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Pets challenge my marriage?

By Dr. Andrew Jones

From: Dr Andrew Jones
Author: Veterinary Secrets Revealed
Website: http://www.theonlinevet.com

Re: Pets challenge my marriage?

//////////////////////////////////////////////

Good morning all, and welcome to Wednesday.

My wife, Catherine and I, are to recently celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

Things are going pretty well, we agree, we agree to disagree (i.e. compromise), and we have had our share of ups and downs – although mostly ups.

She grew up in Nova Scotia with dogs, cats, a horse and even a pet goat.

Animals though weren’t allowed in her house.

Her parents have a sparkling clean house…

I can say this as we are currently visiting them, and their house is as clean as ever… no dog hair.

I grew up on a farm… Dogs, cats, horses, calves, lambs, baby ducks, hamsters, rabbits… you name it, it made it into our house.

Even though we were a ‘farm’, all of our pets slept in somebody’s bed. My dad has a soft spot for animals, and they were never just ‘farm’ animals.

BUT we also had lots of fur… NOT really a clean house.

SO I think you can see where I am going here 🙂

My whole family recently moved to a NEW house…

Very beautiful by the way… It’s in the woods, and our neighbor has chickens so I woke up to the sound of a crowing rooster.

Back to the house thing..

My wife isn’t fond of animal hair… She wants our pets to have certain spots where they go in the house.

I am of the let them roam free opinion.

—————————————
But Who cleans?
—————————————

We both do, although she does slightly more than me.

So we are currently ..in discussions……… ……… ……..

I get the dog hair and dirt thing, but Lewis really does like the couch. He wants to be where we are.

She seems to think that he can spend most of his time in the big new boot room.

———————
What to do?
———————

I you have any ideas I would love to hear them.

Feel free to post your comments – click the link below!

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

P.S. Who would have thought that animals can be a ‘point of contention’ in a marriage, but they can.
For those of you who are single, make sure you match with an animal compatible person… PLUS those out there that don’t get the dog and cat thing really aren’t worth being with anyway.. 🙂

It’s Your Pet. Heal Them At Home!

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

http://www.theonlinevet.com

http://www.veterinarysecretsrevealed.com

http://www.veterinarysecretsrevealed.com/manual

http://www.veterinarysecretsrevealed.com/dvd

http://www.theveterinarycode.com

http://www.thepetfoodrecallreport.com

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Pet health | 105 Comments »

105 Responses to “Pets challenge my marriage?”


  1. susanne Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Let your dog sit on the couch. Let your wife stay in the sparkling clean boot room.

  2. Amy Todisco Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Interesting dilemma and probably quite common, though I would imagine it’s more likely with one spouse being animal lover and the other not.

    Perhaps if you agree to clean up the pet hair and dirt as your responsibility, that might help?

    Also, what about a sheet or towel or something to cover the couch for Lewis? That’s what we do with our dog, Diamond, who has his special chair.

    Hope that helps.

    Amy

  3. marie-chloe Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    in my opinion, if you keep animals, they should be allowed to roam wherever humans do, otherwise, there is no point in having them. we wouldnt want to be restricted to certain rooms, would we. think its natural, that pets want to be as close to their owners as possible, just as we should feel about them!

  4. Dr. Rainbow Casey Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Love me, love my dog! She married a vet, for Gods sake. I realize there are different styles, everybody has a right to theirs. But I won’t compromise on mine, which is the pets have the run of the house. Love, to me, always trumps things, The house is only a house, and you can’t take it with you. Love, I think, transcends all time and space, and what are pets, but love in form. (even when they are naughty!)

  5. Mary Emmons Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 11:58 am

    I can totally relate to the dog dilemma. My husband and I agree on the dogs being allowed to roam the house freely, and our 93 pound American Bulldog even has his spot on the “arm of the couch” that he has to perch on. But when it comes to sleeping arrangements, my husband does not feel that the dogs need to sleep on any household members bed, especially ours! Both of our dogs feel the need to sleep with me, Mom. They have to be near me, next to me, and definitely feel the need to sleep with me. We have a king size bed for this reason, but does not seem big enough for all four of us. (2 dogs, and us) My husband has even slept on the couch because of it, as have I. I have given in, because it would be so sad for me to tell friends and family that we don’t sleep together anymore because I would rather sleep with my dogs, but they don’t snore!! As you mentioned, compromise, compromise, compromise. My big boy sleeps next to the bed now, and he seems ok with it, but as soon as Dad gets up early in the morning, he sneaks in bed with me. As for the seperate boot room, that would be hard for the animals to understand, after they have had free roam of their other home. They will think that they are being punished. Good luck!

  6. Vanessa Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I have an old couch so I don’t worry that much. Otherwise, slip covers and those sticky rolly brushes go a long way towards fixing the problem. I’m sure you’ve also heard of the Furminator which I use on my Peke and it does seem to cut down on shedding quite a bit-it’s more pricey than a regular brush so I do want to put in a plug for it’s effectiveness. I also wipe his paws with baby wipes after we come back from our walks.

    I agree with you that non-animal lovers aren’t worth it. How can you trust a person who doesn’t like dogs?

  7. Helga Gendell Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    The pets are obviously used to being in the house and going where they wish. It would be cruel to now restrict them because your wife wants the new house clean. I can certainly understand it, but a clean home with everyone emotionally upset is not the best home. Perhaps you could put a blanket on the couch and clean up after the pets more as a compromise. Good luck!

  8. elizabeth harrington Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Love me, love my cat(s)! 2 responses to your dilemna….I had a beloved Persian..
    Sammy aka Prince Charming….for 15 1/2 years…until my 2 legged
    Prince Charming showed up 5 years ago, the major criteria..and more often than not, the romance break up factor was how well or NOT my beloved kitty was treated….! Sammy was an excellent judge of character I must say…and my husband agrees that he was
    often pushed to the limits of tolerance by Sammy’s antics( he WAS very protective of me)…now that Sammy has passed on (cancer last year) we have 2 little Birman boys who delight us. Now onto to the “fur flying” dilemma…yes we have the same situation especially with 2 kitties now…so we decide in fairness to all of us….we have hired a lady who looks after all of us by vacuuming all the hair up..worth the price..hope this helps!
    Elizabeth

  9. Michelle Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Tough decision. I have 2 couches one for me and other for the dogs. Of course they want to sit next to me (or on me actually). I also have some couch covers that are on most of the time for dog hair and dirt and I take them off when company comes. I do spend a lot of time sweeping and vacuuming so as long as you help as much as possible then it should work out. Perhaps some nice sturdy distressed leather couches and chairs. My sister has cats inside and her leather couches wipe down real nice and her house always looks perfect to. It is the type of furniture you chose I think that helps. I would use the separate room only now and then in cases of muddy icky dog problem 🙂

  10. Sharon Clayton Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    If you don’t want cherished and breakable mementos broken by little children, you learn to adapt by putting them up or taking them away from where the children are. You don’t banish the children to only one room of the house. Our pets are our children and part of the family. I had no problem hiding away my breakables when my children were little and I don’t feel like I suffered one bit. Our pug sheds like crazy. Now that she is almost 15 1/2 years old, she pretty much stays in a few spots because she has to be with me at all times. I have put a nice color-coordinated throw over the loveseat where she sleeps next to me while I read or watch TV. When I’m on the computer, I put a nice, soft fleece cover over the chair next to me, and of course, she sleeps with us. At first my husband wasn’t too fond of that, but who could deny anything to those loving, trusting eyes. I’ve chosen a comforter that coordinates with fawn fur and have learned how to turn over 6″ of space on the bed.

  11. Wendy Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I have to say, I agree as to spending life with a non-animal lover. However, even the worst of them can be rehabilitated. When we first started dating, mine told me that he liked dogs but not cats. He would never be a cat person. Now, after 12.5 years, he calls to a couple of cats to see who will go to bed with him. (His bedtime is a little earlier than mine.) He can’t relax until he massages Sylvester’s shoulders. We do keep the furniture covered with a sheet or blanket. It helps to keep the pet hair to a minimum. Good grooming of the pets also helps a lot. I could never ban my pets to a room away from where I am. They would never understand and I will never own a piece of furniture that is more important than my furry friends.

  12. Teresa Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    My house is fairly new and clean, white carpets. My dogs have the run of the house and sleep with us if they want to. One is a 94 lb black lab, looks like the one on your web. The other is 77 lb. They also have their own beds in our room so they sleep with us for awhile and then sleep in their beds. I do control when they go out. I don’t have a doggie door, so I can wipe their feet when they come in if it’s been raining. I just vacuum alot. I think kids mess more than dogs, and you would not confine your kids to one room.

  13. Kathy Thompson Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    If she is not willing to compromise, God made other women. Love her enough to let her go — don’t make yourselves miserable if she doesn’t adapt to loving animals.

