“I’ve been blessed to have a lot of friends.”

— Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell

I’ve got to get myself some new friends.

I mean, I like my current friends. I’m not going to dump them or anything. They’re friendly. They’re just not friendly, if you know what I mean. They’re friends, but they’re not friend$. The only way they show their affection is by offering the occasional encouraging word and “liking” my Facebook status.

Those gestures were once sufficient, but in today’s modern world, doesn’t friendship entail more than that?

For example, none of my friends have a lake house. Or, if they have a lake house, they’ve kept it to themselves. Literally. They’ve never said, “John, you look like you could use a break. Why don’t you spend a quiet weekend sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of our lake house? The keys are under the mat.”

Speaking of keys, none of my friends have a Ferrari. That makes it pretty much impossible for them to let me drive their Ferrari. I have a friend with a Prius, but to be honest, I don’t think he’d let me drive it. He was never too crazy about me driving his Sentra, but that was back when I didn’t know how to drive stick and he thought I would mess up the clutch.

So, because my friends don’t have Ferraris, I can’t drive one. (Note to possible future Ferrari friends: I can now drive stick.)

None of my friends helps me cover the cost of things. Oh, if we go out to a restaurant they’ll say things like, “You paid last time. Let me pay this time.” And I’ll say, “No.” And they’ll say, “Well, let me get the tip.” And I’ll say, “Okay.”

But have they ever offered to pay the catering bill at either of my daughters’ wedding receptions? No. I mean, my daughters haven’t had wedding receptions yet — or weddings — but as I mentally run through my list of friends, I can’t think of a single one who would even offer to spring for the Jordan almonds.

I suppose if I had a friend with a private jet, he or she might offer to let me ride in it. Yeah, I’m pretty sure they would. It’s not like with the Ferrari, where they might worry that I’d mess up the clutch. Private jets don’t have clutches. And anyway, I’d just be sitting in the back. But none of my friends have private jets. When it comes to private jets, my friends are slackers, choosing instead to buy houses, but not lake houses (see above), and cars, but not Ferraris (see above).

Where have I gone wrong? But more importantly, where have my friends gone wrong? And after all I’ve done for them.

Helping sleepy dogs sleep

After my column last week about dog beds, readers had many tips on the perfect mutt mattress.

One suggested the orthopedic dog beds from the Web site Doctors Foster and Smith, another the cot-style beds of Annapolis-based Kuranda. Monica Deaver has heard good things about Big Shrimpy beds. Aysa, the 12-year-old deaf German shepherd of Vienna’s Sarah and Ken Plumb, reportedly loves her Mammoth dog bed.

Silver Spring’s Donna Rosenheim uses a Molly Mutt bed. It’s sort of a duvet that’s made of a durable fabric that you stuff with old clothes, old bedspreads, old bed pillows, etc. — “as much or as little as your dog prefers,” Donna wrote.

Or you can use a duvet designed for humans, as Arlington’s Missy Snelling does. She recommends getting a double or king size, depending on the dog, “preferably in a darker tone to show less wear/tear. Every 10 days or so, toss it in the washer and dryer. Lasts forever!”

Several readers said a crib mattress and some fitted crib sheets is the way to go. “Add folded soft towels or blankies and possibly a pillow in a regular washable pillow case,” wrote Carrie Cirbee of Nokesville, Va. “Your dog will be thrilled.” Her poodle, Jodie, is.

Perhaps no area dog is as pampered as Skippy, a 12-year-old mixed breed belonging to Gaithersburg’s Betty Petrola. Betty’s small bedroom has a foot rest to help Skippy get on the bed for their morning scratch session, two sleeping pads piled on each other (“One wasn’t good enough,” Betty writes), and two pillows (“He likes his head up”).

The whole arrangement “pretty much fills the room,” Betty wrote.

For previous columns, visit