Saturday, December 22, 2018

Gone to the Dogs by Jenn McKinlay

JENN McKINLAY: “Five puppies in the bed, and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over.” So they all rolled over and one fell out.” This is a counting rhyme I used to sing when I was a children’s librarian. Now…it’s my life. Why?

Well, way back when when Hub and I got married, I came with Chubs, a cat. Chubs had more staying power than any of my prior boyfriends, so he was allowed to sleep wherever he wanted. Because loyalty matters. Naturally, Chubs chose the bed, and Hub learned to live with it. 
https://www.facebook.com/OffTheLeashDailyDogCartoons/ 
Then we got a dog, Lucy. She was a great dog, a standard poodle, but not a snuggler. She had boundary issues as princesses do. Lucy patrolled the house at night and once assured we were all safe and sound she went to her own room, the office, where she happily slept on the couch, with her legs in the air and her head on a pillow – no, not kidding. 

Sadly, in the following years, both animals passed away. We got two more cats, Patsy and Loretta, who each chose a hooligan to sleep with, and Hub and I had our double bed all to ourselves. Yes, I said double as in a full size, basically a twin on steroids. We were still newlyweds, so we didn’t mind the close quarters. Then we got another dog, a schnauzer, named Otto. 

Otto was roughly the size of a guinea pig when we he came to us. Tiny, pitiful, my little bundle of eyebrows and mustache, I couldn’t bear to stuff him in a crate to sleep. He slept on my chest for months so that my heartbeat could soothe him. Yeah, he was so soothed, he became the most pathetic mama’s boy known to canine kind. I couldn’t (still can’t) take a step without him. Then we found Annie, our pittie mix, thrown out in an alley. She quickly became Daddy’s girl and worked her way up into the bed by batting her big, brown eyes at the Hub, also known as the marshmallow. Plus, she and Otto are besties so where one goes, the other follows. 

https://www.facebook.com/OffTheLeashDailyDogCartoons/
So now, Hub and I were in a bed built for two with what was essentially another small adult in the bed. Oy vey. Did we kick them out? No. Did we train the dogs to sleep elsewhere? No. We bought a bigger bed, because, of course, we did. Let me just say, king sized is just right. I love this bed so much, I dream about it when I’m traveling and am forced to sleep in lesser beds. 

But then, we found a tiny kitten. King George. At first, he slept on a heating pad in a box (he was that itty bitty), then in a fleecy blanket in his little crate. Once he had some self determination, he moved to the master bathroom sink. Next it was a perch on his cat tree. All perfectly acceptable. But recently, the weather got cold, and I woke up to a pair of feet in my face because Little G had migrated to the bed, too. 

Little G sleeping with the big dogs.

Did I boot him out? Nope. Did I try and roll him over? Nuh uh. Instead, I contorted myself into some weird shape that resembled a fusilli pasta noodle because heaven forbid baby gets deprived of a minute of his twenty hours of cat naps. 

Yes, I know. My life has gone to the dogs..and cat.

So, how about you, Reds and Readers, are you the victim of pets in the bed? Or are you made of sterner stuff?  

68 comments:

  1. So funny!

    Our dogs were always far too big for the bed [they liked climbing the back fence and running around the neighborhood so that I had to chase them down and bring them home before I got to go to bed] and the cats were always far too independent to deign to join us . . . .

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    1. You’re lucky! There are nights the couch looks good to me!

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  2. I don't sleep with any pets in my bed. I'm allergic, so I don't have any pets. I have a twin still (long story), so I'm not sure I'd have room for pets anyway.

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    1. My sil is the same. Allergies are a deal breaker, for sure!

