"Okay, when we move into the new house, no more animals on the bed."
This was me talking, the Dog Lady. I was tired of spending the night in some sort of evil yoga position, curled around a terrier who is suddenly twice its size once on a mattress. Dogs have no respect for clean sheets and are not above digging a burrow in a made-up bed. So I'd made up my mind. No more dogs on the furniture.
That was the agreement. No dogs on the bed, no dogs on the couch or the chairs. There is a body of canine discipline that insists this also prevents behavioral problems in that the dog understands that you are the alpha dog because you occupy this higher place of honor.
I suspect though it's a clever ploy on the part of the dogs making you think they think you are the alpha dog when, in fact, they've trained you to open the door to let them in and out at will and feed them a specific times of day. The irony doesn't escape me, about the only advantage my so-called advanced brain seems to afford me.
Anyway, I've been pretty diligent about enforcing the ban on canine furniture occupation...
...until Topper got depressed.
Topper tends to be a bundle of neuroses anyway but it turned out that in addition to all his other phobias like water, clams, thunderstorms, bird calls, large beetles and moths, the sound of distant gunshots caused him to melt down; and this subdivision borders a gun club.
The result of this is now all his other minor triggers (pardon the pun) became major triggers and one night, during a particularly spectacular thunder and lightening storm, he practically went into shock. So Dirtman brought him onto the bed with us, where he promptly snuggled onto my side and went to sleep.
Apparently that set some sort of precedent, because since then there has been no end to the addenda to the original regulation. There is the "invitation clause," wherein a dog may occupy the furniture if permission is obtained. There is the "lap law," stating that a dog in the lap is not a dog on the furniture. There is the "existential loop hole" stating that a dog cannot be considered as having laid on the furniture if you do not observe the actual occupation and merely observe a collection of loose fur at the site.
There is the Special Salt Dispensation Act that states Salt, and only Salt, may sit on a dining room chair when no one is in the dining room because he's just going to jump back up anyway the second you leave the room and you can keep going back and ordering him off, but he can outlast you because he's a terrier and a pain in the butt.
Gaspode has a special hardship clause that states he can jump on the bed when the puppies gang up on him because he is so much smaller than they and, if he decides to really lay into them, he could rip their fuzzy little hearts out.
Zsa Zsa has a note from her doctor dismissing all regulation lest it upset her delicate digestive system and she starts throwing up blood again.
So this morning I wake up in my king size bed, hugging the absolute edge of the bed. Behind me is Topper on his back, paws askew. Next to my pillow, on Dirtman's extra pillow, is Gaspode curled up and snoring. In the middle of this is Whiskers, the cat, grooming Topper's toenails.
I think renegotiation may be necessary if I'm ever to walk upright again.