  14. Penny Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Hi there, I too was one of those women who was fed up with dog hair, water dripped all over the floor…and did not allow our dog on the couch. I swept and vaccumed up dog hair for years….complaining all the time about it. We had a beautiful German Shepherd named Calli, she was our chosen child and she was very much a part of our family. She was with us for almost 10 years, she left us last August, losing her has been one of the most difficult things I have ever had to go through. I miss her so much.

    We lost her almost a year ago now and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to have her back…I only wish now I had her hair to sweep up and I really wish I would have given her her own couch…she was so deserving of it. Our four legged family members love us unconditionally…it doesn’t matter what our mood is…or how we look…they just love us! We have recently adopted a female…not sure what exactly she is…a shepherd cross with what we think could be Rhodesian Ridgeback, her name is bailey and she’s about 4 years old, she’s a rescue pup. She is so sweet and I never complain about her hair and we’ve also given her her own chair in the living room. She claimed the sofa in our travel trailer as hers too…and so be it. I learned my lesson the painful way. They are only with us for a short time…certainly we can endure some dirt and dog hair along the way. It’s a fair trade for the love, protection, happiness and companionship that they give us. I used to be fanatical about my house…I was always cleaning. Everything had to be spotless…nothing out of place. I remember hearing this statement from someone…”nobody will remember how clean your house was, but they will remember the quality time spent with them”. That’s when I backed off..my house is still very clean but not to the point where we can’t enjoy it. I believe that statement holds true for our pets as well…taking them for a walk or for a car ride is much more important than cleaning your house at that moment. My grandchildren come over and mess up my house…my four legged grandpuppies come over and mess it up…I sometimes have dog hair on my floor…it’s no big deal…I cherish our time together and I just clean it up later!! If people are coming over to see how clean my house is…then I don’t really want those people to come over. Bailey is part of our family and this is her house too. Remember it’s not forever…although I wish it could be!

  15. betty Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Our animal friends have no one else that they would rather be with than their master. Their love and longing for us cannot be restricted to certain rooms of the house. Wherever you are is where they should be. I do agree, however, that if there are certain rooms that you don’t want your pet in without your supervision, then just close the door to that room.

  16. Shannon Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I have a ideal. It works fine for here, I don’t know how large your living room is,but you can get something that Lewis would like to lay on(old chair or couch) and put a cover over it and that would be his bed,he would be close to you and still have his own place to lay. You can take it off and wash it,good as new. Spray some smell goodie stuff and call it good. Dog happy women happy man happy lol Cleo maybe something smaller if she like being close to you all.

  17. Sandra janoski Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Well, that can be a hard one, one doesn’t mind hair, the other does. I cleaned houses professionally awhile ago, & some of the hardest fur to get off furniture was dog hair. So, I suggest putting a blanket over the couch to protect it from getting covered with hair. the short dog hairs are even harder to remove, they’re like little needles stuck in the furniture. Or, get alittle counch just for him, he might enjoy that too, or somewhere you can sit with him if that’s what he enjoys. It seems to me that the dog was already used to being on the furniture and so on, so why change it now just because its a new house? So, back to the blanket or maybe a plastic couch cover, (those are no fun to sit on). So, the cover would do the best, but don’t forget, that means washing it too once or twice a week. Well, good luck.

  18. Dorothy Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    I really don’t know what to say, you can not have
    pets and expect them not to get anything full of
    hair even if they are outside.
    I have 3 chihuahuas and a cat,in the house and
    it is hard trying to keep them off of things and
    having to pick up after them. We love them as though they were children. Help her with the
    cleaning and maybe that will help. but keeping them in another room after they have been use to
    haveing free access to all the other house, I think you need to sit down with your wife and
    tell her, she knew you were a vet and loved
    animals and she needs to compromise about the
    dogs. As long as you feed them and keep the
    areas clean. There shouldn’t be any problems.
    What do you think? God Bless.

  19. Barb Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Let the pets have the run of the house! Being persistent little things–giving those plaintive looks that they do–they will wind up that way eventually anyway. So give in now and you’ll save yourselves (and them) all that stress of trying to explain to them why they are being “banished.”

  20. Janice Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Give your wife some time…once the “newness” of the house wears off, she’ll feel different about it….(you promising to clean the house more often should help…lol)…I believe she will feel sad if the dog is in a room by himself while you all are in the rest of the house….I know it would break my heart…I have 2 little dogs and they go wherever they like and my house is fairly new…I don’t have a problem with hair..but they do make little footprints on my hardwood floor after coming in from the back yard so it just means more cleaning…small price to pay for the love and compansionship that I have with them….we can’t imagine life without our girls….good luck!

  21. betsy rambo Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    DON’T do the leather furniture thing!! I did and it was a HORRIBLE mistake. It holds the smell from any accidents or even drool when they are licking themselves or their feet. When it gets wet, even when it dries, animal hide smells atrocious! We dumped it fast!!!!

  22. betsy rambo Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    PS – For years I searched for the right living room tables, but since I don’t believe in declawing, I waited it out. I had already had glass & wrought iron, but they were a pain in the butt, because with all the animals, you actually have to clean the undersides too! So, one day I stumbled across very plain, but gorgeous, (and inexpensive) solid thick slab marble done by a granite yard! They have square bases with a marble slab on top with edges done in marble too, and they have a baked on polyester coating to prevent stains. They were LESS than wood tables, so I bought 4 of them for the living room and have never had a scratch!

    Betsy Rambo,

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Betsy Rambo
    Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 12:35 PM
    To: ‘Dr Andrew Jones’
    Subject: RE: Pets challenge my marriage?

    As the owner of 11-12 cats, 4 dogs, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, guinea pigs, a squirrel, tons of birds that were rescued over the years, ferrets, etc, I definitely envy the clean home thing. But then what kind of home is it really if the dogs and cats can share your furniture and sleep in your bed? They ARE family! People KNOW who I am and what I am about, so there is NO question of a compatible partner if that ever happens (by the way, it never has, so maybe that tells you something!). My Vet also had many animals and a farm. Recently he moved off the farm and his wife laid down the law about no more pets, or maybe just 1. He is forlorn and not a happy camper. How can someone marry a vet and NOT know what they are in for or expect he or she to change when they have such a deep intense love of animals? I personally could not marry someone who wanted the animals kept in certain parts of the house! The animals are clearly not part of the family to that person. The difference goes soul deep. If you help with the housework almost as much as she (does she also work outside the home full time?), then maybe hiring a housekeeper that LOVES animals for a day or 2 a week would help out. Most of my friends have multiple animals so we all understand each other. Wearing dark colors to my house does not work!!!! Dark clothes do not make it out of my house on me either. We go through washers and dryers more than the average household, and the drains need maintenance too! But isn’t that why I bought a house? so no one could tell me how many animals I could have?? If I had a farm, look out! The joy I get from my animals is so worth it! I will tell you, I did just about everything I could to make it more manageable and still have my animals. There is NO carpet anywhere in my house – all hardwood and tile! There are NO hanging drapes, only valances (I don’t like drapes anyway or my light blocked). There is a spare room for litter boxes, a rug scrubber for the tile floors, with water suck up done by a shop vac). Spare old furniture keeps the cats food and water bowls up off the floor of that spare room, and the litter boxes are up on old tables so the dogs don’t help themselves to anything! It also gives the cats exercise to jump on several levels to get their food, etc. Open any closet door in my large house, and you will find at least one cat hiding. (they are sliding doors). They get into the drawers in the bathroom vanities because they have learned how to open them! Many times you will find them in the bathtubs too.

    There is a 6′ wood fenced in yard and at the top is a patented cat-in fence system purchased online. If done right, it really works. The cats (and dogs) have full run of my yard, and they have never been able to get out. Nothing gets in either. There is a pond with koi and frogs, and the cats have cat doors so they can come in and out as they please!

    I have kept feral cats in my attached shed with heated pads while waiting to neuter and release or tame them and find them homes.

    Had to buy a king-sized bed for me and the 3 largest dogs (85 lbs ea) and usually there is at least one cat attached to my head at night. Hair is just a way of life, and oh how I wish I could have one of those magazine homes, but the trade off would be too much! Those homes are not really lived in!

    You have to be true to the Vet in you, that is why you spent all that time and money in school! Sorry, Catherine.

  23. betsy rambo Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Another PS – When I buy furniture – I have learned to look for loose cushions on both the back and seats – I have the zippers replaced with good steel zippers. I can take those covers off and wash on cold water and line dry, put back on and looks like new!!!! Also, I buy a few extra yards of the material the furniture is made of when I purchase it, and I use them for throw covers until company comes. They can be whipped off, and thrown in the dryer with a wet fabric softener sheet to freshen and de-hair for when you put them back on after company goes! Also, a sharpie steamer type thing with Febreeze put in instead of water will turn the Febreeze to steam and you can heavily spray the furniture to make it smell good! I am sure I have a load of other tricks. (Baking Soda – a full big box per load in the washer and soaked overnight takes any cat accidents out TOTALLY!)

