Equally Attractive Alternative

A lot of colleges have rules about alcohol being served at mixed student/faculty parties. These range from “hell no” to “whatever.” A friend of mine went to a school with an “equally attractive alternative” rule. There had to be something non-alcoholic that was pleasant to drink–say, some sparkling fruit juice next to the wine.

We’ve been working on getting Silas to settle down in his own space. He’s had the same dog bed for ages, and he’s never really liked it. Instead, he wants to be on the couch or sitting wherever I’m sitting, usually partially on my legs. Neither of these things are a problem, really. We just thought it would help him to understand  what it means to settle down if he could do it in a dedicated dog-settling-down place.

Enter the equally attractive alternative.

One day I picked up the fleece mat from Silas’s crate while I was sweeping (he pulls it out all the time) and tossed it into the dog bed. He loved it. From then on, he would go find that mat, drag it to the big dog bed, and sleep on it. He still preferred the couch, but bed-bed (as we started calling it) was okay.

Bed-bed became even better when we bought a second one of his favorite crate-style beds. I was not going to look at his bedraggled fake fleece crate mat all day. The new little bed fit perfectly inside the bolsters of the original bed. After that, he started sleeping in bed-bed a good bit. Voluntarily, even.

Then I gave him an old throw pillow I found when I was cleaning out the closet. He took it straight to his bed and it hasn’t moved since. Now Silas’s bed-bed is probably the most comfortable place in the house. You can tell, because he spends about eight hours a day exactly like this:


Equally attractive alternative indeed. Have you ever seen a dog that spoiled? I’m going to have to start asking for my snuggles.

8 thoughts on “Equally Attractive Alternative

  1. I think dogs were made to spoil. We can’t spoil our children or they will turn out to be worthless or criminals, but dogs just get sweeter when we pamper them and reward them for good behavior.


    1. Silas has always wanted to sleep with his head up, on a pillow or the couch arm or a human body part. I think it might have started because he has acid reflux. I know with humans having your head elevated can help a lot.


  2. Yes I have seen a dog that spoiled – she lives with me and has a bed in every room of my condo. She still sleeps in my bed for part of the night and chills on the couch with me. I am always working to make her bed(s) more appealing to her but I don’t think I’ve found the right combination as of yet.


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