I talked with several people this past week who mentioned how much comfort they receive from sharing their beds with their fur kids. One person has two small dogs and one of them secures the perimeter of the house before snuggling in each night, helping her to feel safe. A couple of friends at a party last Saturday mentioned how they can’t go to sleep without their cats purring nearby. I think many of us feel the same way.
I have my own routines with Merlin and Gracie Belle. Merlin demands that I go to sleep when he is ready and then allows me to read a few pages before he steps back & forth in front of my night light, then he goes under the covers and kneads my stomach for a few minutes before falling asleep. After a while he slips out & settles by me on top of the covers. Gracie Belle likes to stay above the covers, but she will sometimes flop against me near my shoulder and sweetly look up at me (as seen in photo) while purring loudly for a long time. Purrs have healing benefits for humans and they are the most soothing sound I know.
I think also that many of us are familiar with being pinned under the covers because our cats or dogs are on top of the blankets, their weight curled up against us offering a lovely comfort. It requires a practiced yoga-like move to slip out of that or even to shift positions in the middle of the night. If I have to get up at 4 am to go to the restroom, Merlin jumps up and leads the way. I see the moon illuminate his plume-like tail (sticking straight up) in the dim lighting. Then I carry him back, half asleep.
There is something very peaceful about waking up and watching our dogs/cats sleep with their bellies exposed, showing us total trust and that they feel safe. Hearing their tiny (or sometimes not so tiny) dreaming sounds. Imagining what they are dreaming about. Do their dreams connect or blend with ours at night?
There may be some sleep disruptions, but it also elevates our connection. Of course it should always be a choice for the animal, they may prefer their own bed and that is fine too. If it is possible for your household, I believe it is a beautiful and comforting (for them and us) practice to sleep as a pack with our animal companions.