Coexistence:  to exist together or at the same time; to live in peace with each other.  We do our best at coexisting with our canines, some do it better than others.  Of course there are the ones that don't coexist at all, they simply buy a dog and put it outside to live a sad and lonely life.   I'm not talking about these people, in my books they aren't dog people.  I'm talking about dog people, the ones who have dogs living in their home as part of the family............coexisting. 

My whole adult life has been alongside a dog or two or three at a time.  I have tried my best to smoothly integrate all into our home.  For me this means a lot of planning to make our coexistence an easy one, one that has as few hassles as possible.  When we lived in Canada we had a couple of unfenced acres, fabulous but not easy at all.  We built a beautiful run down the side of the house and then discovered that in the frigid winter we had to walk out onto the deck, down the stairs and around the side to let the dogs in an out, not so smart planning.  But my hubby figured it all out and opened up the side rail of the deck and built a nice set of stairs and another fence into the pen.  This was used for the in and outs, not for exercising.  We always took them out in the back forty for big runs.  But this definitely made life simple.

In this house we have put a dog door in, which leads into a fenced yard.  We have beds in every room of the house except the bathrooms.  I bought my car specifically to accomodate my dogs comfortably and I have gates and crates of all sizes in case there is a need to partition.  Like I said I like ease, and a long the way when I find a glitch that is making my or my dogs life a bit of a hassle, well........... we fix it. 

One big fat hassle when living with dogs is carpet, I hate it.  I think it is about one of the worst ever inventions, that is wall to wall.  I love the kind you can pick up and clean or send away to have cleaned thoroughly.  So when we lay our new floor down in the family room it will not be carpet.  Or sure carpet is nice to walk on, nice to lay on and or play on but as for cleanliness?  It's not.  Little creatures can live in it, and when there is an occassional accident, it all goes under the carpet to fester in the underpad.  Yuck.

My dream home would have no wall to wall.  There would be dog beds everywhere, of course the kind that you can remove the cover and wash.  Lots of blankets for the dogs, a place for crates and lots of gates just in case.  There are times when you need to block off areas or keep dogs out, it is nice to have that handy.  I like to have a special cupboard designated as the "dog treat" cupboard.  And a huge storage for leashes, extra blankets, coats and grooming stuff. 

Incorporating the dogs into our lives makes our lives with dogs even more wonderful.  Don't give me fancy; I want simple and dog friendly.  For the dogs and all of us humans too.  :)