How I live with dogs

16

There are many rewards that come from living with two dogs—twice the fun and companionship, for instance—but there are many challenges too: it’s twice the responsibility, a pain to walk them if they go at different paces (as mine do) and a serious expense. There’s also the dreaded Dog Apartment Smell, and challenge of finding doggie accoutrements that aren’t too cheesy. I do my best. For instance, they dine from these cute ceramic bowls, which I’m a big fan of because they’re super-sturdy. But I’m also intrigued by this Yeti bowl, because it’s also sturdy, and indestructible too, which the ceramic bowls obviously aren’t.

There is a super-cute pet supply store not too far from where I live called Love Thy Beast, and the boys like it there so much that when we’re walking up Second Avenue, they automatically turn at Fifth Street so we can go in. That’s where I got this fleece-lined puffer; I’m also quite interested in this snow suit for when the weather is seriously winter-stormy.

 

The bane of my winter existence is the salt that gets sprinkled on the sidewalk when it snows, which helps melt said snow, but also gets in the dogs’ paws and hurts them. Why everyone doesn’t use this pet-safe artificial stuff is beyond me, but until they do, I’ll outfit Sammy and Mister in booties; I especially like these, because they look like mini-eensy Wellies, and stay on better than most.

When I’m not in the mood to deal with booties, or when there isn’t too much salt on the sidewalks, I’ll use a thick coat (very important that it’s thick) of Musher’s Secret—you’ve really got to work to get it into the crevices of their paws, where salt settles.

Sammy is part poodle and therefore doesn’t shed at all, but Mister more than makes up for that by shedding copiously and constantly, and when you wear as many black clothes as I do, that can be a problem. So I use this fur remover brush, which works pretty well on the sofa too.

And, of course, I go through a lot of these. I’ve tried a lot of lint rollers, and so far am convinced that these are the stickiest.

Mister tears the stuffing out of every toy I introduce to the household, but these suede toys I pick up at Love Thy Beast hold up better than most. Plus, they’re really cute.

I got the boys a really cool Pendelton bed, but again, Mister destroyed it. So next, I got this purportedly indestructible one from Orvis, and so far it’s still in one piece.

As far as the aforementioned and dreaded Dog Apartment Smell goes, I do my best by keeping things clean, and burning lots of this Fornasetti incense, which has an appealingly woodsy scent with notes of thyme and lavender.

Poor Sammy is diabetic, which requires twice-daily insulin injections, and he’s got some other health problems as well that require medication, and all of the syringes and bottles of medicine make for a less-than-attractive spectacle on my kitchen counter. So I put all that stuff on a John Derian tray like this one and it not only keeps them organized, but helps pretty things up just a bit  too.

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16 Thoughts on How I live with dogs
    HickfromStyx
    27 Jan 2020
    3:04pm

    Lucky boys!

    My challenge is finding bedding items for human beds that destructo-doggo won’t finish off. Such delicate tastes in other ways…will not eat from dog bowls, only human dishware. Really.

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      Eloise
      28 Jan 2020
      8:42am

      Same re: bedding!

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    rachel in berkeley
    27 Jan 2020
    1:35pm

    Chiming in to ditto the Orvis indestructible bed recommendation. Sid the pup loves it and can’t eat it.

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    c.w.
    27 Jan 2020
    8:12am

    I was thinking seriously about dog bowls just a few days ago. They are objects most of us don’t think about in terms of style or design, yet, if you have a dog you are looking at them constantly so why not have bowls that are hardworking and good looking. In terms of not having a doggie smelling residence…I think I’ve mentioned this product before, but I’ll mention it again. I use a diffuser with Thieve’s Oil made by a semi-cultish-feeling company called Young Living. The Thieve’s Oil recipe is from the Middle Ages created to prevent The Plague. It does not. But it does produce a lovely scent which seems to get rid of unlovely scents. And because you only need a couple of drops in a small dispenser a tiny bottle of the oil lasts seemingly forever.

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      Mkw
      27 Jan 2020
      11:00am

      Beware. Some essential oils are toxic to dogs, including tea tree which I think is in Thieves. My understanding is lavender tolerable for canines.

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        Amy J
        27 Jan 2020
        1:08pm

        I came on here to share this but also share a company that has pet friendly essential oil plug ins specifically made for pet smells. It’s called scentfills. I just ordered the two pet specific scents and they are lovely!!!!
        And they work!

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        c.w.
        27 Jan 2020
        11:48am

        Thank you for the heads up , Mkw, my paranoia kicked in so I checked…it’s cloves, cinnamon, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus (which is not dog friendly) so no tea tree. However, I keep the diffuser up on a counter and the bottle of oil in a drawer so we should be ok.

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        Kim France
        27 Jan 2020
        11:06am

        When Sammy and Mister were pups and very hyper, I’d put a drop of lavender oil on their foreheads—where they couldn’t lick it off—and it would chill them right out. Never had any problem.

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          c.w.
          27 Jan 2020
          11:49am

          When I fly with Betty I put lavender oil on her dog blanket and that seems to help.

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      Sherilyn Dougherty
      27 Jan 2020
      5:02pm

      thieves oil is our go to as well.

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    Helen
    28 Jan 2020
    10:06am

    I use and recommend the enhanced pet bowl for my flat faced bulldog. It’s great for all flat face breeds. It slows down their food intake, which leads to less gas from both ends. Less food mess on her face and chin and the floor mat underneath the bowel. You can also get a stand for the bowl if your dog needs it.

    https://enhancedpetproducts.com/

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    Kimberly
    27 Jan 2020
    9:22am

    The small Dyson hand held is great for constant removal of dog hair in corners of the room, but the dog hair struggle is REAL. It’s really my only complaint about dog ownership, everything else I can handle with joy 🙂

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    Suzanne
    27 Jan 2020
    9:45am

    I have to put in a plug for TJ Maxx…they have a great pet aisle with well-priced beds, toys, and all kinds of doggie accessories!

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    Ann
    27 Jan 2020
    9:47am

    I use large Fiestaware bowls as my dog’s food and water dishes. They’re not expensive, and there’s lots of colors to choose from. I bought people bowls, although I see on the Fiesta website they also have some specifically marketed for dogs that are pretty cute as well.

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    Amy J
    27 Jan 2020
    6:01pm

    My most most favorite dog sweaters are from Gold Paw Series (check out their website). I have two very cold, little chihuahuas and they are soft, easy to put on and wash, and cute! I never put my dogs in anything else since buying these. They make a regular thickness and a double layer for really cold days. I think they also sell turtleneck versions and sun shirts as well but I haven’t bought those. They are the best!

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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