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  3. Hahaha! I can relate, but usually with only one dog. Our dogs have always been encouraged to sleep with us, not just allowed, but encouraged. Before we had kids, 35 years ago, we had a cocker spaniel named Barry, and we tried and tried to get Barry to sleep in the bed. He preferred the cool tile in our master bath. Fast forward. We now have a rescue Brittany Spaniel that we've had for 2 1/2 months. The kids have long been out of the nest. My husband sleeps in one room and I in another, due to husband's sleeping problems. We each want Coco to sleep with us, and she seems to know that and splits her time. As I'm always the last one in bed, if it's my night with Coco, I'll usually find her on my side of the bed and have to do the contorting act to get any space. She does move to the other side after a while. Coco got a bath today and is so extra soft, I wanted her with me, but, alas, hubby cheated and enticed her with a toy.

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    1. You're very funny Kathy, fighting over who GETS the dog!!

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    2. That’s hilarious, Kathy! Maybe you need 2 dogs?

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    3. Jenn, I've been thinking the same thing, maybe two dogs.

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  4. I am amazed at humans who sleep with animals. When I met Hugh, I was horrified to see one of his cats (we still have her 15 years later) sleeping under the bed covers. That changed, stat. All our bedrooms are cat-free zones, in fact, the cats don't even come upstairs. Most of it is my mild allergies to my own cats. Part of it is that they go outside in summer, and do I really want a tick or flea in my bedroom? And part of it is my increasingly light sleep patterns. I get disturbed enough by the other human in the bed, LOL. I doubt I'd feel differently with a dog.

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    1. In central AZ, we don’t have ticks or fleas! FTW!

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  5. I have always allowed my cats or dogs to sleep where they choose. Of course this means no matter the size of your bed, sleeping on the edge is just a given!
    Jenn, I will never again look at fusilli without thinking of you!

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  6. You're right, Jenn--I just got a bigger bed. About a year ago, I moved from a double bed, which had served me throughout my marriage, to a queen, not because I got a bigger guy, but because I got more dogs. I think the ideal animal contingent would be two dogs and one cat. I have four dogs and three cats but, with nobody else in the house to complain, they just about manage to make up for the lack of human company. They ALL sleep on the bed, but not all at one time. I generally start out with two dogs on the bed. Then one gets hot and jumps down. Sometimes a different dog takes her place, sometimes a cat decides my bed is where he or she needs to be. I may wake up with a completely different cast of characters in the bed with me by morning. I enjoy the warmth, and the comfort of having another living, breathing being beside me. I've pretty much had a dog or cat on my bed since I was in middle school. And, yes, the sleeping positions can get . . . creative.

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    1. I'd love to see a little video of the changeovers in the night!

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    2. That is a menagerie! I like that they sleep in rotation! LOL!

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    3. The menagerie is the result of feeding feral cats when I lived in the country and fostering rescue dogs here in town. Some of them just stick. I'm out of both those "hobbies" now and at my limit on the pets. While I don't look forward to losing any, the oldest cat is 12 and the oldest dog is 10, so the numbers could start going down in the next few years.

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  7. Hilarious! We have two standard poodles who are supposed to sleep on their bedroom dog beds. In the summer, they stretch out on the carpet under the ceiling fan. In the winter, the younger one (50 lbs) sneaks up on our bed. A king-sized bed sounds about right.

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  8. I never had to worry about dogs in the bed. They had their own beds and were pretty quickly adjusted to sleeping in them. Sure, they would get up on the couch in the living room which was allowed.

    Of course, with my first dog Jeff he had his own funny story. We were on vacation in Vermont and my dad (who was a cop) asked a couple of his co-workers to check in on the dog while we were gone to let him out and such. It would've worked out great except Jeff decided they were interlopers and trapped two cops in the house.

    There was Bethany who didn't live past being a puppy due to being intentionally murdered by a neighbor. I'm not kidding. The SOB fed the entire litter of puppies tainted meat right before we got to take her home from an entirely separate neighbor.

    There was Barney, a beagle-chihuahua mix. The chihuahua would bite you and the beagle would immediately apologize

    There was J.B. and Hayley, the duo we got at the same time. They were awesome. Hayley was the regal princess type dog while J.B. was the lunchpail everydog.


    And of course, there was Riley. She lived the life of her namesake for sure. Never met a breeze that she wouldn't bark at and had a particular fetish for trying to go through windowscreens when the mailman drove by.


