My husband and I first got together in the summer of 2009.

I will never forget the first words my son, who was 12 at the time, said to him when they met. My son  pretty much threw me under the bus and said, “Lucky you met my mom after allergy season.”

I couldn’t believe it. But I thought about it later and realized he was spot on. If I played my cards right, and this man really ended up digging me, I had until the following April to show him the best of me because April, May and especially June can be a harrowing experience for those around me.  

During allergy season, in a bid for relief, I make sounds like a horse when I scratch the back of my throat. I have rubbed the cartilage loose in my nose. I have dug out the backs of my eyeballs to the sockets, making the COVID-19 nose swab test look appealing.

Then there’s what I look like during the month of June. It’s not a pretty picture. Imagine something similar to what Muhammad Ali looked like after 15 rounds in the fight of the century with Joe Frazier.  

When couples first get together, they want to put their best feet forward. Slowly there’s those little things that start to present themselves, like leaving clothes on the floor, having a messy car or falling asleep in front of the TV. When push comes to shove, everyone has some idiosyncrasies that most of us have to accept of each other. But there is one little detail that needs to be acknowledged at the very start of a relationship — maybe even before you meet. It’s really vital to find out who this person is sleeping with.

Wait — it’s not what you think.

Let me set the scene. You  have been enjoying getting to know a new partner. It’s going so well and you start thinking this is the one. You have met the family and it’s getting pretty serious. The time has come for your first official sleepover and you are quite excited.

Then the moment comes and you have been beckoned into the bedroom. Lo and behold, who should you find spread out on the bed but the friendly (and hairy) golden retriever you have been getting to know for a while. At that moment, you learn this dog has been sleeping in that bed — and will continue to do so for  another seven years. This situation has happened to one of my clients,  but I changed the breed of dog to protect the parties involved.

Don’t get me wrong — I understand there are many people and couples who sleep with their dogs or cats. Many couples got their animals together, so it made sense to bring them into their beds. I have never been a fan of sharing my bed with anyone. It was hard enough getting used to sharing it with a husband, so there would be no way I would have a dog next to me. I do not think it is terribly wrong, but I would not get any sleep.  

Think of it this way: If you found out your partner brought her kids into bed with her, would that be OK? Some people do the family bed as well. This is why I firmly believe that if you have any creatures sharing your bed, that information needs to be on the table.

So, when I meet you and ask if you have a big, hairy bed partner, you will know what I mean. I don’t have a bed partner in June. That would be the perfect time to sneak in my dachshund for a cuddle.

If you are looking for a single person who happily sleeps alone, let me know by sending an email to holmes@wheretheheartis.ca.

Sweet dreams.