Houses fascinate me.
Most people, whether they rent or own, express something about themselves by where they live. The psychologist Carl Jung built and designed a small castle to express his psychological development. And I look at my own house to see what it shows about how I’m feeling or how I live every day.
Over my life with dogs, the pups have taught me other things about my house—some serious, some silly. Here are just a few things I’ve learned about my house from dogs.
Living rooms and dining rooms are wastes of space.
How can I tell I don’t use my living room or dining room very much? Because those are the two rooms in the house where house training failures happen. And if you’ve spent any time around dogs who are mostly house trained, you know that they’ll pick the least used room in the house to do their business.
It has happened so many times that I wonder why I even have a dining room or living room. And why I don’t store the Nature’s Miracle in my dining room sideboard instead of under the kitchen sink.
Outdoors is better than indoors.
At least according to Honey. And me.
Honey will follow me from room to room. Unless I start on the porch. Then she’ll hang out there until I come back.
Who wants to be inside on a lovely day when they can be outside?
Wood floors are the best (unless you have fur growing between your toes).
After years of having low-maintenance dogs, I sometimes forget to groom Honey. And unfortunately, wood floors, although beautiful and easy to clean, are very slippery to an ungroomed golden retriever.
If Honey is slipping and sliding too much when she plays tug with my husband, it’s time to get the scissors out to groom her muppet toes.
Take a moment to enjoy your clean house.
A moment is all you’ll get. Because ten seconds later, you’ll see a puff of dog hair on the steps or a little dark paw print on your newly washed, white bath mat.
The most welcoming houses are not precious.
Sixteen students from my home buyer’s class came over last night to do a walk-through with a home inspector. Most of them asked if they should take off their shoes when they entered. And I could honestly reply, “This is a dog’s house. Nothing is coming in to this house on the bottom of your shoes that hasn’t already come in on the bottom of a paw.”
And doesn’t everyone have more fun when they’re not worried about breaking or dirtying something?
The best place to be alone in the house is where you can still keep track of all the action.
Some of the smaller dogs who have visited my home taught me this lesson. They sometimes seek out space away from lumbering other dogs. But they always make sure they can bark if they catch something important happening.
The best spots are at the top of the stairs and atop the back of the sofa in front of the window.
A house becomes a home when you share it with others.
I’ve had roommates who made me feel like I was a guest in my own house. The experience made me appreciate how special it is to live with someone who loves you even when you’re using your “at-home” manners instead of your “with-company” manners.
And let’s face it, if it’s important for you to let it all hang out at home, a dog forgives more than any human.
A Dog Makes a House a Home
I loved renting.
I remember when weekends were for fun instead of for mowing lawns and fixing the latest thing to break around the house.
But pet-friendly apartments in my town are only for the wealthy. So I own a house for my dog.
And walking in the door to a spitty ball held in the mouth of a grinning golden retriever with a floofy tail makes it a home.
Your Turn: Do you ever look at your house through your dog’s eyes? What do you think your dog would change about your house?