    When my sister got divorced the first time, my mother and I ended up with her two dogs because she couldn't have them in her new apartment and she couldn't leave them with the ex because he likely would've killed them.


    Archie was this big galoot of a golden lab. Coco was this Heinz 57 mutt who always looked like a ragamuffin until her grooming appointment and then she looked like the victim of a college hazing.


    They met me at the door the day the moved in and barked at me like I was invading their territory. I looked at them and immediately said, "Hey I LIVE HERE! You're the guests!" and surprisingly, they shut right up.


    By this point, I wasn't all that thrilled by having dogs around. I was the one that had to clean up after them. The dogs were not allowed in my room and knew it. But for some reason Coco attached herself to me. After Archie died, some morons in my neighborhood were lighting off fireworks and like most dogs, Coco was shivering in fear. I was in my room and she poked her head in the doorway and looked at me with those "puppy dog eyes" as if saying, "Please can I come in, I'm scared and need protection". And in a case of me becoming a marshmallow, I said, "OK, you can come in." And she scampered in the room and laid down next to my chair at the computer and just stayed there until the fireworks were over, thus sealing our bond.


    There are no dogs here now, but I do understand why they become such a part of you that they get to sleep on the bed, even if I never actually allowed that myself.

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    1. Jay, dogs are such a hoot--such a bundle of personality in each one! And I sure hope karma bit that horrible neighbor!

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    2. Love your dog stories Jay, thanks for sharing!

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    3. Flora, he's still alive so karma did not bite back as yet.

      Lucy/Roberta - you are welcome.

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    4. Jay, I love these stories, especially the ones about Barney and Jeff!

      DebRo

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    5. Jay - I love, love, love how you described each of these dogs, capturing their personalities in just a few words! Brilliant.

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    6. Deborah, glad you liked the stories.

      Jenn, they were quite the memorable bunch.

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  9. I am not made of sterner stuff. But The Hubby is.

    Fortunately, I also have kids who are not made of sterner stuff. Our last dog slept with my daughter and when we dogsit for my brother, Brooklyn alternates between kids. I expect that if we ever get another dog it will be much the same.

    Mary/Liz

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    1. Annie slept with H2 for years before Hub caved in - she’s rather large. Nice to have kid backups.

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  10. Currently my nephews have four cats between them. All of them, however, prefer to sleep on my bed. I too have contorted myself into odd shapes in order not to disturb a cat. But, like Edith, I am an extremely light sleeper and it's either cats' company or no sleep. So the bedroom is off-limits now. Every night I am subject to the stink-eye from four cats.

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  11. We have no pets right now, though I'm working on that:). John likes animals but he's not crazy about them like I am. So Tonka slept on a bed right beside me--he would have joined us in an instant though. Yoda the cat slept wherever he wanted. If it was really chilly, he'd stretch out right between us and soak up the BTUs from both sides. The night before he died, he slept right there--I swear he KNEW and was saying his goodbyes.

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  12. My darling cat Lola slept where ever I slept. If I was on my stomach, she would sleep on my back. When I would turn over if she would just sleep on my front. When she wanted me to wake up, she would position herself so her face was right in my face, and she would open her eyes and just stare until I wole up. It was hilarious.
    My cat Leon did projects during the night, including taking every skein of yarn from the knitting basket in the den and depositing it on the floor right beside my bed. Every morning I would say oh I love that, Leon, thank you for the presents. I would put skeins back in the basket. The next morning they’d all be at my bedside again.
    When Leon wanted me to wake up, he would take one of his little paws and bat me, very softly, on the cheek.

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    1. Hank, truth be told, I'm a cat person! Once a cat decides to "own" you, they well and truly stake their claim on you. Lola and Leon, quite the pair.

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    2. Oh, I love the tale of these two kitties, Hank!

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  13. I usually have one dog at a time, but they have always slept with me. My current dog alternates between my bed and my nephew’s bed. He loves the middle of the bed so I usually have to bend like a pretzel to accommodate him.

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  14. I have had one beastie or another for almost my entire life and now, living in a "no pets" complex, I am solo, sort of.

