8 Two-Dog Nights in the north Cascades... with only one dog.

Fortunately, a Welsh corgi counts as 2 dogs on a Two-Dog Night because it fits inside your sleeping bag. Ordinarily, I like to sleep with the dogs for companionship and the peaceful vibes that emanate from a snoozing animal. This time, it was for something more primal: body heat. Dummy here brought a goose down sleeping bag on a 9-day backpacking trip in normal (icky) Cascade weather. What was I THINKING!? I wasn't thinking. Down is useless when wet, and by Night 3, I had a wet bag of wet feathers, often above 6000'. It was not exactly a survival situation, but it was too cold and wet to sleep, and the rain wasn't stopping. In order to continue the trip, we perfected the Two-Dog Night Technique:

Wear every stitch of clothing you have except boots and rain gear (all of it wet or damp, none of it cotton, neck scarf important).
Take the dog's little square foam sleeping pad and shove it up the back of your windbreaker, so your back will have some insulation when you roll to either side.
Lie on your back, with the dog sprawled across your chest. Put the dog's blanket on top of the dog. Zip up the sleeping bag (don't get the dog's whiskers caught in the zipper; don't throw your back out).
Cinch the mummy bag opening down around your respective snouts so you're both breathing outside the bag. This means your respective snouts must be side-by-side. Cozy.
Get your hands under the dog's blanket and bury your cold fingers in its warm pelt.
Then disassemble the entire apparatus and go out and pee. The dog too. Start over.
Relax and succumb to the hypnotic mantra of a sleeping corgi snurzling in your ear. It's better than an electric blanket. Roll to either side as necessary.
Open your eyes; it's dawn already.

WARNING! Do not try this at home, kids! It only works with a totally laid-back dog, like Al. Imagine being trapped inside a mummy bag with a panicked carnivore! [I'm serious.] Works best with a dog who can hold its bladder all night.

Humans have been sleeping with their dogs to keep warm for as long as there have been dogs. You feel a unique bond when you do this for real, for a week.

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Comment by Stephen Bale on April 14, 2011 at 3:04pm

Wore the T shirt, yes they are warm, especially the fluff.

Corgis are good at holding there bladders.

Comment by Lilo Bandit & Koda's mom Shannon on March 7, 2011 at 12:10pm
Such a sweet pic!
Comment by Lucy & Ricky (Wendy/Jack ) on February 18, 2011 at 3:48pm
Even with your eyes closed you take a better photo than me!
Comment by Lucy & Ricky (Wendy/Jack ) on November 30, 2010 at 2:48pm
Imagine being trapped inside a mummy bag with a terrierist rafanator. Fuggettabout sleeping! But oh how sweet is your photo. I love Al. But, I think I'd pass on your adventure and stick to my down comforter on my bed. My corgis sleep with me, but neither snuggle like that. I guess it's not cold enough here. I would love them to cuddle, but just hearing them breathing, or lightly snoring puts me out like a light. Rafa actually is a great sleeper and recently graduated to our bed with Lucy.
Comment by Geri & Sidney on September 20, 2010 at 11:20am
Aw, look how Al is keeping his nose warm in the crook of John's neck. What teamwork!
Comment by Jane Christensen on September 20, 2010 at 10:25am
I want a pillow like that! Mine would love to try...especially Sage but we'll stick with next to the body....not in the face.
Comment by Bev Levy on September 20, 2010 at 7:43am
Corgis have so many uses... I have to say, John, that really doesn't sound like that much fun!
Comment by Geri & Sidney on September 20, 2010 at 3:32am
wow, I bet you were glad to get home to your warm bed! Other than the sleeping issue, how was the trip? How many miles did you and Al hike? I love your stories, John...I'm sorry you were so wet and cold!
Comment by Tauna and Kota on September 20, 2010 at 3:23am
Amazing John. Crazy @ the sleeping bag you took. Good thing you had Al. Where was Gwynnie? I always hated getting up to pee when camping. Let alone when you have to do all that to get warm again. More power to you.

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