An Easy, Temporary Dog Bathing Solution for Renters

If you’re a renter and a dog owner, chances are you struggle to bathe your dogs easily in your apartment. In the summer you may have access to an outdoor space with a hose, but in the winter there’s not much you can do, short of putting your pup in the shower and climbing in with them. At least that’s what I used to do, in all of the homes I’ve rented with my dogs over the years. And let’s face it – showering with your dog is awkward for both parties involved!

Easy Pet Bath title

So, do you want a temporary, rental-friendly solution that’s not only affordable, but easy to install yourself – without compromising your security deposit? Here’s how I converted my shower so it can do double-duty as a pet bathing station.

I found an inexpensive shower conversion kit at my local big-box hardware store. I was initially going to bite the bullet and replace my landlord’s shower head with a fancy (and expensive) handheld shower head system, but a closer look at all the options found that there are inexpensive handheld shower conversion kits that work with your existing shower fixture.

Any handheld shower head will work well for bathing your pups, but some are simpler and more affordable than others. I chose the . . . continue reading at

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The Nursery: A tale of two dressers

One of the most stressful parts of creating the baby’s nursery was the dresser/changing table, or lack thereof.

You see, when we traveled to New Hampshire in October after losing my mom, we bought a beautiful mid-century dresser at our favorite vintage store. It was long and skinny and had tons of drawers, perfect for storing little baby items.

Nursery Mid-Century Solid Wood Dresser Just L

However, with three of us on the trip we didn’t have room in the wagon to bring the dresser home , so we paid for it and left it there. We decided to take a Christmas road trip/ winter getaway to the White Mountains and pick it up then.

Over the next few weeks, though, my back pain increased to the point where it was unbearable to be in the car, even for 15-20 minutes at a time. (This pain was caused by pinched nerves, which were later diagnosed as caused by my too-high amniotic fluid level.) It became apparent that I couldn’t do the 7 hour drive with Ryan, no matter how much I needed that dresser in order to finish the baby’s nursery.

I contacted several shipping companies to have the dresser moved down, but the estimates were in the $900 range, which seemed ridiculous for a single piece of furniture.

The only solution was to find another dresser for the baby’s room, and to pick up the New Hampshire one in the spring.

When my dad came to visit for Christmas, we hit up several thrift stores. We found a $90 solution at the first store we visited, and thankfully my dad convinced me to buy it. I was about to walk away, holding out for something with fewer scratches.  It looked pretty rough at the store:

Nursery Goodwill Dresser Before

Once we got the dresser home, I gave it a good cleaning with a rag, and my dad worked at rubbing some marks off of it. I tried using a scratch repair waxy pencil to fix the scratches, but it didn’t work. Then I rubbed at the scratches and chipped areas with Danish Oil. Almost as if by magic, the oil helped the scratches to blend in, making it look much less beat up and more like a well-loved vintage piece.

Nursery Goodwill Dresser After

I’m so glad he convinced me to give it a chance, though. The beat up dresser has a solid wooden frame and a good mix of small and large drawers, even if the surfaces are veneer.

Nursery Mid-Century Thrift Dresser Detail

In the end, the dresser was perfectly acceptable for a baby’s nursery, and as I filled the drawers with the tiny baby items, I realized that I was very happy with the purchase. It was a good lesson in the idea that sometimes a quick and easy 80% solution is good enough.

Nursery Goodwill Dresser Changing Table

As for the beautiful, solid dresser we bought in New Hampshire? I think that’s going into our master bedroom where it can be truly appreciated.

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Our Poodle’s Potty Training Problem: Diagnosing the Cause

Amber the Poodle has brought so much joy to our lives since we adopted her in September.  She is so silly and Merlin is so happy to have a playmate again! It’s so good to see my old man (12 years!) playing every day.

Amber Merlin Playing in Snow

However, about 5 weeks into Amber’s life with us, she started peeing in the house. We were confused, because we thought she was house trained. I was frustrated at times, mainly because our efforts at re-training seemed to work some days and not others.

Thank goodness for our carpet steam cleaner.

We worked hard at re-house training Amber, letting her out every 3 hours, keeping her confined to whatever space we were in, teaching her to go potty on command outside, and all those things you do for potty training. But she kept having accidents.

I’m ashamed to admit that it took me a while to realize that maybe she wasn’t a bad dog . . . maybe she had a UTI. Sure enough, a visit to the vet diagnosed infection. We treated it and Amber’s accidents stopped.

And then the accidents started again, seemingly out of the blue. Cue the frustration and the attempts at house training again. Another visit to the vet showed another UTI.

Let’s cut to the chase. We finally realized there was a cycle. When a UTI flared up, Amber would start having accidents every 2 hours, and would wake me up during the night to go outside and potty. After 3 days on antibiotics, Amber’s accidents would stop. About 10 days after completing a round of antibiotics, Amber’s accidents would start again, and sure enough, it was always a new UTI.

It’s not normal for a dog to have chronic UTIs; it clearly points to a bigger problem. This Saturday Amber has an appointment with an internal medicine specialist for a consult and ultrasound, so we can hopefully get the ball rolling on diagnostics before the baby arrives.

Amber the Poodle Snow

In spite of all of this, or perhaps because of, I’m incredibly thankful.

  1. I’m so thankful that we found Amber. No doubt part of the reason she was returned was because of accidents – and this chronic problem could have had her cycling through shelters and owners. So sad to imagine!
  2. I’m thankful that Amber is actually house trained and there is a reason behind the accidents.
  3. Finally, I’m thankful that we adopted Amber rather than bought her, saving all the money for veterinary care. Even if we paid full price for a purebred pup with health guarantees, expensive medical problems could still come up.

So please, let this serve as a reminder: If you’re dealing with a confusing behavioral issue in your pet, always take them to the vet to rule out an underlying medical cause.

Hopefully we’ll have some good news for Amber next week, in the form of a diagnosis and treatment plan! In the mean time it’s back to frequent potty breaks and antibiotics, which she loves because they come buried in peanut butter.

Amber Merlin Playing in Snow 2

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