Several weeks ago, there was a knock on our front door one morning. Of course, I rushed over to give my BIG BOOMING GREAT DANE BARK and see who was there…it was the Courier Human! And he had brought us a giant package!!
What was it??
My human, Hsin-Yi, said that it was my new bed!!
Well, you know I have always slept on a beanbag bed my whole life. Ever since I first climbed onto my humans’ little beanbag seat when I was a baby puppy and fell asleep there…
…I fell in love with the “beany feeling” and always wanted to sleep on that. I liked to moosh the beans with my paws before I settled down. My humans had prepared a baby cot mattress for me when I first came home to live with them, with nice blankets and a ticking clock and soft stuffie, in the corner of the bedroom –
– but I didn’t want to sleep there! I wanted to sleep on their beanbag instead. So in the end, they just gave in and let me sleep on the beanbag in the living room. Of course the problem was, as I grew and grew, the beanbag got too small!
(By the way, in case you’re wondering, the beanbag in the photo above was not the original – it was a pet beanbag bed that my humans had bought for me from the pet store and it was in XXL, the biggest size they had!! But as you can see, it was still too small for me )
So finally my humans had the good idea of just making my own beanbag bed. They thought it was silly paying so much money paper ($200+) to pet stores for a bed that was still too small for me! So they just went to the fabric shop and bought some nice “faux fur” and “velour” for the outer covers, some stretchy thick cotton fabric for the inner covers, a couple of long zippers and then found a tailor and asked her to stitch the fabric together in the shape of a giant, rectangular cushion – which they then filled up with bean from the hardware store.
I LOVED my beanbag bed and have always refused to sleep on anything else. I am generally a very adaptable doggie but I can be very stubborn when it comes to my bed!! A few times, my humans have tried to change me over to other beds – like once, they brought home some fancy ‘orthopaedic’ foam bed but I just wouldn’t go on it! I slept on the floor next to it instead, which made Hsin-Yi really grumpy since they had spent lots of money paper on it. (They ended up having to donate it to the local doggie shelter and giving me back my beanbag bed.)
But lately, Hsin-Yi has been worrying about me getting up from the beanbag bed. Oh, not that I was having any trouble – I could still spring up from it at a moment’s notice – but see, Hsin-Yi is a big believer in always *preparing* for things in advance. She thinks that if you practise for something before it happens, it’ll help a lot if/when things happen “for real” – so that everyone is less stressy & things go more smoothly.
You know, a bit like a fire-drill – so you practise how to calmly leave the place and get to safety BEFORE there is really a fire.
Hsin-Yi thinks it’s the same for successful dog training. You always set-up a situation and practise it BEFORE it happens – but the mistake most people make is waiting until the situation really happens and then trying to do it. That’s when things get all chaotic & stressy and problems are created.
For example, you should really practise Recall with doggies lots & lots of times when the environment is quiet and there aren’t many distractions around – so you set the doggie up to succeed and they get used to obeying you…not wait until the doggie is in the middle of a busy park with yummies on the ground and other doggies running around – and then start to call them to come. Well, of course, they’ll ignore you! And what’s worse – they’ll learn that they can get away with ignoring you! That’s why so many people have problems with Recall. It’s like trying to swim in the deep end of the pool before you’ve even learnt to hold your breath properly yet!
It’s the same with many other doggie behaviour problems. Planning ahead and practising when things are calm & under control is always best. Like taking us to the vet for “happy visits” so we can get used to the place & socialise with the people before we have to go in for some scary procedure. Or introducing us to a travel crate slowly for several weeks/months beforehand, not just stuffing us in it the day we’re going to travel. A lot of doggie fear problems are caused by people not planning ahead and not giving us doggies enough time to get used to something and practise new skills before rushing us to do it in real-life, stressy situations.
Well, so Hsin-Yi had been thinking that although I was fine getting up off the beanbag bed now, I am only going to get older and my muscles are going to get weaker & weaker (‘coz muscle atrophy is what happens in ageing and you can’t do much about it; you can help to slow it down a bit by exercising daily but you’re still fighting against time) – and so there might come a day when I will have trouble getting up from the beanbag.
*Hsin-Yi says anyone who has sat in a beanbag will know what she means about how hard it is getting off it – it’s a very unstable, slippery, wobbly kind of base and you need to really heave yourself up to get out of there, coz otherwise it’s like sitting on quicksand!
So anyway, she thought it would be awful if the time came when I was struggling AND I would then also have to get used to a new type of bed at the same time! It would be stressy enough for me having trouble getting up, without adding more challenges for me by introducing a new bed too – especially since she knew how stubborn I could be about changing my beds…
…so Hsin-Yi decided that the best thing to do was to slowly get me used to a new, more stable type of bed from now, while I was still fit & strong & agile.
Hmm…not sure about this…
Well, as you can see, I wasn’t that pleased about it. Humph.
Hsin-Yi thought it might be a winner coz it’s the same bed that my friend, Luni the Blue Merle Dane had in her house when I was staying with her & her human, Trish.
I had seemed to like the bed well enough when it was in her house and I went on it quite happily – the first time I’d gone on anything aside from my beanbag!
So when Trish told my humans about that, they were very hopeful.
Hsin-Yi searched for the bed – it’s called a Sienna Daydream bed, from a company called Kazoo (XL size, 130 x 90cm – it’s a bit smaller than my beanbag bed but not much)- and she found an online pet store that would deliver it to our house. So she ordered it!
She had saved my faux fur covers from my beanbag bed (unwashed) and now she put that around the new bed, so that it would smell the same.
But I wasn’t fooled!
Humph. Don’t like it.
Well, Hsin-Yi had to agree with me that it was very – er – flat, compared to my beanbag bed. It didn’t give the same cushioning & padding and I was very low on the floor…
But Trish came to the rescue! She told Hsin-Yi that she actually bought some fluffy “filler” from Spotlight (a craft shop) and then she would bulk up her bed with the extra filler, which would make it more cushiony.
She does this every year when the bed gets flattened down again. The bags are just $10 each.
So my humans went off to Spotlight and hunted down some bags of filler for me.
Although Trish said that she normally only puts 1 bag in, they decided to put a couple of bags in for me – since I was so used to the “pouffiness”of my beanbag. I like my beds big & puffy & off the floor!
So…a couple of bags of filler later and…ta da (again)!
Much better, yeah?
It’s still not the same as my beanbag – nothing can replace my beloved beanbag! – but I guess it’ll do. I don’t love it but I’m learning to like it.
There’s one good thing about my new bed, though…Muesli doesn’t like it much either! So she hasn’t been trying to steal my bed from me like she used to. Hsin-Yi says “every cloud has a silver lining” – hee! hee!
I do still have to share my bed with Muesli sometimes though…but that’s OK – it’s big enough that she can curl up in a corner next to me.
So tell me – are you fussy & stubborn about your beds too? Or will you sleep on anything?
P.S. Thank you so much to everybody who commented in my last post and shared your thoughts about the Big Honey Dog Mysteries book blurb! Your feedback was so helpful and you raised so many good points that we hadn’t thought of, such as things which might turn people off the book and giving too much of the plot away (!!!) – Hsin-Yi is feeling very stupid about that!! Anyway, she has written the final, revised version and updated it in the same post, if you’re interested in seeing it: Book Blurb…what do you think? (& Big Honey Dog Mysteries in PAPER version too!)
* Don’t worry if your comment disappears – it’s probably gone into the Spam folder by mistake but we’ll fish it out!