Dogs Without Borders
What are your feelings on where dogs should be allowed in the house? My husband says they shouldn’t go on furniture and definitely not in our bed, I am the exact opposite. Is there a middle ground?
S. from Manhattan Beach, CA
Yes, the middle ground is your marriage. And the dogs are walking all over it. In all seriousness, this issue should have been worked out before you got dogs, but since it wasn’t, here are the options, as I see them:
1. You need to have a reasonable, adult conversation about why your husband feels the way he does. Why did he not say something earlier, knowing what an animal lover you are ? Did he grow up with animals? If not, does he feel uncomfortable about the cleanliness? If so, they make a neat little Purell bottle for germ-a-phobes that clips onto your belt loop… Or, is he jealous of your relationship with them? If this is the case, thank your dogs for being a catalyst to get to therapy, before your husband projects some of his jealousy onto your next gay best friend or your next hobby that consumes your love and attention…
If he DID say something to you before you adopted woman’s best friends, did you dismiss the seriousness of his feelings? If this is the case, thank your dogs for being a catalyst to get to therapy, before you project your unresolved need-to-rebel onto your poor husband, who you’ve reimagined to be an authoritarian dictator…
2. Can you agree on a compromise? For example, dogs on the furniture, on a blanket, or in a dog bed, next to the bed? If cleanliness is the real issue and your husband feels like he’s climbing into a petri dish every night, which isn’t a fair experience to impose on him, how about offering to bathe dogs on some regular basis, or wipe their feet before bed, etc.?
3. If training is the issue, and you are a “let’s sleeping dogs lie” kind of person (like me) then maybe your husband would like to train them himself! Dogs LOVE positive-reinforcement training. Training = TREATS. Treats = love and affection. Your husband could have your dogs sleeping and sitting like a K-9 unit, if he wants to put in the effort.
After all of that, I realize I haven’t truly answered your question.
What are my feelings about your conflict? My feelings are: dogs go wherever I go, they do what they want in the house, until someone is uncomfortable, inconvenienced or in danger. But as far as dog hair and dirt on me, the furniture, or the bed, I believe in: lint rollers, vacuums, damp towels, spray cleaning solutions, baths and showers for all creatures, and lots of communal living in every room.
If you need some clarity, some change, or a refresh either inside or out, you’re in the right place. Aubrey Thorne is an astrologer, integrative coach, and feng shui designer in Los Angeles. She works with clients all over, both in-person and online. Feel free to contact Aubrey to ask a question or to schedule a consultation.