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They say that the mouths of dogs are cleaner than the mouths of humans. I don’t care whether that’s true or not, because it’s definitely not true despite what science will tell you. Yeah, my breath my smell like garlic from the pasta I just ate, but my dog’s breath smells like a combination of butt and dog food which is infinitely worse.
That being said, I let my dog lick my face more than I’d like to admit. I once posted an Instagram story of my dog licking my ear and people were absolutely revolted. And you know, I get it — like I said, her mouth smells like butt which is something that I should probably keep off of my face.
But it wasn’t until Thanksgiving that I realized I was doing something that people found to be even more revolting. Grosser than butt-tongue being inside my ear, worse than letting her lick my face after she sniffed poop at the dog park. I let my dog sleep in my bed with me.
I know, I know, seems completely normal to me as well. I’ve never thought anything of it because, well, I like having my companion with me at all times. When she sleeps under the bed, I feel guilt. When she sleeps on the dog bed, I think to myself, “Man, how bad does she want to be up here right now?” It’s an endless cycle when she’s not nuzzled next to me on the comforter.
The shame, though. Oh, the shame. And never did I even see it coming. It’s worse than the ridicule people receive for not washing their hands in the bathroom or wiping the wrong way. It’s pure, unfiltered disgust.
But then I saw something. An article by The Cut, the publication that Gwyneth Paltrow knows nothing about. “Women, Sleep With Your Dogs,” it was titled. Here, read the important parts for yourself.
[A] study, published this month by researchers at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, surveyed 962 women living in the U.S. It found 55 percent slept with a dog, 31 percent slept with a cat, and 57 percent slept with a human. The women with dogs, according to the study, were more likely to have a restful night. Incredible.
“Compared with human bed partners, dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security,” the study says. It is true that whenever my dog hears a noise he looks toward its origin, which makes me feel very secure and protected from the radiator. The study continues, “Conversely, cats who slept in their owner’s bed were reported to be equally as disruptive as human partners, and were associated with weaker feelings of comfort and security than both human and dog bed partners.”
I know the subject field is tiny — less than a thousand people — but it’s telling, isn’t it? I can ride into the sunset with the 55 percent of them that sleep with their dogs. We’re brothers (and sisters) in arms despite the public sentiment against us.
Of course, there are downsides. My particular dog likes to nuzzle into my lower-half and limit my legroom. Sometimes she takes up parts the comforter that I have to yank away from her. And other times she just flips on her back and hits me in the face with her paw.
The upsides, however, just outweigh everything else. The companionship. The comfort. The security. Frankly, it’s part of the reason I wanted a dog in the first place — so I could dole out belly scratches while watching The Great British Baking Show and fall asleep to the white noise that is puppy snores. That’s not a crime.
But to you, I ask the simple question — is it disgusting? Are people who allow their dogs to sleep in their beds filth, or simply inclusive? Guide me, for I feel a combination of comfort and shame that I don’t know how to reconcile. .