    It started with taking my son's dog when he would travel. Tesla is a rescue and appears to be a cocker.

    Now I take her for regular visits rather my son is traveling or not.

    She would LOVE to sleep in my bed however her age (slightly arthritic) and the height of the bed make it impossible. She has settled for patrolling the perimeter of the bed. She will start the night on the floor on the left side, at some point she will take a position on the floor at the foot and then finally end up on the floor on the right side. I know this because she makes a passive aggressive huffing/sighing noise every time she shifts locations.

    During the day time the couch is acceptable but again, her most likely position is in my office with me as close to my chair as possible.

    Tess will stay with me over the holidays and I'm delighted for the company.

    Did I show you all the pictures of her that I have on my phone? Did I tell you about the adorable thing she did yesterday? Did I show you the new toy I got for her? No, I don't have grandchildren. Why do you ask?

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    1. LOL!!! Lyda, I love your relationship with Tess!

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  15. Our rescue border terrier Boo was the first dog with bed privileges. The first night we had him he came flying onto my side of the bed. Smart dog! My husband tolerated it after much grousing, then aided and abetted. Boo is gone now and we have my father in law's dog Jack. Frank won't sleep with him but he'll let Jack on the bed once he gets up.


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    1. Aw, I love that Boo staled his spot from the get go.

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  16. We have Gigi's ideal pet population, two dogs and a cat. Eliot, like any self-respecting cat, sleeps wherever she chooses, on a bed, on the dryer while its running, in the crawl space under the sunroom, accessible only by jumping from the washer to the dryer to the hot water heater to that tiny hole only she can get through. I'm presuming its a mouse free zone. Although I've never seen here catch anything but sunbeams.

    Toby is 12 1/2, and he could sleep for England. He starts in my bed always, moves to Julie's a couple of hours later, and spends the rest of the day on the couch. He' part cat I'm certain.

    Penny, five, was crate trained as a puppy. So smart, and when bedtime came, I'd say "Penny Lane, go to crate," and she'd tuck herself it. I'm not sure when she migrated to my bed. But being the velcro dog that she is, attached to one leg in perpetuity, she now sleeps with me, period.

    When we were re-decorating and remodeling, our neighbor and contractor looked at the dog crates and said "uh uh," and carried them to the basement. They are still there.

    Growing up, I had dogs, and they weren't rarely to never allowed in the house. We had a heated porch off the kitchen, and they slept out there. They could open the door to the back yard, let themselves out to potty and roam the neighborhood, and that was that. I don't recall anyone having spoiled brat pups who lived inside and slept on furniture. My mother would have had a stroke.

    Edith, we don't have one flea or tick anywhere!

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    1. My gram was a dogs live outside gal, but animals have always been indoor babies - my parents were animal nuts so I come by it genetically!

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    2. You know, Ann, they are making designer crates now that look like Mission style end tables. They are supposed to fit into your decor and hold up lamps while your dog sleeps and you read. Or something like that.

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  17. My 2 Belgian Tervurens sleep on my bed. With me. And yes, I too end up like a twisted noodle as the night progresses. Somehow it works!
    On a side not, yesterday while out for one of our walks, a utility worker wanted to meet and pet them and the first question he asked was “where do they sleep?” I promptly andswered in my bed. He was obviously a dog lover.

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    1. Dog people know other dog people, for sure.

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    2. Yes the do. And it’s always a pleasure to meet them.

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  18. Oh, how funny. One of my cats sleeps by herself. Always. The other one sleeps with me about half the time when the weather is colder. During the summer she prefers to sleep alone. Jenn, your king-size bed sounds luxurious, and just what the pets ordered!

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    1. The cats definitely know what they want when they want it!

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  19. A couple of years ago when I visited my sister’s family, I was the first one up one morning. I was just finishing up in the bathroom when there was a knocking on the bathroom door. I opened the door to find their dog staring up at me with pleading eyes. “Please put me in the backyard!”

