The Year of the Dog


2018 is the year of the dog according to Chinese zodiac which starts on February 16th, the Chinese New Year. In the past century, the years of the dog include 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018. The dog is man’s (and woman’s) good friend who understands the human spirit with much loyalty. Those born in the year of the dog are said to be sincere, independent, loyal and decisive, facing any challenges straight on.  It’s no wonder we are all dog lovers here at Terracotta! So much so, we’re proud to share our own loving companions along with a couple of pet-friendly design tips.


This love bug is Luna, Luly’s English Cocker Spaniel who is obviously a lap dog. — “We are a bit lax in our house when it comes to letting Luna jump on the furniture.  If you are the same at home, you want to invest in furniture with dog friendly fabrics. Some of our dog’s favorite furniture pieces are slip covered (making them easy to clean) or upholstered in a polyester micro weave fabric that is indestructible. I would rather cuddle with our dog than worry about our furniture.”


Avon Barksdale (left) and Sadie McPuggins (right) are lucky enough to have Kirstin and Jono as the parents who blessed them with those fancy names. — “We let the dogs sit on the couch, so I try to choose pillow and upholstery fabrics that A. are washable and B. won’t show their light fur. I made the mistake once of splurging on a beautiful deep blue wool pillow and it was like a magnet – I could NEVER get all the hair off! Velvet is also a no-go. Cottons and linens work better for us.


Meet Ili’s Ziva, looking so royal and loyal while negotiating for the ball. This sweet and rambunctious German Shepherd knows she rules the house, but Ili’s take on a happy co-existence does not exclude design luxuries. Start by selecting flooring materials that are well made and will age gracefully with the inevitable scratches. Invest in attractive baskets and containers where you can easily round-up the chew toys and tennis balls at the end of the day. Designate (and design) a space in the home that provides your dog with a “den” in which to relax and be queen (or king!).  If renovating or building new, make sure to include storage cabinets that house dog food, dog bowls and other pet products and can stay neatly out of sight when not in use.

But in the end,  Ili’s most honest advice is “buy what makes you happy, train your pup, and invest in a REALLY good vacuum cleaner!”


Gunner. 77 pounds of golden greatness has charmed his way into Amy’s heart. —”From day one he’s made himself comfortable in a coveted white linen chair. There’s no getting him out of it so my solution is a fluffy gray faux sheep skin draped over “the evidence.” He also has a designated decorative pillow that goes away just before guests arrive. He is too busy entertaining to notice the slightly chewed pillow is missing for a while.


Euclid. Ears like silk and a pensive stare, this gentleman loved walks with his family. Euclid did not shed and rarely needed a bath. However, he would indulge himself with an occasional dip in the pond. Nicole is a huge fan of a “mud-room” or an entry way  built-in where you can deal with any muddy situation at hand. A good built-in can store wipes and towels, shoes and backpacks.


Finn, (left) a unique Corgi-Australian Shepherd mix, is the official “greeter” at Katelyn’s home, while Carpenter (right) monitors family activities from the comfort of his sofa. — “I have indoor/outdoor rugs at the back door that can easily be hosed down after a lot of muddy paw traffic. It’s also a smart idea to consider carpet tiles, like Flor, that can be cleaned or pieces parts replaced as needed without sacrificing design.”


This sweet pup Snickers (the candy bar) is appropriately named. Like chocolate, Michelle found him irresistible when she rescued him at a shelter. Since then, he has brought many years of joy to her family. Her advise is to keep a handheld vacuum handy to quickly deal with the inevitable shedding. Dyson makes one that is cord-free and lightweight.


At the end of the day, we all agree that there’s not much better than being with your 4-legged BFF. Happy Chinese New Year!

—love life at home.


Thanks to all of our precious pets who inspire us. The featured image is from Facts about the Chinese New Year came from

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