When I was single I decided to get myself a dog (I got my mom a dog the same day as a birthday present). I named him Duke and he is the love of my life. I took Dukie everywhere with me, he slept with me, he sat right beside my feet when I sat on the couch. He was my everything. He is half Shepard, Half Rottie so he is very protective. I had Duke for a year and then I met Mr.A, duke and him it it off immediately. Mr A had just lost his dog and definitely needed to have one in his life. The entire time we were dating Duke still slept in my bed 🙂 Remember that he is 106 pounds, so he takes up most of the bed! Once we moved into our own apartment we decided to use the little ikea couch that I had as a dog bed. We put it at the bottom of our bed so Duke was still close and had him sleep on that. He loved it, but when we were gone during the day he started to get really bad separation anxiety. The vet recommended that we get another dog, thats all I had to hear! Mr. A, my BIL S and I went to a pet store (I know, i’m sorry but she was a puppy mill dog so I did save her!) and picked out Hailey (A golden retriever) she was teeny tiny and gorgeous but very expensive. We went home without her and both of us were visibly upset. We decided that she would be each others Christmas present that year. We called and put a hold on her and went to get her the next night. The day that we brought her home Duke fell in love with her, since she was crate trained she had to sleep in the crate at night so we then kept duke out there to keep her company. They were (and still are) best friends. The dogs were my everything and then we had kids. When I first had L I cried for DAYS because I told the dogs I would be right back and ended up going into labor, so I was gone for days 😦 I caught myself early on and realized that I had to make sure and put the dogs needs higher on the totem pole. They get pet all day, they get treats, fed, watered, special bones but they aren’t the only things in the house anymore. So you have kids and the dogs get pushed back (again not on purpose) but then something wonderful happens…. you’re kids realize the dogs are there and start playing with them! They throw balls, feed them extra food, lie beside them and sleep. My Duke now sleeps in L’s room most of the week, Hailey prefers the living room…she guards the front door every night. My son J and Duke are best friends. J is right beside duke every moment of the day. He spends hours lying with him on Duke’s bed, playing his kindle with him, the ipad, his cars. Anything just to be close to Duke. Duke growls all the time and then licks the crap out of J’s face. Its adorable and amazing. My heart bursts everytime I see it. so its great, now the dogs have best friends that they can play with all day 🙂 I now don’t have to feel guilty anymore.