    DebRo

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  20. As kids, we had 2 cats. Mom refused to have them in the house at night because they would prowl so they went into the garage. As they aged, our cats would get stuck in the rafters and my brother would have to get them down. My brother could charm any animal, domesticated or otherwise. As they continued to get stuck, they finally were locked into the kitchen.

    I recently spent time with my sister and her family. My bedroom door stays closed at all times, when I visit, because my sister will end up there, when I'm not occupying it, due to her hubby's snores....and her cat, Vicious, goes with her. The cat is appropriately named, she started life as Victoria but soon morphed into her current persona. I don't want to wake up with anything "vicious"in my bed.

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    1. Sounds like Vicious thinks of any place she sleeps as HER bed!

      DebRo

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    2. Victoria to Vicious is a book character in the making!!!!

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  21. Jenn, sounds an awful lot like what goes on in my house: 1 dog, 3 cats and I wouldn't dream of disturbing any one them for my comfort. I envy your king size bed but I don't think I'm ready to do that; they'd probably just spread out more with more room.

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    1. Yes, they do! But Hub and I did stop fighting over the covers!

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  22. Love that song! We sang it to our kids, and now to our grandkids. Our version had bears. Love the ending... "one bear in the bed and the little one said, roll over, I'm lonely."
    My husband and I still sleep in a 'full' sized bed. Though I buy king sized sheets and blankets because he hogs them. I leave you to guess how many pets we have.

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  23. The sheet fight - we did finally stop that with the big bed!

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  24. Ha! Those cartoons look just like our life! Yes, yes, yes! We have a cat named Jack who terrorizes our five small dogs: Margaret (chihuahua--dachshund), Teddy Bear (chihuahua-French bulldog), Twinkle (chihuahua-rat terrier), Callie (poodle mix) and Chico (Pomeranian mix). Sometimes I put some of them in crates because they disturb my sleep, but in the morning when I wake up, Teddy Bear, my husband's favorite, has mysteriously escaped his crate and is snoring between us.

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    1. Teddy Bear sounds like the smartest one!

      DebRo

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    2. He's getting secret help from someone. But who?

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  25. Oh yes! Our dogs have always shared our bed. And yes, sometimes I had to curl up in a ball when they spread out. They usually only hop in bed when the weather gets cold though. In the summer love to sleep on their "chilly" mats.

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  26. Oh yes. Critters taking up sleeping space on the bed. Our big dogs (each weighing over 100 lbs) never wanted to sleep on the bed. The doxy was a different story. Had to build steps for him so he could make it up, as the bed was tall. Now I sleep in a king-size bed, with a 70 pounder, a 50 pounder, then at least one, sometimes 2 cats. I don't move over for them, I make them move. They still like to cuddle a bit, fine on cold nights, but when a hot flash hits they're shoved to the far side. Oh, when Jax was adopted he learned by watching the doxy get on the bed, using his step-stool to jump up. So Jax started getting on the bed by trying to figure out how to get long legs to work with a stool. He finally gave up and just jumped on the bed, much less fun to watch.

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  27. Yes my dog sleeps with me she’s little I have to lift her up on the bed.

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  28. I sleep in my lift chair and my Siamese has to sleep on my handusualky the left one. She will walk around to find my hand then back up on it.When my hand goes to sleep and I move her she gets vocal and comes back as soon as I go back to sleep.

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  29. Jenn, the last cartoon totally cracked me up this morning. I usually get up in the mornings and snuggle on the chaise in my office (right across the hall from the bedroom) to read my email and the blog. This morning when I walked back into the bedroom to get dressed, there was German shepherd #2, curled up on my pillows. Normally, the dogs don't sleep with us, although one or the other will often come upstairs and hop on the bed with me while I'm reading at night. When I wake up in the morning, Dax is usually on the sheepskin rug at the foot of the bed and Jasmine is on her bed in the office, right across the hall. One of our three cats, however, Yasu, is absolutely committed to sleeping on Rick's feet, all night, every night. Fortunately he doesn't mind. The other two migrate around the house, usually preferring the sofa or the guest room bed.

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