    Betsy Rambo,

  24. betsy rambo Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    oh yeah, and there is nothing in the world more precious than a child curled up with an animal or two on the bed or furniture!

  25. Bonnie Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Compromise….Pick a room in your house that is just for your wife. Make it a room she enjoys and the dogs stay out of that room. And let the dogs run free in the rest of the house. That way when she needs to escape from the dog hair she has somewhere to enjoy.

  26. constance Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Wonderful that you have a new home, but much like a new car, life is good until the “first ding”. A new house is nice, but certianly not comfortable to be in if one is obscessing about the state of sterilisation. A welcome happy home includes children and pets. I would guess that the move has been fairly traumatic for your pets, why exasperate this by suddenly changing the rules for them in midstream, I am sure that if given the choice they would much prefer being in the old place as opposed to the new enviornment locked into a segregated unit of space. Would we do this to our dear children, for fear of them creating a mess?…I would think not!!! If the issue is as simple as dog hair, why would you not vacume your dog twice a week as well as after every bath. This does work wonderfully, and does not take long to do. The dog may shy away from the noise a little at first but with treats and attention they soon get used to it. Seems to me that once our society became “obscessed” with material things verses the real tangables of love, we took a huge step back. We will not be remembered for what we have, we will however be remembered for our treatment of all things, people and pets for sure.

  27. Heidi Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Can I just say….animals don’t end a marriage…people do. (much like guns…)
    I have been married for over 20 yrs and have always had a Pekinese in my life. It’s a good thing that my hubby is a dog lover too. Although he prefers bigger dogs but I got (or I should say…)my dogs always got people to love them with their cute faces and personality. Especially the last Pekinese….”SO CUTE!” Show dog with a persoanlity like (I know I’m cute and gonna use it to my advantage)anyways….the best way to keep a marriage going without having to argue about dog hair is SIMPLE……just get hard wood floors throughout and leather furniture with fabric for over top of furniture (washable too)to stop any scratching your pet may want to do to the leather. This way only dusting/mopping and occasional vacumming is necessary once and a while.
    Good luck and have fun instead of pondering your long lists of what and who needs to do this or that. Just enjoy life (it’s short enough than to worry about what needs to be done)

    Heidi

  28. Pat Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Let the animals be a family member. They are only here for a few years if we’re lucky. And you marriage has potenial of many years. So, why not make the few with your best 4 legged family member years of memories of good times, not being locked in a boot room, or in a dog house, or even outside on a chain. Shame! I agree with Dr, Casey, you are a vet…take you…take your 4 legged friends! I wish I COULD remove my little “Baby’s” hair from my clothes again!

  29. Joan Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Let your wife read the wonderful comments you’ve received!
    Then cover the furniture, buy a new vacuum and consider shaving the animals. As the fur grows back she’ll have time to get used to it as you keep up your end by vacuuming daily. If you have to, hire someone to vacuum. There won’t be any fur for her to complain about. During this time, take a close look at the animals’ behavior… is fur really the problem or is there something else?

    No one ever said being in love is easy. Marriage takes work and compromise. You both may need to change and change is hard! Be patient with her and ask that she be patient with you.

  30. Rena Murray Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    As a dog behaviorist, this is how I would handle it.

    Since Lewis is well behaved he should be free to roam the house but not allowed on the furniture. The high places in the home belong to the Alpha’s of the pack and should never be shared with lower ranking members.

    Thank you Dr. Andrew

    Rena Murray

  31. Mary Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I understand that you want to keep a new house clean & sparkling….& new looking. But it’s unrealistic. The house was bought to be lived in & that means dirt & mess. So Doc I think you should be responsible for the vacuuming. I think your wife should pick a room in the house that is “her” room & the pets have to stay out of it. Otherwise they should have free roaming rights. A crib sheet fits perfectly on most love seats (larger sofas need two). Whip off & wash. I’d go to visit the in-laws so they wouldn’t have to put up with the “dirt”.

  32. Shauna Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    We have a cat and a dog so I can understand the hair problems. I decided when I got my first cat that my house was as much theirs as I was mine…………Therefore I don’t have a problem with either of them being on the furniture. Our dog (Mac) a 7 month old Basset Hound actually sleeps between us in bed, under the covers with her head on the pilloe like a littlr person.
    We wouldn’t have it any other way!! We figure you wither have pets or nice furniture.

  33. Jim Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Remind your wife that animals are living breathing creatures of God. Houses are material things. Let the animals go where they want. Maybe your wife should stay in the boot room, and let the amimals have the run of the house. How would she like that? Not very much and neither do the animals.

  34. Diane L. Ferry Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    We have 4 dogs and 5 cats and they are allowed anywhere (after all, they are family). I just clean more than normal. Let Lewis have the couch.

    Diane

  35. Amanda Derrick Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Fortunately my husband and I are both huge animal people (me – more of a fanatic). We allow our cat to go anywhere in the house he wants to go. He is such a part of our being that I cannot imagine telling him no for any reason. Therefore he is even allowed on the dining table when we are eating. He sits on a place mat and watches our every move. Some people feel differently, and I totally respect that. But, we just have no problem with our cat going as he pleases.

  36. Cindie Andrade Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Good A.M. Dr. Andrew,

    I am sorry that your animals being in the home are a point of contention right now. When I married my husband, he too thought that animals had their place, and it wasn’t roaming the house. However, after on a couple years of marriage, he felt as I do, animals are a part of our life, and they too should enjoy the comforts of our home! I am sorry that your wife does not recognize that. What is a bit of fur here and there? There are many ways to alleviate it. Our dogs lay on the couch, but they have little blankets, washed daily, and it keeps their shedding on the furniture to a minimum. Lewis is a part of your family and of your life, and being pushed to another area of the home away from the family unit would only make him feel left out. Stand firm Dr. Andrew, and hopefully Mrs. Jones will see that a home lived in, is a happier home!

    Cindie

  37. Jim Schwartz Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Pet Hair Difficulty & Relationships

    Preventative Measures:

    1) First, establish in a relationship that what the significant other can be ‘best in breed’ your dog will always be ‘best in show’

    If that hasn’t stopped the relationship,

    2) A ‘pre-puputial’ agreement (c) and or a ‘post-puptutial’ agreement (c) which will certainly flush out the issues

    That said and the above not done

    1) Get a dyson animal vaccuum cleaner or pet hair attachment for the eureka smart vac

    2) Indicate that it must be hereditary and point to your receding hairline – being coyly offended by the loss of hair and good looks (make this about your desirability rather than the dog’s hair)

    3) remind that having two or more animals reduces the potential for allergies (auto immune) to kids or yourself – so it’s a small price to pay like the fram oil filter commercial (relative to a little more vaccuuming) ‘you can pay me now or pay me later’

    4) Agree to only get non shedding dogs in the future (standard poodles etc.)

  38. Brandon J. Van Every Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Practical suggestion: hire a maid. Surely you make enough money as a vet to afford that?

    I suggest acquiescing to some initial demands, but not all. For instance, keep the dogs off the furniture and out of one or two “special” rooms, but insist that they be given most of the freedom they’re used to and not be banished to some specific room. Plan to eventually wear her down.

    I went through this with my Mom when I moved back in with her. She had a strong, compulsive need to control where my dog was, because she wasn’t used to it, and she had to assert her authority about the “imposition” I was bringing into the house. Bear in mind that issues of authority are usually much broader than just pets. It can be symptomatic of other issues in a relationship; in my case, that I was burdening her by moving back in with her. So if there’s any other area in your life where she’s not getting her say or feels imposed upon, you can give up power in that area so she doesn’t feel like she has to be so assertive about the pets.

    There were fits and family meltdowns about the dog walking into her garden also. I was doing my best to train my dog not to do it, but mistakes happen and it takes time for the training to sink in. Anyways, my dog started off only in the basement, Mom was afraid he was going to do something bad with the cats, etc. blah blah blah a whole lot of nonsense. A year later, he has the full run of the house and she totally loves him.

    Now I’ve even got her letting the *neighbor’s* dog in the house, because she’s really sweet and I’ve told her point blank, she’s got an irrational need to control things. I guess she somewhat agrees with me, whether she always admits it, because now it seems to be fine for the neighbor’s dog to be in the house as long as I’m supervising her.

  39. K Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    dr. adrew, as the primary dog lover in my family, with everyone else having kids, what i do is keep an old thick quilt on the couch. my new adopted beagle REALLY loves the couch. this way when company comes i just fold it up and there’s a clean place for company to sit. my chair is open to the dogs coverless, its in a corner of the room surrounded by my projects. if you want the dogs in a good comfort over the couch is one way. also, be the one to clean up any hair or diert trails left by your dog. however, i hope your wife can get over her clean thing or you may never have kids. when my cousins come over with their three-two year olds, two-four year olds, and smaller and older kids. phew! the mess the dogs might make can never compare to wild or curious small children. good luck!

