Before I was matched with Wiley I had a great time shopping for things he would need. I bought bowls, collars, leads, food, treats, lots of toys, food puzzles etc.
One thing I didn’t buy was his long term bed. I had a couple of different types of bedding – mats, cushions and doona styles to see which he preferred. He always went to the soft cushion when he wanted to sleep, but he liked to try and dig it up before settling. He also liked being able to curl up or stretch out depending on how he felt at the time.
I kept his mat out as I wanted to ‘mat train’ him. That means that on command he will go to his mat and stay there until released. This is handy if I want to answer the door without him or so he will stay settled when we get visitors. I also make him eat his chew treats and kong on his mat so it keeps any food mess off the carpet.
After a couple of months his cushion bed started to get worn. The stuffing went flat and the cover got a hole in it. Considering the cover was washed at least once a week and it wasn’t bought for durability I think it lasted reasonably well.
I decided to buy Wiley a lovely new bed. My criteria was something that was durable, could be easily washed and refilled. It also had to be big enough for him to stretch out but soft enough for him to be able to dig a little to get settled.
After looking at a range of different types of beds I ended up buying an extra large cushion bed plus a second cover. That way I can switch over covers when one is in the wash.
The bed arrived the other day and has proven to be a good choice. Wiley has been really stretching out as it is bigger than his old bed. He has a little dig but doesn’t seem to want to dig in it as much as he did the previous bed. I have had a lie on it and it is definitely softer with more filling that the other bed.
During the day I place his bed under my dining table in the living area, that way he can be in the same room as me but has no chance of accidentally being trodden on. At night I move his bed into my bedroom and put it next to my bed. Guide Dogs are not allowed to sleep on their owners bed (or get onto any furniture) and although I am sure Wiley would love to sleep with me he seems quite content on his bed right next to mine.
The old bed has gone to my parents house so Wiley will have a soft bed for whenever we visit.