Thursday, April 8, 2010

Why I Don’t Have Carpets

I used to love carpets. I saved up for months to buy each of my hand-knotted Asian rugs. No eating out. No new clothes. No movies. These rugs were worth it. Some had intricate designs. One had pandas. This love of carpets must be a human thing. Other creatures don’t agree.

Moths nibbled on my costly carpets. Their edges became ragged, little holes appeared in the middle if you looked at the backside, but they retained their lovely patterns and my bare feet still luxuriated in the soft textures.

Our dog, Dante played nicely on the rugs. He climbed up on our big bean bag chair and bounded down onto the red patterned rug. Then Miniwiz showed up in our yard, and invited himself into our family. Miniwiz liked to nest in a square of sunshine on the lovely carpets. His short fur and their deep pile were almost the same length. Miniwiz was not housetrained, especially when the weather was wet or cold or hot or he was just feeling territorial. After he died, we got the rugs professionally cleaned.

Then we got Buffy, who was already three years old and totally housetrained.. She loved the rugs. She and Dante played tug-of-war on the rugs.

After Dante died,. Buffy was lonely. We took her to the animal shelter where she picked out Petruccio.

Petruccio also played tug-of-war on the rugs. I guess that was why Buffy chose him.

The shelter assured us he was house-trained. Not my house, he wasn’t. I have no idea what house he was trained in. He sprayed my lovely rugs daily. Okay several times a day. We picked them up, had them cleaned, rolled them up, and put them in the closet. The moths had a major feast. It was a sad day when I opened the closet to find mounds of crumbs where my rugs had been.

Our house didn’t really need the fancy carpets. It had wall-to-wall carpets. Once the pretty rugs were put away, Petruccio sprayed the wall-to-walls. I quickly tired of cleaning them. We ripped out all the carpets, had the floors sanded, and put a baby-gate at the base of the stairs to confine Petruccio to the first floor. He woofed and whined for weeks, but I would not relent. A dog who will not use the dog door consistently, gets zero use of my upstairs.

We covered the first floor with incontinence pads. The ones he sprays go in the washing machine. I have at least one load a day of his pads. In the summer the pads go out on the line. In the winter, they go in the dryer. Sometimes he kicks the pads aside and sprays the floor anyway. The living room bears dark stains from his persistence.

He especially likes to spray my headstand gadget. It has rusty legs from his constant attentions. He is 19 years old. Both he and my rusty headstand gadget have a short run to go.

What have I learned? I’ve learned that I like the feel of bare wood under my feet. I much prefer sweeping to vacuuming. And incontinence pads are much easier to clean than rugs. If I ever do get another Asian hand-knotted rug, I’ll probably hang it on the wall. I’m not looking at getting another dog. But I will buy a new headstand gadget.


  1. Petruccio = beagle, Buffy = poodle? They are both adorable. Love this post. I can't believe he is 19, that is ANCIENT, isn't it? You are very loving of an un-house-trained dog. Many would have taken him back. You put the dog's family membership ahead of your floors. Good on you.

  2. Actually, they're both mutts,(beagle mutt and poodle mutt) both rescue dogs. Yes 19 is ancient. Buffy almost made it to 20. Petruccio just turned 19. Small dogs live longer than big ones. I still regret getting gerbils for my girls. I had no idea they only live 2 or 3 years. That's way too short for a pet.

  3. My son's gerbils lived a lot shorter time than that what with getting squeezed and stepped on and the deadly rocking chair incident.