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Dogs And Cats With Antiques
Your dog is a bona fide member of your family and should be included when it comes to antiques, too.
Start with his water dish. Whatever kind of a dish Rover eats his dinner from, it is duly washed and put away until the next meal; but not so his water dish. There it sits, day and night, an eyesore for all to behold. Have you thought of giving him an antique bowl? Not a priceless example of the potters' art, but just a poorer example, a trifle crooked or a little off-color, of whatever kind you collect. Consider it to be on display at floor level instead of in your china cabinet. It will serve admirably for holding fresh water, and be much prettier to look at than the typical dog dish from the pet shop. There are endless sizes and shapes in glass-blown, pressed or cut; and in china-painted china, porcelain or pottery; enough to suit any dog, large or small, and any pocketbook, large or small. In Buffalo there are two little Chihuahuas that share a really elegant footed candy dish of pierced silver with a glass insert-the portion where the plating is worn off would be apparent if at table level but does not show at all on the floor.
Every dog deserves a soft bed of his own. This should be free from drafts and, if possible, raised a little, rather than setting directly on the floor. Often dogs are subject to drafts of which we are not aware. This is especially true of the smaller breeds. A soft washable blanket or old turkish towel on top of Rover's mattress will give him just the right place to scrunch down into (this is what he wants when he turns around in little circles before lying down to sleep) and will be easy to toss into the washing machine for cleanliness.
Many little dogs like the feeling of being sheltered, and will crawl into closets or under furniture for their forty winks. With this in mind, several excellent housing ideas are possible. The Chihuahuas mentioned above sleep in a converted dough tray (without legs) which had a U-shaped opening cut into one side for easy access, and a covered-wagon type of top made of fabric and a bent wire coat hanger. For a larger dog you might remove the doors from a commode or cabinet (keep the hinges attached to the door and store it in an out-of-the-way spot so it can be replaced at a future date if desired), check the interior to be sure it is free from projecting nails, place the dog's mattress and blanket in the base of the commode and he has a protected, draft-free indoor house. The top of the commode can be used as a table to hold a bowl of fruit or flowers.
The family cat might not care for these arrangements. Maybe she would prefer just a large wooden bowl (burl if you can afford it) with a scrunching blanket on which to curl up. Be sure to add a ring of wood or some wooden feet so that the bowl will not rock nor tilt when the cat jumps in and out.
An upholstered footstool placed near your favorite chair might be comfortable for your pet, and keep him off the good furniture.