Category Archives: Pets

My Charlie Cushions are Finally Launched!

Charlie Cushions are here!  

Janery Charlie Cushion Waterproof Designer Dog Bed
I’m so excited to launch these plush, waterproof pet beds.  There’s a story behind every product I create, but the story of the Charlie Cushion may be the most important of them all.

Charlie Cushions are the reason I started Janery.

In 2003 I rescued a hairless and emaciated dog and named her Charlie.  She was a Rottweiler mix with a bullet in her leg, and with a lot of love and a little training she quickly became an irreplaceable part of my family. Charlie
Charlie loved any and all soft beds, probably after years spent sleeping on the streets.  But if she ate something she shouldn’t, Charlie would have incontinence issues, leaking on her beds as she slept.  I was constantly buying and throwing out cheap dog beds.

I finally got a high end pet bed for Charlie, thinking it would last longer and be less wasteful.  I was so disappointed when Charlie had an accident on it, and the dog bed insert came out of the washer all lumpy.  When Charlie curled up on it the stuffing piled up in the corner leaving a hard spot in the middle.  Plus, the smell hadn’t come out.

For years I wondered why there were no durable dog beds that also looked fabulous.  Why weren’t all dog beds protected by a waterproof liner so their cushions weren’t ruined by an accident?

When my husband gave me a sewing machine for my birthday, I started sewing.  And a year later I decided to create and sell waterproof dog beds.  Beds that complement your decor but are durable and practical.

I had a corporate day job, but on nights and weekends I sewed for hours, honing my skills and testing different designs, but ran into roadblocks finding a quality American-made supplies.  I also got discouraged several times and took time off from the project.  During this all, I developed other pretty-but-practical products – washable throw pillows for humans, Merlin Mats and Catnip Cuddlers for pets, and more.

Now Janery is my full-time job, I’ve found the right suppliers, and my Charlie Cushions are ready to shine.  I said goodbye to my beloved Charlie on Christmas day two years ago, but my other dogs and my cat have tested the beds for her.

If you’d like to save 15% during the launch week sale, you can join the JANERY VIP club here.

How To Clean Pet Accidents From Carpets (So they’re really gone)

If you’re a pet owner, it’s important to know how to treat urine stains and odors in your carpets. From house training a new puppy to dealing with an aging dog with a weakening bladder, accidents will happen at some point.How To Clean Pet Accidents From Carpets

If the accidents aren’t cleaned correctly, however, you run the risk of repeat accidents and/or really smelly carpet that eventually has to be replaced.

A lot of “pet stain and odor removers” mask the scent of the stain rather than treat the source and remove it for good, so it’s important to know the difference. While I’m a huge fan of baking soda and vinegar as cheap cleaners, these are not the best solution for treating pet messes. The good cleaners are more expensive, but they’re still a lot cheaper than a new carpet – or an apartment security deposit.

Here’s what you’re looking for in a dog or cat urine cleaner:

  • An enzyme-based cleaner, not a soapy detergent cleaner
  • No perfumes, scents, dyes, brightening agents
  • One specifically for cat urine if you have a cat
  • A big jug, not a spray bottle

An enzyme cleaner actually works by eating away at the urine, removing it rather than masking it. I repeat: Do not buy a cleaner with scents or perfumes. By adding them to the carpet you risk coating the stain and locking the smell in so that the enzymes can’t go to work.

From foster puppies to a spiteful cat who peed on furniture when depressed, I’ve had hundreds of chances to test different enzyme cleaners.

The best cleaners out there are:

  • Nature’s Miracle
  • Simple Solution Pet Stain & Odor Remover

The carpet cleaning companies such as Bissell have cleaning solutions as well, but we didn’t get good results with them.

When Amber had her accidents in the house I’d like to think we perfected the art of removing urine stains and odors from carpets.

  1. Soak up as much of the accident as you can using rags or paper towels.
  2. To get more urine out of the deeper layers we use a steam vac. If you have a steam vac, load it with some cold water and vacuum the area of the accident, rinsing the area and extracting as much liquid as possible.
  3. Soak the area with enzyme cleaner. Really soak it. A spray over the area is not enough.   Even though the solution is expensive, you’re wasting your money if you don’t use enough cleaner to soak through the carpet and reach all of the urine.
  4. Work the cleaner into the carpet. I’ll be honest, I use my fingers to just smoosh the liquid around and make sure it covers evenly and really gets into the fibers.
  5. Let sit for 15 minutes and then blot dry thoroughly with more rags, or use the steam vac (no water added) to extract it better.
  6. Repeat after 48 hours if you don’t think you got it all the first time.
  7. Be patient. The enzyme cleaner can take several days to work completely and finish drying out, so the smell may linger during that time.

That’s how we tackle pet accident cleanup in our house. I hope it helps!

