You be the judge: should my girlfriend’s dog stop sleeping in our bed? | Life and style

The prosecution: Ronnie

Luna is always on our mattress at night, and I think it’s big. She’s got a dog bed downstairs

I’ve just bought a house and my girlfriend Tilda stays over most nights with her little dog, Luna. I like Luna a lot. She’s a Jack Russell terrier and very friendly. She is allowed anywhere in the house – except, if I had it my way, the bed. Tilda disagrees.

I haven’t had a chance to buy a bed frame since moving in, and Luna gets regularly on our mattress at night. We keep a little cushion dog bed in the corner of the bedroom and a crate for her downstairs, but Tilda is reluctant to leave her down there.

Tilda says: “Luna’s no hassle, you won’t even notice she’s there.” But during the night the dog will come and sit on your chest and lick your face, before falling asleep on you, which is too much. Of course you notice when a dog is breathing in your face. I find it harder to sleep because I’m conscious of her there. There’s also the hygiene issue – even though Luna is short-haired and doesn’t shed much, she’s still a dog. It’s gross to think of the germs on her claws rubbing off on us and our sheets.

When Tilda and I first got together two years ago, I was living with my parents and Tilda with her mum. When Tilda came to spend time with me she didn’t bring Luna over as much, as my parents had their house rules. We couldn’t have the dog upstairs, so Luna stayed in her crate. But now I’ve bought a house and Tilda and Luna are staying over, all the rules seem to have gone out the window.

Now Luna’s gotten into the habit of sleeping with us, it’s hard to get her out of it. I have tried putting my foot down recently, putting her in the crate before bed myself, but she just whines until Tilda asks if we can go to get her and ends up in our bed. It’s a vicious cycle, and has affected my sleep.

Tilda needs to be stricter with Luna. It’s her dog, so she needs to put a plan in place so we can all get a good night’s sleep. Tilda is hoping to move in full-time soon but unless we get this issue sorted, I can’t see it working out with the three of us under one roof.

A dog’s place is in its own bed, not in the bed of its owner.

The defence: Tilda

If Ronnie doesn’t like Luna on the bed, he should buy a bed frame to stop her jumping up

I got Luna in lockdown when I was single and living alone in France. She was my companion, my rock during hard times.

I moved back to the UK and met Ronnie two years ago. Luna has always slept in my bed or in my room, so it’s hard to train her out of it. Ronnie does love Luna. She’s a gorgeous little pooch; sociable, kind and loving and she even responds to his commands.

It’s just the sleeping that is the issue. I actually like having her snuggled up beside us in bed but Ronnie thinks it’s gross. However, I always make sure Luna is super clean and bathe her regularly.

She certainly doesn’t have fleas, so I’m not sure why he’s concerned about that. Luna also doesn’t really shed her hair, and I brush her teeth.

I’d love to have her inside the duvet with us more often, but Ronnie doesn’t really allow it.

Occasionally she will stay in her bed in the corner of our bedroom but I don’t really like putting her in the crate downstairs as she whines.

Ronnie says if I stick to it she will get used to it, but her whimpering pulls at my heartstrings, so I usually cave in and let her back up into our room after about an hour. Once she’s in our room, she’s as good as gold.

The main reason Luna hops up on the “bed” is because we are really still sleeping on a mattress the floor. Ronnie has yet to get a bed frame – he says he hasn’t gotten around to it but it’s already been five months.

It remove temptation if Ronnie invested in a bed frame that makes it more difficult for Luna to jump up on to.

Failing that, I could start training her to sleep away from us more, but I just find it sad as I love having her in the bed with us.

I was happy to obey Ronnie’s parents’ rules before, but now I’m spending more time at his house, I think he could relax a bit.

Luna and I will soon be living there too, so he might have to get used to having her on our furniture.

The jury of Guardian readers

Should Tilda’s dog stop sleeping on the bed?

I too put off buying a bed frame in my early 20s, but since Ronnie’s already at the moving-in-and-getting-a-dog stage of life, he needs to get one ASAP. Then he’ll have the moral authority to keep Luna off the bed (however adorable she is). Until then, enjoy those face licks.
Joel, 43

I’m sure Luna is a cute pooch but it’s not hygienic to have an animal in your bed. The bed frame is a red herring – Tilda needs to respect Ronnie’s wishes and train Luna to sleep elsewhere.
Veronica, 42

It’s unreasonable for Tilda to expect Ronnie to accept having Luna in their bed. However, it’s almost impossible to train Luna while the mattress is on the floor. Ronnie needs to buy a bed frame, then Tilda needs to train Luna to sleep in the dog bed.
Sarah, 59

Tilda is guilty. Personally, I’m a fan of sleeping with a pup but in a relationship that decision has to be unanimous. Tilda has to push through and train Luna. I understand the heartbreak when the dog cries at night but sleep is important, and you shouldn’t mess with someone else’s.
Verity, 23

Tilda doesn’t seem to have any regard for Ronnie’s feelings. Attempting to blame him by saying he should buy a bed frame is plain silly. And you can clean Luna’s teeth all you like, but she’s still going to lick her own bum!
Jane, 51

You be the judge

So now you can be the judge. In our online poll below, tell us: should Jilly stop walking off during arguments?

We’ll share the results on next week’s you be the judge.

The poll will close on Thursday 7 July 9am BST

Last week’s result

We asked if Donald should listen to his girlfriend Daisy and close the kitchen cupboards after himself.

3% of you said no – Donald is innocent
97% of you said yes – Donald is guilty

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