Early yesterday morning- we’re talking pre-first-diet-Dr.-Pepper-o’clock – I heard this sound echoing through my house:
Now, if you are a dog person with multiple dogs and a dog door, you immediately know what this sound is. And you also know that the rapid succession three-peat means that there was a serious game of chase exploding into the house from the back yard.
I glanced downstairs from the loft just in time to see CC (14 month old deaf Dalmatian), Nadia (aka Marylou…if you remember that story), and Kainan (the somewhat famous wolfdog) hit our living room couch at full canine speed.
The couch went skidding a full six feet to the right. No kidding.
Impressive. And, apparently, great fun was had by all. (We seriously cannot have nice things around here.)
Later in the day I headed to a client’s house for a weekly training appointment. We were working to convince her Bichon Frise that unfamiliar humans are not necessarily boogie men and/or chew toys. Fortunately, for the sake of my credibility and my ankles, the little dude truly loves me.
As I stepped inside the home and received an enthusiastic greeting from my little student, I took a moment to look around. This was one nice home. Opulent was the adjective that came immediately to mind.
The furnishings were ornate with rich upholstery and gleaming wood. There were gorgeous, colorful area rugs showcased against a backdrop of polished dark wood floors. There was artwork adorning every wall in sight and I’m pretty sure nary a one was simply a framed poster. Everything was pristine. Everything was just so (and by “just so” I mean perfect).
Houses like this make me nervous. First, I really don’t know how to behave around nice (and by “nice” I mean ex-peeeeen-siiiiiive) things. Second, I am fairly sure that I am to dog hair what Charlie Brown’s friend Pigpen is to dust. I believe a thick cloud of various types of dog hair constantly orbits around me like my own personal galaxy. I should likely have been required to don a hazmat suit for the protection of this home and its contents.
As I absorbed the grandeur surrounding me, I couldn’t help but compare it to my own spartan-by-comparison home and the the scene from my dogs’ morning game of tag. Oh the damage Kainan and crew could do in this house. Those thick area rugs would be perfect for a four-legged Risky Business-esque slide down the gleaming hall floor and straight into the giant vase (pronounced vahze in this case) filled with…are those silk peacock feathers?
Oh, I thought to myself, I so do not belong in this house.
We had passed through the formal foyer, the formal living room, the formal dining room, and the formal parlor (see a trend here?) when we noticed that the furry little focus of my visit was suddenly nowhere to be found. As we stepped into the family room, there we found Wallace (yes, Wallace…it fits), his tail wagging in great delight as he stood proudly on what was surely an antique wood with marble inlay side table. I was certain his owner would panic and snatch the little guy, whose backside was wriggling precariously closes to what was surely an antique lamp, right off that table.
Instead, she just laughed and said, “Wallace, what ARE you doing?”
Then she turned to me, smiled, and said, “If you’re going to have a dog in your life, sometimes you just gotta go with the flow, right?”
Amen and A+++.
Suddenly, this designer showcase home didn’t seem quite so intimidating. I walked over, plopped down into the plush velvet of the adjacent settee – I don’t think you can call it a couch or a sofa in this house – as my cloud of dog hair settled all around me. What the heck? Maybe the hair that would linger long after I departed would provide little Wallace enough of a tempting olfactory distraction to keep any future visitors safe from assault.
Holy cow, these people are going to think I am an AMAZING dog trainer!
Of course this is not to say that you have to let your dogs overrun your home and mangle all of your furniture. (Kainan, take note…you are NOT supposed to mangle the furniture). But maybe the point is that it’s ok to love your dog a bit more than you love your decor. Maybe it’s not the end of the world if your cute little dog stands on your antique table…or your giant wolfdog uses your couch as a skateboard.
And you know, looking at it now that I’m back home, the couch actually looks better six feet to the right. Well played dogs. Well played.