PS: If your house trained or litter-box-trained pet is suddenly having accidents, have them checked by the vet. A UTI or other medical issue could be to blame, as we found with Amber the Poodle.

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Amber the Poodle Has Surgery for Chronic UTIs

Amber the Poodle has spent the last week sulking under our bed. The reason? She’s stuck in a big plastic Cone of Shame and isn’t allowed to lick or groom her back end, after surgery to fix her chronic UTI issue.

We have yet to figure out how she manages to get under the bed with the Cone of Shame on, but she does. Standard Poodles are smart and wily creatures.

Amber Poodle E-Collar Surgery

If you’re new here, Amber is our Standard Poodle who has had a UTI every month since we adopted her last fall. We’d treat her for the UTI, and then about 10 days after the antibiotic had ended, she’d start having accidents in the house again. The vet would run new tests, and each time the UTI had returned.

We initially had a lot of frustration when Amber had accidents in the house, but we slowly learned that they coincided with the onset of each UTI. Fortunately, Amber has now learned to run up and nudge us when she needs to go out, and we’ve been accident free for at least 2 months.

Amber is less than 2 years old, so we wanted to identify and fix the root of the problem rather than constantly treating the symptoms with antibiotics. Chronic antibiotic use leads to resistance, which is both more expensive and harder on Amber in the long run.

A veterinary surgeon and an internal medicine specialist determined that Amber’s vulva was not shaped quite right, and bacteria could be getting trapped inside because of it.   They also did an abdominal ultrasound and a scope in the urethra but found no internal issues.

Following this, Amber had episioplasty surgery, which is basically plastic surgery to fix the external shape of things. She’s got an ugly incision curving up one leg and down the other, but things seem to be in a better place now.

When pets recover from surgery it’s hard on the whole household. Amber is confused upset about the Cone of Shame, and she doesn’t understand why she isn’t allowed to run and play.  We had to put her on an anti-anxiety / sedative drug to keep her calm.

When I worked for the veterinary surgeon, I saw so many pets come back for expensive fixes because they had torn their initial stitches out from licking and biting at them. That experience helps me stay strong when Amber is desperate to get the cone off her head and run around. Fortunately we only have 6 more days to go.

Amber may still have leaking from incontinence, but apparently injections of collagen can help with that. At least we’ve gotten the major surgery out of the way.

After the thousands we have spent on Amber in just 6 months, I’m really wishing we’d gotten pet insurance for her as soon as we adopted her. Lesson learned for next time!

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Ethical Pet Accessories for Dogs and Cats

Hey guys! I’m excited to kick off this week with a guest post on ethical pet accessories from Jamillah at Made-to-Travel! She’s been a blog friend for several years, and I love that she blogs about ethical shopping. The fact that most of the products we buy are made overseas and in sweatshops of both underpaid adults and children is something that’s bothered me for a long time, and now that I’m making an effort to support more ethical manufacturers, I’m so glad there are blogs like Jamillah’s to help point the way!

Ethical Pet Accessories

houndstooth sweater, made in the USA- $29.99 // fair trade catnip mouse (set of 2) – $11

Hi there Borrowed Abode readers! Jamillah from Made-to-Travel here, and I’m so happy Jane is having me back to share some ethical accessories for pets. When Jane and I were emailing about another guest post she challenged me to find ethical treats for those furry friends and I was totally excited to take on the task!

This is the very first ethical roundup I’ve done for pets and I have to say I’m really really pleased on what’s out there!

ethical accessories for dogs

doggie raincoats, made in Canada- $47.99-$49.99 // rope bones, made of recycled yarn- $10 // fair trade leash- $30 // fair trade collar- $18 // non- toxic doggie frisbies, made in the USA- $9 // pooch pouch with 20 biodegradable bags – $17.49 // fair trade doggie bandanas – $3.50-$7.20 // big sky puppy toys, made in the USA of recycled fabric- $7.50 ethical accessories cats-1cat scratch sofa, made in the USA from recycled paper-$26.99 // handmade cat toys, from sustainable materials- all available here $5.91-$13.86 // happy kitten kit – $37.49 // fair trade cat collar- $8.50 // slurp and meow bowls – $40 // cat track made in the USA – $24.95 // kitty lure made in the USA- $12.95 // catty stacks, made in the USA $14.99 per box

I hope if you have a furry friend at home you’ve found a little ethical treat for him or her in this ethical pet accessories roundup!

And don’t forget Jane does some adorable pet accessories of her own at her shop, Janery.

Shop Janery

Jamillah lives in NYC and writes about ethical shopping and happy things at Made-to-Travel. If you want to start being a conscious consumer check out Ethical Shopping 101. If you’re looking to buy something ethical give her a shout! Jamillah is happy to help you becamoe a more conscious shopper.

Find Jamillah on Bloglovin / Pinterest / Twitter / Email: made-to-travel(at)