  40. Cheryl Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Well, good doctor, looks like you have 2 choices
    1) Teach Lewis to settle in a special spot in the living room, and of course promise your wife that you’ll be in charge of ALL the vacuuming (do you have any clients whose owners clean houses for a living – you could get LOTS of brownie points by hiring some housekeeping!) OR
    2) Buy a small TV for you and Lewis to enjoy in the boot room (you could put in on a mini-fridge)

    I entered a marriage with 5 Siberian Huskies – I knew my husband-to-be had to love me for a package deal like that!

  41. Vernon Leister Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    We currently have 7 dogs(family) all rescue..It is truly the finest feeling to have our family in the house with us..I have a blind girl sleeping with me..she is unbelievable..we have beds for each one…Have a pekengese with sebacius cysts all over her..she is our soulmate…..we could not do with out any of them….great articles ..keep op the good work..Thanks Vern

  42. Fran Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Dr Andrews,

    Your PS said it all. Wonder if your wife saw it..

    She married a loving, totally dedicated, animal nut, with all the perks AND the problems of that. Hold your ground.

    We love you.

  43. Ann Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    That’s funny – A hepa vacuum is the only way to go with pet hair
    We have a Filter Queen & have never had a problem…Takes out 98% of any floating particles – Pink Solution, Oxyclean, Baking soda & vinegar give easy clean up…
    a pet blanky on the sofa will cue him into one spot … we put our puppy into a laundry basket sometimes with his mat & toys … or leave it tipped over like a fort – he loves it ! Then I can keep an eye on him… great for after baths as well just plop him in & blow dry !

  44. Ann Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    oh & club soda can even be used on fine Persian carpets to remove stains, odours etc – just pour & dab with paper towels…

  45. Cinnamon Landman Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Well, Dr. J., you’ve really opened a can of worms this time! Does Catherine know that you’ve offered this topic to discussion for your many readers and fans? If anything would challenge your marriage, I would think this would be a bigger issue than fur on the sofa.

    I agree that it’s probably the newness that makes her want to keep everything sparkling clean, and she just needs a break-in period. If you’ve been married 10 years, she’s probably accepted the most important of your values, and hopefully vice-versa. Do you happen to be familiar with the website, Dogs Deserve Better? If not, you might want to check it out.

    And if Catherine wants to feel really good about her own house, she’s invited to visit me in Austin. I rescue animals, and currently have 40 cats and 2 pit bulls. Only about 10 of the cats are adoptable; the rest are either old, have health or behavioral issues, or came from one of my feral colonies that was unsafe, and I didn’t want to release them back there.

    I won’t declaw, or allow adopters to do so. The trim on every doorway is scratched through to the hollow space inside. What the cats couldn’t thoroughly destroy, the dogs take over. So my back door, where they go outside, has been clawed through almost to the outside. These hyper pits can be lounging on chairs, totally relaxed, but when they decide to go out, they just can’t wait, and it’s suddenly so urgent, they try to scratch their way through before I can open the door!

    Being an ethical vegan, I would never buy leather sofas, but I would guess that some of my furrkids would manage to destroy leather anyway. You should see the furniture in my living room–actually, every room in the house. I pick up wads of stuffing from the sofa, chairs, my bed: there’s no cover that provides much challenge to my beasts.

    Lest anyone think I like living this way–I don’t. I wasn’t raised this way, and before I began rescue, I was a normal person who enjoyed entertaining, having dinner parties, or just sitting quietly listening to music and reading, in a home that gave me the serenity I so miss these days.

    If I could, I’d buy a house with some kind of mother-in-law setup, and I’d have that section of the house as a sanctuary, though I’d live with the animals most of the time. My kitchen table is covered with 4 bed pillows (my cats prefer the contour pillows, which I’ve gotten from chiropractors every time I was hit by a car and had to deal with whiplash and migraines). I eat at my desk.

    By the way, my front bedroom used to be my home office, sanctuary, library, kitchen… But last summer the cats invaded, depositing hairballs on my papers and knocking sorted stacks to the ground. They came from nowhere and jumped on my keyboard, vanquishing whatever (always long) email I had been writing. Lately they’ve started working on my bookshelves. I had to throw out many of my favorite books of poetry, because once they got them on the ground, they became fair game for *accidents.* Oh yes, I have 22 litter boxes throughout the house; I scoop constantly and dump and wash them every 2-3 days.

    Well, I moved my computer and files and desk to my garage, which is now my *sanctuary,* though it’s hot in summer and cold in winter. Oh, except that it’s not cat-free either. I have 3 Siamese that I caught at one of my colonies when they were about 6 weeks old–one was a runt that fit in my hand, and didn’t even run from me. He was all ribs and bone, and probably wouldn’t have lived much longer. Now he’s a really big boy, like his 2 brothers, but he’s the only tame one, and since they’re so bonded, I can’t adopt them. I have to keep them in my garage/office until I can afford the combo tests so I can put them in the house.

    And when it rains, or there are fireworks, my 2 dogs want to come in the garage (I guess it’s like a cave for them). But they want to lie under my desk, so there’s no room for my feet.

    Much as I’d love to have a man in my life, I’m waiting for my vegetarian Prince Charming to come along. Unfortunately, I spend so much time on animal care, I never go anywhere, so I’m not likely to meet anyone.

    I haven’t even found the time to bake, and my vegan baking business is supposed to be supporting me (disability income is a laugh). By the way, I haven’t forgotten that I promised to send you some samples, and as soon as I start baking, I’ll send you a box of delicious baked goods.

    After reading the posts from Betsy Rambo, I wish she were a man–I’d marry her! But no leather.

    I may write more later–or I may not. Right now I have to give fluids to some sick cats. I have 5 cats that developed stomatitis when I entrusted a (now former) friend to keep them in her spare room because I needed some space for other rescue business. But she let some sick cats in the room. She also *somehow* let one of my cats get out. Caesar was born in my house in 1994, to a very pregnant, precious Aby who was one of 40 cats and kittens that I took from a hoarding/cruelty situation. Caesar had never, ever been outside (once I get a cat tested and vaccinated–those #%&+ rabies shots are the law, unfortunately), they never go outside again. My *friend* lives outside of town, in an area that has coyotes, and I’m still grieving over Caesar.

    Although the general consensus is that stomatitis is an auto-immune disease, I joined a yahoo group, and some of the files discuss a possible relationship between this illness and either bartonella or calici. All my cats had URI when I got them back. Beauty had gone from 9 lb. to 6 in just a few months, and this woman didn’t even notice that she looked very thin, and her collar was just hanging like a pendant.

    I gave all 5 cats a shot of doxycyclene last week, but it won’t last long. I want to try some lactoferrin and interferon, and other things that are discussed in the stomatitis group, but don’t have the money right now. Just buying a/d and baby food is wiping me out.

    Guess I got off track there…. Sorry, I just have to vent about this every so often, because I made a bad choice, and my cats will suffer for the rest of their lives–as will I.

    In conclusion, though, I want to say that loving animals is definitely a mixed bag. I feel that God put me here to help them, but He’s giving me too much credit for strength (that old adage, He never gives you more than you can handle).

    Well, if you show this post to Catherine, I’ll bet she’ll be grateful that her only concern is fur on the sofa. So give her a kiss and grab hold of a lint brush!

    Sincerely,

    Cinnamon

  46. Brennan Kingsland Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Penny (#14) caused me to get teary-eyed. We have lots and lots of dogs and cats and I look on dog and cat fur as fiber for my diet.

    Now that we have lost some of our precious old timers, I’d give anything to be able to hold and cuddle them again and to heck with the mess. They are only with us such a short time. SIGH!

    But I think Bonnie (#25) has the best solution.

    If you had one public room for visitors that is out-of bounds to the animals, then your wife can have guests over and have everything as spotless as she desires.

    At least she’s not condemning them to a chain, or a pen, in the backyard like our neat-as-a-pin Southern ladies do here. Their houses are immaculate, but I won’t even visit. I can’t keep my mouth shut about how badly they are treating the animals in their care.

    We love our animals so much that we couldn’t even be firm about no furbabies in the living room – and, believe me, we tried. Our furkids are our babies and we are one big happy pack! I just feel sad for the people who don’t understand that, and, of course, I weep for any poor animals condemned to their callousness.

    I do hope you and your wife can resolve this amicably. Perhaps you could be a little more vigorous in clean-up. And perhaps a gentle reminder that your customers helped to provide the new house because they respect and trust your loving treatment of Lewis and how much you miss Hoochie.

    Has this been a bone of contention for the entire 10 years? or just since the new house?

