Pets make a house a home even more than design

This Friday we say goodbye to our family dog, Domino.

KIM MECKLER

This Friday we say goodbye to our family dog, Domino. It is a sad day to see a dog who has been a huge part of my life and my daughter’s life for 16 years have to be put to sleep but we can’t watch him suffer anymore. We are planning a full on Domino day including pancakes (his favourite breakfast) a visit to a local body of water and family time around the fire complete with shelled peanuts which he loves to snack on. The vet is visiting the house and will see that he is peacefully put down while surrounded by his family. It’s a very good thing I am writing about this before the event as I know I will be grieving for days after he is gone.

How we love our pets! How many of our carpets, shoes (hardwood, tubes of toothpaste, soap, stolen sandwiches, packs of gum) have been chewed or just plain destroyed by our pets? How many of us have hidden parts of our furniture which are furry from our cats sharpening their claws and raise your hand if you have plucked a kitten or two off of your draperies or clothes hanging in your closet. You can have an entire house full of hardwood or tile and the pets will go straight for the carpeted service to gag up whatever and they give you that pathetic look if you try to move them outside.

The manufacturers of the world know how attached we are to our pets and use them relentlessly in advertising to pull at our heartstrings. The design world is just as relentless promising us scratch resistant hardwood (showing a beautiful golden lab resting on your floors) and stain resistant carpet (cue the beautiful golden lab).

We are lulled into a sense of security imagining a pristine house where the children play quietly and the lab lies sunning himself on the porch. What is reality is usually far from our fantasies and we are running here and there to clean this mess and trap that floating dust bunny or clean the nose prints off of the window. Still we wouldn’t trade those snuggle times for anything and we go out of our way to purchase pet-friendly items for our life. I have recently purchased a vehicle with leather interior and from now on I will have nothing else while I am a pet owner. It is so easy to keep clean and there is no dog hair woven into the fabric of my vehicle seats.

It is a given that if you have pets you will have an imperfect house. It is better to allow your mind this eventuality rather than fight against it. If you know your pets history with having accidents in the house, try to put an LVT or vinyl instead of hardwood or laminate in the areas where they live or get them used to being secluded in one spot during your time away.

So a fond farewell will be bid to an old family friend, despite his messes and 16 years of breaking in my home he will be missed so terribly much. Pets make our house a home more than any money we can ever spend on decor or design.

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.