The Unintended Consequence of a Bathroom Renovation
My husband and I put off renovating our master bathroom for years. Not because it didn’t need a facelift, but because other rooms in our house needed one more. However, when Kevin could no longer jerry-rig the shower’s glass doors to keep water from pooling on the floor, time had come.
Our master bath is a design anomaly. It consists of an alcove—open to the sleeping area—that houses a vanity and sink. Inside the alcove, to the right, separated by a door, is the toilet and shower. For someone like me, whose hair frizzes with the slightest hint of humidity, the set-up actually works quite well. But it made the renovation a little tricky.
We knew we wanted to tile the floor in the shower/toilet area. But tile in the alcove, which is more bedroom than bathroom, violated what little sense of interior design we have. And because the rug that stretches from the bedroom into the alcove would be destroyed when the old vanity was torn out, we needed to choose a new floor covering for the alcove. My initial thought was hardwoods. But that would mean rug, wood, and tile co-existing in an excessively small space. Kevin nixed that idea. In the end, we decided to rip out the bedroom carpet entirely and replace it with a wood-inspired laminate that has a farmhouse feel. I love it!
And thus, the unintended consequence of our bathroom renovation.
Galen hates hardwoods. She has from a very young age, so on our first floor, which is entirely wood, she travels deftly from area rug to area rug, avoiding the floor as much as possible. Years ago, she stopped stepping into the kitchen. Kevin and I wondered how she would handle this new challenge.
Now we know: Galen refuses to enter the bedroom.
A quick web search showed me that Galen isn’t the only dog freaked out by wood floors. There are online chat rooms where pet owners plea for help getting their dogs over their wood floor fears. There is a YouTube video showing a trainer teaching Buddy, who looks to be a Lab mix, to get over his “wood floor phobia.” And there are products, like Soft Paws and Show Foot, that purport to help dogs navigate wood floors and other slippery surfaces.
The consensus seems to be that dogs dislike wood floors because they are slippery and because dogs don’t like hearing their nails click-clacking on the floor. Interestingly, once Buddy overcame his phobia, he also stopped clicking.
Now comes the dilemma. If we work with Galen to conquer her fear, she will not only enter our bedroom, she will return to our bed, and Kevin has enjoyed not having fifty-eight pounds of dog nestling up against him, waking him in the middle of the night. I, on the other hand, miss her; when you’re in and out of the house all day, nighttime is together time. (Of course, that’s easy for me to say, as I’m not the one she wakes.)
For now, though, we’re doing nothing. I’ve ordered an area rug, and perhaps that will be enough to lure her back. If not, I suppose I will have to put Kevin’s need for sleep ahead of my desire to have Galen back in the bed. Ugh! Sometimes life presents us with the toughest of choices!
Jacki Skole is an award-winning journalist, author and adjunct professor of communication. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, she spent a decade as a writer and producer at CNN before turning to teaching. Jacki launched WRITE Now to assist students in writing the college application essays that will chart their future. Read More...
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