Lately my husband and I have been discussing Luke and our bed.  We have one of those very high big pillow top beds that even I have to climb up onto.  We are all aging; all going in the same direction but sadly our dogs get there far too quickly.  Luke is really showing signs of aging; especially in his back legs.  He can get around okay and loves his walks but morning time just kills him.  Once he's been down for a while, getting up can be a beast.  Over a year ago we put a big body pillow at the end of the bed and under a sheet to keep him away from the edge when he moves around in the night.

He has taken to pivoting on his butt but on occasion he still gets up to turn around.  He's shakey and we worry about the toppling off.  We also worry about him jumping off.  Jumping up happens very rarely now and I do worry about the possibility of him not making it but it is the jumping off that is the big issue.  Luke's old shoulders cannot take an impact like that so..........................I fixed things.  After much talk about Luke not be allowed on the bed anymore and the emotional impact it was going to have on us all, we have a better solution.  I took out our box springs.

I remember when we first got our bed; the delivery guys brought the wrong box springs and the bed was very literally a mountain of a bed.  I sat and laughed and laughed until I got a sore stomach.  It was half way to the ceiling; but even after getting the correct box springs it was still very high.  This was fine for a young and spry Luke but not the Luke of today.  I took them out yesterday, two single box springs under our king sized mattress.  It's not drastic, we aren't on the floor; but it is enough that it makes a huge difference.  He hopped up on it yesterday like nothing and if he gets down on his own he won't kill himself.   If at some point he sneaks up and gets down on his own he won't be injured.

We actually tried having him sleep along with Elsa on the dog bed in our room the other night.  It is a huge set up; one giant bed with two other beds on top.  Of course there are blankets on top; it looks like somewhere I'd like to sleep myself.  But he was distraught; he is an old man, very set in his ways.  As upset as Luke was; it was much harder on Luke's Dad.  After a couple of moments of beaming, big sad eyes at Dad; he caved, he couldn't handle the transition, not yet.

We both realize that the time will come when he simply cannot be on the bed any longer.  It is all a matter of safety and although the heart does play a part; it should not be the driving factor.  Having removed the box spring, has given us more time; extended our special moments.  Luke loves his special time on the bed as do we; so now we have more time.

When the time comes that it is too dangerous for Luke to be on the bed we will simply do it.  It won't be easy but we will ban him from sleeping on our bed.  He will have a special bed set up right next to Dad's side so that they will still be very close.  Having a lower bed at that point will also enable the reassuring touch throughout the night that Luke is very accustom to now.  It is all a process called life.


  1. I've been in this same situation, and the initial volley was to do exactly as you have done. As our pup got older, he'd sleep harder, and was more prone to rolling or falling off, especially when someone else wanted to move, he was always so accommodating, but it put him at risk. I repurposed one of the box springs, upholstered it with bumpers along three side, and laid it lengthwise across the bottom of the bed, essentially extending the length of the bed by another half width. The dogs REALLY appreciated the extra space, still being with us, but in a place where especially grampa felt comfortable and safe with the bumpers. I just added bun feet to the bottom of the box springs to bring it up to the same height as the top of the mattress. We don't have the luxury of that kind of space in this bedroom, or we'd do it regardless of not having an elderly dog to accommodate. Good luck - growing old isn't for the weak of heart - neither is making accommodations for those growing old, but it's sure worth it!

  2. I also have been in this position. My female always slept with me, It started with her not being able to get down, and seemed scared. She would wait until I got her down, then she couldn't get up, so then I was putting her up and down. When it got to the point that she was really having difficulty walking that was the hardest to see. I started to sleep on the floor with her. Our babies are just that, obviously the people on this blog would do the same. They give us so much love, how fortunate are we?

  3. I have also been in this situation. I also removed the box springs as a first step. Another year passed and of course my old girl was yet another year older. After much thought the mattress ended up on the floor. We all got along fine! The non-dog friends that saw the bed were confused. The dog-people thought it was a great solution. The end solution was to keep the door to the bedroom closed of non-dog people came over!

  4. You're the most loving, best doggie parents ever!


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