    Good Luck!

  47. Norine Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Six months after my 13 year old terrier mix passed away we bought a new house (that was 2 years ago). We purchased a new puppy, mind you the furniture wasn’t new but hubby decided that this new puppy would not sleep on our bed. My other dog didn’t sleep on the bed with us very often he prefered his dog bed. Hubby had no problem with new puppy getting up on any of the other furniture just not the bed. Of course I didn’t listen, the first night home puppy slept in front of mommy.

    Two years later my 2 year old daily shedding Dalmatian not only sleeps on the bed she sleeps under the covers at my feet or in front of me with her head on the pillow. I use a ZoomGroom on her regularly, really great for short haired dogs. I vaccuum every day, oh the throw rug in the livingroom has a black back ground. I vaccuum my hardwood floors too works much better than a broom. If you come into my house and don’t want hair on your clothes then leave. Besides eveyone who owns a pet should know that outfits are not complete without dog hair!!

    I could not handle keeping my dog seperated from the family especially Dal’s they love to be with their humans more than anything. My husband has learned that if he wants to live with me then the dog sleeps where she wants,if he doesn’t like it there’s always the hide-a-bed in the basement.lol

  48. ann Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Oh I almost forgot to mention ! My husband just bought a steam cleaner – called Monster – high pressure steam will disinfect, deodarize & clean anything – has a window & floor attachment as well –
    do NOT use the heavy duty chemicals it comes with – you only need the steam & a spray of safe cleanser like the pink solution –
    It save 90% of your time – it is that fast – the windows & all the grooves in it are sparkling now ! Good for carpets, hardwood floors , even steaming clothes, furniture, tiles, even walls, for a little over a hundred bucks you will be her hero ! & the bonus is that she will enjoy using it so much it will keep her out of trouble ! & you too since I am sure you will help…

  49. Sandra Newitt Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I completely agree with everyone who said that the animals should have complete run of the house. As Dr. Casey (#4) said “She married a Vet for Gods sake”. I’m very surprised you only have one dog and one cat! I have nine cats and yes the hair can be annoying, however, because I allowed all these guys in to their ‘forever home’ I just have to deal. I completely disagree with everyone who suggested putting a cover on the furniture – I would absolutely hate that. You just have to have animal hair, etc. in mind when you purchase furniture. There are lots of fabrics that the hair doesn’t stick to and/or is fairly easy to get rid of.

    My ultimate solution is that I have hired someone to clean my house once a week. That has helped immensely as it is not nearly so overwhelming a job to keep things in check.

    Come on Doc, if you can afford the pretty new house, you can afford to take the tension out of the house (marriage) by springing for some outside cleaning assistance.

    Good luck!

  50. PATRICIA Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    The Golden Rule
    ***The Man With The Gold Makes The Rules ***

    Here is a Little Note For Ur Wife…

    U can have a bed,
    but that does not mean u get sleep.

    U can have books,
    but that does not mean u have brains.

    U can have food,
    but that does not mean u have appetite.

    U can have finery,
    but that does not mean u have beauty.

    U can have medicine,
    but that does not mean u have good health.

    U can have luxuries,
    but that does not mean u have culture.

    U can have amusements,
    but that does not mean u have real happiness.

    U can have a house,
    but that does not mean u have a home.

    This is the biggie….
    A house is like a mausoleum ..
    keeping all in museum status…
    Perfect …

    But it will not be a HOME…
    where love, tradition & meaning is felt and remembered…

    A Home is where the families heart is…

    Clean is Nice…but it is not a memory making moment !

    Maybe u should have invested in a museum for your wife and kept ur home for the family to live in 🙂

    Good Luck to U and Urs!

    Patricia

  51. susan Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I can totally understand your plight Dr.Jones.We have the same problem in my family. The thing that might work is for you to get a soft blanket and put it on the couch for Lewis. I watch TV on the floor with Jake because my husband will not let him on the furniture, so to keep peace I gave in. Also if you can maybe have a housekeeper periodically, that would help with the hair situation. Since Lewis is used to being with you that would please him and your wife can feel better about having a clean house. Hope that helps.

  52. Sue Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    You have a dilema…. Rule at our house…no dogs in the bed with us..it’s OURS!!!Share the couch or recliner? Yes, we do that, although we BOTH vacuum and do laundry.. Our houses are like HUGE crates for them to live their lives in, we would NEVER confine them to live their life in one small room of that. As you know, animals know when you disagree over them… the sooner you and your wife reach compromise it will be more harmonious for your marriage and your relationship with your animals. Sounds like you both are pretty firm with what you want to happen. I’m sure you BOTH will have to return to the negotiation table with this one. You indicated she does more cleaning than you do… you may need to up your percentage a little more.

  53. Lin Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    My husband and I had a sweet german-shepherd lab that shedded like crazy. If Lewis is your black dog that we see in your newsletter and on videos, well our Sheba looked exactly the same. We allowed her on our leather sofa by invitation only to cuddle with us and she loved it. Leather is great for pet hair. Also, we contained her hair on two levels of the house which left her with the main floor and upstairs to roam free. At least, the rest of the house remained relatively hair free. She also had her bed next to ours in our bedroom and again would let her up on the bed with us on occasion only.
    Good luck! I am sure that you will come up with a great solution.
    Cheers!

  54. Dog Angel Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Hi Dr Jones,

    I am an animal trainer and communicator and have three big rescued dogs and a parrot.
    My husband of 16 years is from Denmark and from a family with NO PETS! So there was a BIG adjustment and we had to compromise.
    So now the dogs have beds in the tiled kitchen /breakfast room area where they can hang out while I am cooking and doing dishes. They sleep in the basement area which is attached to the house and have one whole basement room as their bedroom together with soft fluffy dog beds. It is cool in the summer and warm in the winter and they seem to love it.
    ,Especially since every night I spend 15-20 minutes giving each one a belly rub and massage and speaking softly to them before tucking them in for the night. Now when I say “Let’s go to bed.” They all rush for the basement since they know they will get some real quality time with their mom then.
    I also take them all for a long pack walk together off our property every night and that is the highlight of their day!

    I agree that there may be other issues in the marriage that have to do with loss of control clouding this one about the animals. My husband and I signed up with marriage councilor for a few months and that helped us to work through some of those other issues. I can highly recommend it as if the councilor is a good one, he/she will give you the tools you will need to go forward in the relationship. It was right around our tenth year that the proverbial stuff hit the fan also. :o)

    The stuff you are arguing about is rarely what the REAL issue is….

    Hope this helps! Good Luck!

  55. Cathy Shore Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    I think you should have stayed in the old house where it did not seem to be an issue. The pet dirt can always be dealt with the love of an animal is priceless and snuggling on the couch is just a must…

  56. Ellen Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    My husband and I have 4 shedders and a poodle. The shedders are all lap dogs, 3 Papillons and a mini dachshund. They have the roam of certain areas of our large house, but the baby gates keep them out of the rooms that we do not want them in. They like to get up on the chairs sometimes so we have pretty cotton sheets covering them and they can be whipped off at a moments notice. Easy to launder also.
    I do not allow dogs to sleep on my bed. I am a restless sleeper and I do not like to wake up to turn over. Every one of our dogs has his or her own crate and that is where they sleep. Granted they are all in our bedroom. I dog sit for friends of mine and when they two girls come over they also are in crates which are in our walk in closet.
    We have split the chores….I get to bath and groom the dogs and he gets to vacuumn the house.

  57. antoinette sides Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Both Happy!! GET HER A CLEANING LADY for the big stuff, then she don’t mind cleaning the rest!

    Housework is not a rewarding job, every woman hates it, BUT all women like a clean house so with a little help you are both happy and she
    won’t mind where the dog sleeps!!

    Every woman dreams of having a cleaning lady so why not make her happy? It is not THAT expensive but it means a lot! Hope this helps?

  58. Rieta Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Hi,
    She knew you were a vet and that animals are a part of your life, a new house is only new for a short time, but an animals love is forever. My advice keep the animals send the wife packing!
    Good Luck!

  59. Helen Sellitto Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Dr. Jones, I can relate to both sides of your dilema. We have always had animals,{dogs,cats, ponies,etc}, and when I was younger I was of a like mind set as your wife. A clean house was my priority but in the past forty years I have learned that life is too short to worry about an imaculate house. I have mellowed considerably and find the companionship of my pets, allowded to share our home without restrictions, is so much more rewarding than the absence of hair. We just consider it part of the decor, not to mention it is so much easier to observe your pets behavior and his overall condition when he/she is with you all the time. Please tell your wife to lighten up. You will both have a more contented life. I don’t believe our precious friends deserve any thing less. Good Luck!

