Gone to the Dogs

If you are family or a friend of our family, you must love dogs. Even if you don’t have a furry companion living under your own roof, chances are that you’re sure to encounter some muddy pawprints and a cold, wet nose no matter what or where the family celebration. In our immediate and extended families, the dog count stands at 11 and cats round out the pet quotient to 14. We are a pet-loving family, and they’re all treated to the finer things in life.

At 16 years old, Winston the Westie is our elder statesman, and following closely behind him at 14 is our rescued Lab Mutt Daisy. Nipping at her heels is Jesse, a beautiful Black Lab.We have big boys Harry (he’s visiting with his pal Milo) and Brooks

& little dogs Bucky, Bartlet and Chessy

And then there’s Finn and Astro… Adorable, mischievous and incredibly sweet.

The newest family addition is Ronan, a handsome southern gentleman recently adopted from the Animal Shelter.

Now as you can see by the photos, our dogs are part of our lives. Most of them have free run of our homes including the comfiest sofas, beds and occasional tabletops. That’s a lot of fur flying around!!! Which is why I am happy to share this helpful posting from HGTV: 9 Tips for a Chic and Pet Friendly Home from the great book Animal House Style.

The pet journalist, Julia Szabo, presents tips on how to live in a house with pets (she has a dozen!) while keeping it clean and pawprint free. An author of several books, a writer for the New York Post’s Pets column and a frequent guest on Martha Stewart Radio’s “Morning Living” Show, she knows her pet stuff! Several of the tips are common sense, including vacuuming daily- the whole house-Yikes! That’s a lot of sucking up-literally- unless you have one of those little iRobots that magically keeps your house dust and dander free. She also suggests ditching the wall to wall carpeting and using washable covers and bed linens, which I do have on every soft surface.

And how about choosing fabrics and furniture that match your pets?! For my niece Lindsey, this seems a tad impractical, since her three dogs are black and white, which would surely limit her decorating and her wardrobe! Speaking of which, I have one additional suggestion:

If you have a pet that sheds, DITCH THE FLEECE. Got that? DO NOT WEAR FLEECE & TOSS THE FLEECE BLANKETS!

Pet fur and dander imbeds itself in this fabric, and it is virtually impossible to get it out unless you pick each hair out individually. Which really lengthens your daily prep time to get out the door. So unless you want to wear that North Face hoodie looking like an old “cat lady”, switch to cotton. In a color that matches your dog. While you vacuum.

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