top of page

When is a house a home?

Reader beware this post is self indulgent

Designers are given thanks and praise by our clients for helping them to make their house their home. How we love bringing our clients vision to life. We get so excited when we get to update a space with the latest trends in finishes and fixtures. We take pride in their joy and proudly add photos to our portfolios.

As I sit here with tears in my eyes knowing I have to let our girl Emma cross the rainbow bridge, I am reminded it is love that makes a home. No matter how big or small, whether we rent or own, our homes are built on love. It is the love of our parents and siblings; or, the love of our partner, children and our fur babies that make our house a home.

Emma is our fifth Chesapeake Bay Retriever. She is as large in spirit and heart as her 115 pound body. Needless to say the mess she makes can be just as large. As a designer, I thought I solved that challenge with our décor matching her glorious fur.

As she aged, she lost her sight and her legs weakened. We placed rugs around to guide her and provide stability underfoot. I found dog beds to match every room so she could sleep comfortably wherever we were. We eventually found booties that gave her the traction to go from room to room without slipping and I was happy I could roll up the runners.

I may be biased; but, I am quite sure Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are truly one of the most loyal and stoic breeds. Their love is unwavering and their desire to please is bar none. They were bred to work; yet, they will give it all up just to be by your side. Their stoic nature often results in us missing the signs of distress.

Emma is now eleven and a half and it is apparent she is wore out. Her endless panting is proof of the pain caused by the arthritis in her hind quarters. But it is more than the pain that is disconcerting. She is so frustrated. Just this morning, she could barely get herself up from her bed; but, once she was in the garden she caught scent of her Kong and wanted to play fetch. A short hunt and a frustrated chew on the Kong while she rested in the shade was all she could muster. Emma adapted quite well when she went blind early in life due to progressive retinal atrophy. Now that she is blind and lame the anxiety and stress is palpable to all who are near. The more anxious she has become the more she has started shedding and the fur hasn’t stopped flying since.

While it breaks our heart, we know we have to let her go meet our family, friends and other fur babies who have gone before her. I think about the times I stressed over the temporary runners not matching or moaned about having to vacuum every day and now I just wish she could stay, drool, hair and all. Emma’s physical presence will be missed dearly and our house will feel a little less like a home for a while. In time the void will be filled with memories of her and her unquestionable love and our home will mend.

Say cheese!

bottom of page