  60. Nancy Lemmon Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Your wife knew, before she married you, that she was marrying a veterinarian and former farm boy, didn’t she? Dogs and cats are Pets and part of the family, so Lewis and any other pets you own should have free-range in your home! Boot rooms are for Boots, NOT for Dogs or other pets!! A house is for Living in, not to keep as a Showcase!! I’m sorry, Mrs. Jones, but you Seriously need to Re-think your Priorities!!! I just lost my husband to complications from diabetes on May 13th. We would have been married 9 years on August 8th. My husband was only 54 years old. We were together 24/7/365 and never tired of one another’s company! I would have done Anything to make my husband happy, as long as it wasn’t immoral or illegal!!! Life is WAY Too Short to be squabbling over things like pet hair!!! Didn’t your wedding vows include the part about, “For better or for worse”? Besides, as the Bible says, “Love bears all things.” God bless you both, Nancy Lemmon in Pennsylvania, USA

  61. Janet Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Wow. What great comments….. and I especially liked what “Dog Angel” shared….great honesty there. There are probably some control issues going on and I hope you will take her advice and get a bit of counseling – can’t hurt and may certainly help.

    Dog Angel mentioned she is an animal communicator; I would love to be able to contact her or her contact me at janet336 @ hotmail.com – Hope to hear from you, Dog Angel & God Luck Doc

  62. Janiss Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Spotlessness is highly overratted. I am a firm believer in “clean enough.” We have 3 cats and a dog and our home (and clothing) is rarely without fur, but you know what? We really don’t care! We buy our furniture and rugs, taking into the consideration that they will have constant contact with animals. When I was shopping for a living room rug last year, I bought one with a medium pile, a pattern, and that looked nice but wasn’t too high end. Why? Because I know that the cats will be rolling around and sharpening their claws on it, no matter what I do. The rug has held up surprisingly well – and if it hadn’t, it wasn’t so pricey that it would have bummed me out.

    As for the actual cleaning part, I can understand why your wife might have issues – I’ve noticed that what men say their wives do “a little more housework,” it usually means the women are doing a lot more than the guys realize! 😉 Why don’t you guys compromise on that and budget for some domestic help occasionally? I’m sure both of you have more valuable things to do than clean. More couples should hire housecleaners. I think it’s a great idea for any marriage.

  63. Sylvia Simmons Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    The animals are as much a part of the family as any other member – so if you let everybody else go where they want in the house the animals deserve the same respect.

  64. Barbara Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Andrew,

    I agree with both of you on these points. I do not like all the dog hair as well, but at the same time our dog is part of the family – is and should be treated as such (within the limits of her being a dog of course). Our solution is she has her own place – a comforter on the floor beside the couch (and I must admit in each room where we spend a fair amount of time) which is her spot. She is not allowed on any furniture which helps to reduce the amount of dog hair on clothes, and cleaning.
    Hopefully you will be able to come up with a similar compromise that will allow all your family members to be happy.

  65. Donna Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    I think the big question is, is this a HOUSE or a HOME?! If it is to be a spotless showcase, who wants to live there? Probably not an animal lover. My husband and I live in the woods with our 2 dogs and 5 cats. Add white carpet, a creek, and of course, the endless fur. It’s an ongoing mess, and I wish I didn’t have to deal with that part of it, but I wouldn’t part with my critters for anything. They are family, and I am thankful for them and everything they give to us. It was hard enough to keep them off the new couch, but keep them out of a room?! No way. Lewis and Cleo are family, and should not be cut out like that. NO WAY!!!

  66. Janne Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Hi Andrew,

    I guess the question is whether you want to live in a “house” or a “home”? I prefer the latter. I detest visiting friends with spotlessly clean houses, everything in its place and NO pet fur OR pets to be seen (except maybe in the backyard). Your home is your sanctuary, not a show piece.

    So, if you intend to share this sanctuary with your family, it should include all of you, pets as well. Why anyone with pets would want it any other way is beyond me. Clean a little more often, use throw rugs on furniture and embrace the privilege of owning some of Gods most extraordinary, loving creatures. Now THAT IS a blessing.

    House or home? You choose.

  67. Walela Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Hi Andrew !

    Sounds like you have a lot of animal lovers on your side ! Did you or your wife expect any less ? All I can say is… if you have been living this way for 10 years… this certainly cannot be the first time that this subject has come up ! If your wife is that opposed… she would be so in any enviornment… whether old or new ! How did you resolve it then ? From your writings… I can tell that your love for your family pets would never allow such a thing AND.. they would be heart-broken !! You couldn’t do it. Unfortunately… it seems that your wife is one of those individuals that I constantly try to convince that dogs are social animals, with emotional as well as physical needs and THEY DO HAVE FEELINGS !!! But… most of these people are the ones who end up tying or caging their pets outside…24-7 ! This is absolutely cold hearted and shameful ! You are either born with a kind and compassionate HEART or you aren’t… that cannot be changed. It’s a SOUL thing !!
    Your PS pretty much sums it all up ! Be Happy !!
    Many Blessing to You and Your Family( all of them)
    Walela Spirits

    PS.. I would also like to hear from DOG ANGEL,the Animal communicator. walelaspirits@cfl.rr.com

  68. frances Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 12:07 am

    I say let them run around and get a robot sweeper to clean the floors every day! At least the floors will be taken care of which I find get the messiest!

  69. frances Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Oh and also buy furniture made of microfibre or ultrasuede which is so easy to clean and is really tough! ( Better than leather which scratches and is an animal skin a no-no for animal lovers )Get a good quality one – Canadian or European! Our dogs get fur all over our couches and this is easily vacuumed up, they also slober all over but this is easily wiped off leaving no stains!

  70. Gloria Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 1:38 am

    Our 4-legged babies give us unconditional love. Isn’t the love they give us more important than worrying about material things? We can all be responsible about cleaning and upkeep – after all they’re members of the family.

  71. emo Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 1:48 am

    I love my animals and they are allowed in my home. I grew up loving my dogs, but they were only allowed to sit in the immediate area by the door – very well behaved. When my ex-fiance and I got our first dog, however, it was the beginning of the end. I was potty training her, and then we got her half-brother. Then, I rescued a kitten. But for the disagreement of how much love, discipline, and training, we were all a happy family. But those little disagreements became major issues and we have since split and he has his own place now. I hear, however, the agitation in his voice when he mentions how the dogs go to the bathroom on HIS floor and mess up HIS furniture…I used to have to vacumm daily and clean up the nasty smelling urine and poop every single day! They ruined my furniture and carpet and when I remodeled, they were not welcomed back into my home. Call me cold hearted, whatever, but my children had respiratory problems when they were born, and my pediatrician told me to get rid of everything that ‘made’ dust. So, my choice between an inside dog and my child’s health? Easy answer – NO CHOICE!
    Value your relationship with your wife…the animals are second. Any animal will be loyal and faithful…you feed them and play with them…But will you find another woman to love you and whom you will love?
    All you fanatic animal lovers can say whatever, but I value humans over animals anyday.

  72. Lance Brown Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 1:49 am

    I disagree with Rena Murray’s notion that dogs shouldn’t be allowed to hang out at the “Alphas” level. Maybe if your dogs have behavioral problems it might be a helpful control method, but I think it’s totally fine to cross the “Alpha” gap with dogs that are happy and well-behaved. My dogs have yet to lose their minds after years of sleeping in or at the level of my bed. (For folks who don’t want to concede bed space but want the same effect, you can just jam a loveseat face first against the bed, and let the dog(s) sleep there – next to you, within reach, yet in their own place and not stealing bedspace.

    As far as letting pets in the house goes, I agree with others who’ve said that if there are to be off-limits spaces, they should be at a minimum, rather than the other way around (where the pets have just one limited space to be in.) Generally speaking, if you cut the dogs out of your home life, you will hurt your relationship with them. Not only will they feel punished at first, but in the long term, there will just be more of a distance, more of a remove, between you as family members, friends, and loved ones. They will grow accustomed to the segregation, but that doesn’t make it good.

    The simplest solution is to hire a “pet maid”, or a variety of “maids” (i.e., a house cleaner, a pet groomer, and/or a clothes/blanket launderer). You owe it to your pets to put in the legwork necessary to get them allowed inside, but that doesn’t mean you actually have to do said legwork. Hiring a regular cleanup team would contribute to the economy, help your pets, help your marriage, and seemingly solve the problem. Piece of cake!

  73. emo Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 1:58 am

    Cinnamon,
    Your venting is so self serving. Who cares? You made the choice to live the way you do. I am sure no one held a gun to your head to make you ‘adopt’ all your animals. I could adopt all the cute little critters I see every week, but I don’t because I’d rather give one feral cat the best care and love that let a bunch of them live in a messy dump. You won’t have many visitors and will stay alone unless you make a conscious effort to clean yourself up and get out with other human beings…and would anyone want to eat your vegan goodies baked in a home that is obviously NOT clean???

