Monday, January 31, 2011

How to Clean House So Guests Won't Suspect You Own Indoor Dogs

(Please, people. If I actually knew how to pull that off, I'd start a consulting business and could afford to pay a housekeeper.) [sigh]

So I've decided to bump my usual Monday "training" post until tomorrow, as I've got larger fish to fry today: [read] How the hot fudge do I clean my house so none of my friends - who are coming over for coffee at 10 in the morning - will know that I have a couple hairy, mouthy, slobbery, barky, and who-couldn't-care-less about cleanliness corgis in the house?  Yes, I know. To the seasoned dog owner, this post is absurd. Why on earth would I want to give the impression that I don't have dogs; how superficial is that? Maybe, instead, I should find some better friends who won't care that I've started serving dog hair as a condiment, or who won't disapprove of my using fluff as an accessory?     

Ugh! This wouldn't be nearly as traumatizing if I'd had the tennis *balls* to invite these friends over a little more often than once, since the dogs joined the family last spring! (You know; to gradually "break them in.") It's just that we've been so busy with "redecorating" that it's never really been the right time.

Honestly, who'd have thought Jon Farleigh and Dewi were that much in tune with farmhouse decor? I mean, now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense that my dream kitchen - with buttery white cabinetry set against sleek stainless appliances and old-fashioned hardwoods - was simply missing "authenticity" before the treatment it received from my two, all-purpose farm dogs? For example, these improvements:

Distressed Cabinetry

Faux-Finished Stainless Appliances 

Weathered Wood

Color-Coordinated Gating with Abstract Wall Art

Why stop when one is on a roll?  Let's move into the family room area:

Catch-all Basket After *Antiquing*

Footstool Fringe Is "In"

X-pen as *Furniture*

And, in the bedroom (note: improvements have since stopped in the bedroom, due to "creative" differences with the dogs, in other words, they're banned from going in it):

Out-of-fashion Textured Frieze Carpet Transformed into "Lived-in" Trashy Fugly Unraveled Carpet

Oh, for the love of peanut butter, it's just coffee with the girls, right?!  I guess I should at least wipe the dog drool off the appliances...  Mr. Clean, Brawny Man: H.E.L.P meeeee! Calgon: I need to get away! Helloooooo; anyone there?!    


  1. Obviously you haven't looked closely at the lower two feet of your walls yet. While the boys don't have opposable thumbs, they do somehow manage to "shake it off" and the results can usually be found on those lower 2 feet. I have repeatedly suggested to UHM that we put up chair rails w/Plexi underneath to cover the lower half of the walls and make cleaning easier but she continues to resist....

  2. Just stumbled over your blog. We (my wife really) own Dewi's half-sister Dixie.

    Her web page:

    Her pedigree:

    And we had their great-great grandmother, Sparkey:

  3. Ha! I noticed a distinct lack of faux finishing on every corner and door under two feet tall that distinctly looks like a mixture of bear grease and dirt. Where are all your tumbleweeds of hair? The splinters of chewed up sticks?

    RDM, you and UHM could always do PVC wainscoting from mid-wall down and top it with chair rail. You could definitely wipe it off, although Georgia might find it super tasty.

  4. 1st, I'm LMAO at your assessment of the recent renovations! I admit there have been a few moments where I have shuddered in the last two years over the "leftovers" the Cardi family has contributed to my decor. (You should see the window seats!! Not the windows the seats!) Hope your hen party is fun. If someone doesn't like your new motif you just don't have to invite them back! 2nd, Builder Mama- I think your wainscoting idea might actually work. And we could paint it a lovely shade of reddish-brown to match the stains rather than having to continue to clean them. Above the chair rail, we could maintain the pale shade I really like.

  5. @ronstew: Thanks for the comment and the links. Dixie looks like her dad for sure. Dewi is high energy, but super sweet and smart. I have his pedigree and did notice several Canadian Cardis on Jack's side. We'll see if Dewi inherited the herding instinct this spring; I have a feeling he did.

    @RDM and Builder Mama - My walls (and base board) look like crap, thank you. :) Also, plexi on walls could work, my father installed it in his window sills to save them from his sheltie. Also, you joke about choosing paint colors to match dog grime; I (kid you not) chose carpet colors to closely match cat puke (it's awesome).

    @Ann - Poor window seats. :( Jon and Dewi ripped the bottom out of a wing chair in my bedroom. Unfit for human butts now.


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