. So, once a week, I can wash the fitted sheets, and if it gets really dirty, I can wash the zippered cloth shell.

As a bonus, I can change the look of the new dog bed at any time, by simply buying a fitted sheet with a different color or pattern.

Sound sleep = lots of snoring

Price was another consideration. The total cost for a 3" thick crib mattress, plus two fitted sheets, was right around $60. That was equal to the price of a similarly-sized piece of craft foam--minus fitted sheets or a zippered covering. I might have been able to find a Dozer-sized dog bed for a slightly cheaper price, but I would have had to buy two of them, they have proven difficult to wash, and they aren't really as thick and comfortable as a mattress.

Star was still on the bed at noon the next day.
The dogs give two paws up for this new dog bed. Dozer is sleeping like a rock; he doesn't even wake me up in the middle of the night to let him out to potty. The cessation of Dozer's all-night whine sessions has been a big relief for everybody. I am just a little worried that Star will develop bed sores; she's enjoying the mattress just a bit too much.

IKEA also featured some bed frames that were sized for the crib mattress, and very low to the floor. If I feel like dressing up the dog corner, I have the option of getting a bed frame that would elevate the mattress just slightly and make it look more like a little bed. I'm not sure if it can hold 150 lbs of dog, though--so I might ask Byrd to build me something sturdier.

I'm just a little embarrassed by the thought that by using a crib mattress as a dog bed, I am literally treating my dogs as if they were babies.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Bad dogs!

We used to close the bedroom door in order to keep the dogs off the bed.

I actually accused Byrd of forgetting to close the door on multiple occasions when we would come home to find the dogs on the bed. He always swore innocence.

Then it happened to me. And I was sure I had closed the bedroom door!

Time for a sting operation!