  74. Dagmar Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 2:59 am

    That is a tough one – but as you helped us in so many ways, I will try my bit to help you in this.
    Well, let me tell you in a few words our situation. Thank god my husband and myself agree in having the dogs inside (they even sleep in our bed – 2 adult boxers, how insane it that? But the pack sleeps together). As we live in Australia on acreage we have wild dogs around – no way to leave the pets outside! The wild dogs recently killed even a neighbours horse! You mentioned you live in the woods – are there any dangerous animals? Maybe that would convince your wife.
    On the cleaning aspect there is only one easy solution – get a cleaner! Better invest in that money than having an upset partner 😉

    Good luck and all the best!

    Dagmar

  75. Jo-an Payne Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 4:05 am

    I recently lost my labrador age 14 who shed hair all the year round. I now have a standard Poodle who does not shed hair but is much harder to train. A friend watching me trying to get some obedience from her said “I have never had a dog and watching you I think I am missing out on something. I responded Yes Unconditional love which is not always easy to get from a human being but this is a two way love. If you have been married 10 years then up to now you have given each other unconditional love so this will pass and acceptance of who you really are will kick in. Just take care of each other. I am a dog lover and a relationship counsellor. Best wishes from Jo-an and Bella the wonder dog. Jo-an

  76. Irene Docherty Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 4:47 am

    A home without pets is just a house!
    she will get over it eventually, hang in there! good luck

  77. Johanna Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 5:13 am

    Even though I’m single & my dogs & cat have free run of the house, i still have certain rules taht I stick to when it comes to my “family”. When they come in from outside & it’s been raining I tell them to wipe their feet and they sit on the towel that I leave at the kitchen door (i have a galley kitchen); they have their own beanbags they sleep on in the loungeroom & most of the time I sit on the floor with them. They are not allowed on the couch & they are quite content with their beanbags which are probably more comfortable than the couch anyway. I only ever let them on the bed when it is REALLY cold & I put towels down on the bed to save me taking the doona cover off to clean.I think the boot room is just that, a boot room (what is a boot room anyway?)If our furry children are used to something, changing that will only distress them & make them think they are being punished. My family is my life, & I won’t compromise my happiness or that of my furry children for the sake of anyone brought up a neat freak. :0)

  78. Betsy Hannah Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 7:20 am

    The thought of a hair free house is interesting, but it will never happen at my house, not when there are 4 dogs & 4 cats living withing these walls. My husband & I have been married for 10 years and the compromise was that our bedroom was off limits to the pets, but me being the animal lover, I have managed to have the dogs follow me in. I have a Jack Russell/Pug that sleeps on my pillow, 2 German Shepherd mixes that sleep on the floor beside me and a Toy Poodle that sleeps at the foot of the bed. Some compromise 🙂 I have covered my chairs and couches with blankets because I know that the cats & the dogs are going to get on them and they know that this is their home and they are going to make themselves comfortable. Lewis needs to have the run of the house because he is used to it and he is social and wants to be with his family. The hair can be cleaned up, the time spent as a family can’t be replaced.

  79. Dana Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 9:36 am

    If you don’t want or need the expense of new furniture and he is the only animal allowed on the couch…get a big fully washable throw he can have for himself.
    It’s easily removed when he’s outside and can be thrown in the washer just as easily!
    We have 11 cats in the house. 6 upstairs and 5 that stay in the live-in type basement where my son and I spend most of our time and where I sleep…with the cats all over me of course!
    You can’t keep cats off furniture and even if you can, as soon as you leave the house, they do whatever they want anyway…LOL!!!!
    I do a LOT of sweeping and vacuuming…good luck in your new home. 😉

  80. Fab Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 10:41 am

    It is not fair to Lewis that all of a sudden he has to be in a room and not join the family. He is a family member. Lewis will feel as though he is being punished. Hair is a problem and a pain, but I would rather have the hair than not have my three dogs.

  81. Angela Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Hire a good maid. House stays sparkling clean, animals roam where they want. Problem solved. It works for us.

  82. Betty Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Sorry I can’t help your wife. Our dogs are a real part of our family. We have two long hair dogs, a Sheltie and a little S–T Zoo, (that is what we call her.) So one of us vacumes everday! And we have two cats, all in the house.We just vacume the carpet and the furniture everyday. Or you could have a house cleaner come in once or twice a week to give you a break.Animals love you unconditionally, hope your wife does also…Good luck

  83. Karen Taylor Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I have given up. I fought the battle for years. Comes down to… we love our cats! Don’t get many visitors anyway, but I’d die if they saw this house in its normal state. We brought 10 rescues with us when we moved from Arizona to Oklahoma (where we supported a colony of feral cats for two years, spaying and neutering as many as we could). Each has grown from kittenhood knowing only us and one another. There’s hardly a horizontal surface that doesn’t have a cat on it. Each has his/her own personality and preferences. I can honestly say I wish I’d never set food out for the first stray cat, but now that we have them, we have them for life! Cat hair and all!

    Just as you baby-proof a house, we’ve cat-proofed what we can. The difference is, as you can suspect, babies grow up and move away! The cats are here to stay.

    Good luck to you, Dr. Jones!

  84. Jan Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    When we got married 9 years ago and decided to get our first dog, we sat down and discussed it and decided then that if we wanted a pet there was no point in having it if it lived outside where we could not enjoy it. Since that time, we have added 4 more dogs and a cat. Yes we have LOTS of dog hair, one being an AKITA that blows her undercoat frequently, but we also love our “furry children” and receive much love in return from them. They all have distinct little personalities and we wouldn’t trade our time with them for anything. I would like less hair everywhere, but not at the expense of not having my “kids”.

  85. Barbara Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Lewis and Cleo rule….You help clean also and its your house to..What the flip is a few hairs…Human hair is more disgusting than animal hair.

  86. Heidi Brooks Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Oh for goodness sakes: Hire a house keeper.
    Not only does it help employ someone it gets your house magically clean while your out of it.
    Works for me – it’s worth the money.

    Heidi BRooks

  87. rachel Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    my family has gone through similar dillemma ( though its me and my mom) so we came to a compromise my dog ( a malamute siberian cross) is not allowed on the furniture but we made a area in the room where she can laydown and still be with us just not on us and with a little consistency in enforcing this rule on our part everyones happy the dog gets to be with the family and the family doesn’t have to worry about getting dog hair on them from the couch and after my dog got used to it she didn’t mind at all as long as she had something to lie down on in her corner

  88. Laura Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    My dog is part of the family. He has access to the whole house. He sleeps in the bed with us. Dogs are very social creatures. How would you like to be kept in a room without any communication with your loved ones? I wouldn’t like it and neither will your wonderful pet. Why have pets if they are to be banished to a boot room?

  89. rachel Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    i can understand both sides of the agument i absolutely love my dog and cat and i know the rest of the amily loves their pets alot to (we have 3dogs 2cats and a cockatoo in toatal) but my youngest sister has astma and i have pretty bad pet allergies and it can be annoying when your in a hurry and have to take time to get pethair of your close (and no matter how well you plan something can always come up and caouse you to be late) and showing up at work with pethair on yours clothes isnt acceplable at most busnesses so a lot of cleaning a good groomong practice and limitin your pets to certain places or areas in the house can be the only practical solution in lots of cases plus you have a good exscuse to spend more time with your pet during the retraining period(not that you ever really need an exscuse)

    good luck on a happy compromise

  90. Tianne Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I grew up with house pets, my husband didn’t. Our pets (two dogs and a cat) are house pets. The cat sleeps on my daughter’s bed and the dogs sleep on the floor in our room. There’s a love seat the dogs are allowed on. We keep a sheet over the cushions so I can “clean” it by throwing the sheet in the wash. Everyone’s happy.

  91. Nancy Wolfe Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    I think it only fair, that you help clean and she allow animals in the house. After all, I am sure she knew you had them before you married her.

    I used to be a neat freak too. But, I have found since having Cancer, that there is more to life than cleaning. Live life to the fullest. And love those fur kids.

  92. Darlene Hunt Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    I agree with the blanket cover and a cleaning service. This way, you and Lewis will be happy and the service will make your wife happy for the help. Love is unconditional. (It helps to keep it in mind.) With the cleaning service, deliver your wifes’ favorite flowers so she knows she is special too!

  93. jean bolduc Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Move the wife out!

  94. Annette Says:
    July 10th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Suggestions:
    1) Brush Lewis Daily
    2) Give Catherine time…but meanwhile give HER a room where Lewis is OFF limits if the hair bothers her. Even if it’s your bedroom..she’ll survive and Lewis can sleep with the kids.
    3) When we moved to a larger house, our (then) very well behaved 2 little guys started to have “accidents” on the brand new carpets. I know it was all the stress of having to move to
    a totally new environment. I was young at the time and my “scolding” didn’t make a difference.
    I finally gave UP. They got better as they adjusted, but as they aged, of course there were tons more “accidents” of various natures.
    The thing is I wanted a nice clean new home to enjoy….instead I got tons of love and joy.
    When I see those (cleaned, but visible) stains now, long after those two little clowns are gone,
    it just fills my heart with all the happy memories and I smile and say (looking at the spot), “Oh, HOW they were WORTH it!”
    4) Do remember however that you will have ONE wife (hopefully) and LOTS of pets. Don’t give up your time with Lewis, but to have a few “off limits” areas for him won’t hurt either -like maybe the kitchen (except during meals, and the
    bedrooms since Lewis has the kids to sleep with.
    It will give your wife the cleanliness she craves in the areas hopefully most important to her and will show an effort to compromise.
    5) I’ve always had (& loved) animals….about 20 yrs ago my allergist told me I was allergic to them and should get “rid” of them. I promptly told him, ‘Well, doc, you’re going to have to come up with an alternate solution because I’ll give YOU up long before I’d give them up.” Of course he was pissed off, but I was honest.

    What have I done to adjust? Well, I hold my breath when I groom them and immediately wash my hands, face and rinse my eyes with saline after.
    AND I don’t allow them (to linger) near my face….I kiss them,hug them,etc but there will
    be no sleeping next to my face (from my chest up) where I’m breathing hair, thank you very much.
    They are all quite happy nestled against my side or legs.

    6) Maybe if you take Lewis to work with you he can be a “working dog” helping to calm the other animals, being used to demonstrate techniques on and giving your wife a break??

    7) Your kids NEED Lewis….they need to develop their immunities by being subjected to his hair, etc. As long as he’s not out romping on his own and bringing in ticks, etc, that could present lymes disease or something…well, I have a
    plaque on my kitchen wall that says,

    DEAR LORD,
    PLEASE MAKE MY HOUSE CLEAN ENOUGH TO BE HEALTHY
    & DIRTY ENOUGH TO BE HAPPY! AMEN

    All the best & congrats on 10 year!

  95. Virginia Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 1:59 am

    Hi Andrew – I wish I could find somebody like “you” who was so fond of other creatuers and didn’t mind them messing up the place. You can buy a million sofas and bits of furniture but you cannot manufacture the love that you precious dog has for you. I would take that any day over a article of furniture. If there was a disaster, I’m sure you’re wife wouldn’t care about the furniture it would be “you” she would be looking for not the furniture. Love is the most important thing not furniture.

  96. Laura Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Re the dog hair in the house. I know a couple has to work things out, but with the animals always being part of the family, you can’t really expect anything less than them being with the family on the furniture. Put covers on the furniture, and take them off when there’s company. We love our animals more than we love a pristine home. Home being the operative word. We do wipe them down when they come in from outside. The Sheltie sheds quite a bit, but we rake her outside. The Maltese Grande sleeps with us, so we wipe down his body before he comes to bed. With our love for them, I can’t imagine any other way. Happy 10th Anniversary. Our 13th is coming up also. All the best.

  97. Veda Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 7:29 am

    In our home we sleep with 4 dogs and a cat on the bed, between us. Neither my husband or myself mind as these animals are our “Babies” and we love them more than anything. The other day, I just had to laugh when my husband said, “Whatever happened to our sex life?” Duh!!!!

  98. BEVERLEY STRATIS Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 7:54 am

    When my little foster son of 5 was diagnosed with asthma the doctor said “no dogs in the bedreoom”Well I was horrified.My sweet brown eyed girl was allowed anywhere,even on the beds.But obediently I bought her a snazzy new bed,gave her a stunning dinner and thru my tears explained why she was no longer allowed in our bedroom.Apart from a confused look on her face for a few days the change went very well.I was the one with the tears when she lay at the threshold of my door each evening befor bedtime.
    My son’s health changed very quickly and he no longer needed medication for his Asthma.
    I realised then that for the sake of correctness I simply had to do the right thing.I was not to live out of my emotions to the detriment of others.As long as my dog continues to know she’s loved she can cope with changes which make us all happy.Another bonus,I can walk around my bedroom with my socks on and not pick up doggy hairs.Hooray!!!
    Blessings
    Beverley and asthma free Mark who is now 8.

  99. Annette Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 8:45 am

    PS. It just dawned on me last night….
    my grandparents had a farm….and an outhouse.
    Going to the bathroom meant going OUTSIDE…
    If I were you, I’d be careful to not leave any hair in the bathtub or sink or you my find YOURSELF banned from the inside facilities too!
    LOL….

  100. Susan Gibson Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 8:45 am

    My husband and I have been married for 46+ years, and the one thing that has kept us together is our love of dogs. He has said many times over the years that is the reason he married me. Dogs, like children, need discipline and training, and they really want to please. We now have two queen-size beds in our bedroom. I sleep in one with 2 large dogs; he has the other one to himself. This keeps us both happy. The sweetest sound to me is hearing my two old dogs breathing in the night. I even appreciate my husband’s snoring now because I know he is still with me.

  101. SB Hoffma Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    A pet/family member should never interfere with a relationship….if someone does not accept your pet…send them packing….you won’t be happy with them… Non pet people will not be reading this blog…but they will be happier with a non pet person…..

  102. Lorraine Turanick Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    I have a bed in every room that I spend time in. It is called “Beasleys Couch”. My Mindy loves it as well as my previous dog, a Newfie. Of course, the Newfie’s was the largest, and she also loved it. I allow my Mindy free range in the house but use these beds. In the bedroom, it is across from mine where we can see eye to eye. She knows these beds are her’s and I do not allow my grandchildren to sit or lay in the beds. As I said, she has free range in the house & even if she doesn’t go into her bed when I do, she does always end up in it during the night & when I awake she is always in it. I keep a towel near her food mat, and tell her to wait so I can wipe her beard as she drips water all over when she drinks. Most times she waits & also allows my grandchildren to wipe her mouth/beard. It is something I started when she was a puppy. Good luck…As long as Louis has his own place, he should be happy. Check out K V Vet Supply as their prices are good & I purchased 2 beds from them…The 3rd bed I purchased locally. Lorraine

  103. Debbie Says:
    July 14th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    I have a friend from Nova Scotia and have heard them joke about the cleanliness of Nova Scotia people. My friend, however, had two cats. She kept her house spotless and would never have DREAMED of closing them off.

    A person who gets involved with a parent with children had better LOVE those kids before agreeing to marry. Kids take energy, they need attention and the get things dirty.

    Well, how on EARTH could someone MARRY a vet and want to put limits on the family animal companion? WHAT WAS SHE THINKING when she got married?!?!!?

    Take your dog with you everywhere, have him sit on your side of the room and expect nothing of her regarding your poor pup. Don’t expect anything and have your private, loving relationship.

    She married a vet…..she is lucky that you don’t have a menagerie. Sorry, but I think that she is way way off.

    If you have kids, have her keep them on HER side!

    Good luck.

    Deb

    p.s. Yes, give wife her own room and keep dog out of it. Get yourself a room where you would like to hang out with your dog.

  104. Lissa Says:
    October 10th, 2008 at 3:09 am

    My current husband and I are having the same difficulties. We separated over a year ago regarding the ‘dog’ issue – he stated he never wanted dogs in the house, but loved on them like they were kids when he would come home. I always wanted dogs in the house and had dogs, cats, a guinea pig and fish when he met me and proposed to me. When we moved into a new house together was when the ‘no dogs’ rule came into effect.

    I have ALWAYS had animals in the house, to the point of my dog whelping puppies on my bed when I was away (was I mad, NO, I was happy they were all healthy and nothing had gone wrong). I have had a house trained chicken (yes, it is possible). I told him all of this before we were married. He told me of all the animals he had when he was a kid, including a dog in the house….

    Fast forward six years – dogs are a MAJOR contention. I will that we had 21 dogs (most of them puppies who were ultimately sold to GREAT family homes). He decided to leave me for another woman who didn’t have animals in the house (she was married with another boyfriend, but no animals in the house). They are now apart and he says that he misses me and wants to get back together. Other than the situation with the animals, we get along great… What to do?

    One of the reasons I got with this man was because my cat (at the time) got along with him and she HATED everybody.

    I love my husband and love my pets (I am down to one dog, fish and one cat. He doesn’t want me to get another puppy to replace one that was stolen while we were living with his in-laws (too long of a story to get into here)… What do I do? I have offered to confine the dogs to one area of the house and get a cleaning person to come in once a month to clean up the mess, but that is NOT an option according to him…

    How would anyone handle this one? Please let me know? THANKS!

  105. Jody Says:
    November 26th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Lissa, the guy isn’t worth it. He is a controller. He left you once and he doesn’t share your values. Anybody that would ask you to give up something so precious to you, is trouble. Even if you didn’t have animals, he would find something else for you to sacrifice to “prove you love him.” Drop him like a hot potato.

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