the luxury of a pet room

Perhaps your kid has grown and moved and left you with an empty nest. Maybe you no longer need a home office since that laptop keeps you mobile. Or maybe you just have the extra space. Would you consider a pet room? Sounds like something for nutty animal freaks, right? Well, most of the people who read my blog are nutty animal freaks, so we're safe.

My clients of nearly two years, Matt and Connie,* have just such a room for their two pooches, Sneakers and Lanie.** When I came for the initial consult, Matt and Connie showed me around the house and presented the pet room. I couldn't initially determine if it was odd or fantastic, but as they explained the room's features and I got to know how down-to-earth they are, I settled on fantastic. And now that I've been working in that pet room on a regular basis for so long, I give it a five-woof rating, and not just because it's a cool luxury.

But it is a cool luxury. Let's go over the features of this particular room:

• laminate wood floor: looks great, wears well, and is super easy to clean

• large crate: the door is always open, but it's a small comforting space that the girls mostly use for toy storage

• toys, and lots of them: naturally

• ample food and water in attractive dishes: a must, as food always tastes better on pretty plates

• two custom potty pads: potty pads are held in place by frames and Matt cut a plastic "netted barrier" to place over the pads so that the girls would stop tearing up the pads. Genius.

• nightlight: to scare away monsters

• protective gate secured with bungee cords: to keep the girls from trying on clothes in the closet

• shelves to support small ammenities: help keep cords and things up and away from the girls' reach for safety reasons. Adds convenience for their caretakers.

• treat jar: because the girls are so good

• disinfecting wipes: for those surfaces that need disinfecting

• hand-vac: conveniently located for light vacuuming needs

• boom-box: so the girls can rock out when they get bored. I've caught them a few times.

• blinds and fan: to keep the girls cool in summer and well ventelated

• two video cameras: so Matt and Connie can see me stroll in like a zombie at 5:00 a.m. in my PJs (that uniform is a perk of being a professional pet sitter). And so they can have fun peeking in on their girls when they aren't home.

• doorway baby gate: Matt removed the door to the room and replaced it with a tall baby gate so the girls can see out

Whether you think it's awesome or you're rolling your eyes, you must know how happy these dogs are while their owners are away. They absolutely love that room! Though they are excited to see me when I arrive and we have a lot of fun together, they are happy as clams to go back in their room when it's time for me to leave, and sometimes, if they are really tired, they'll even spend time in the room while I'm there! The pet room provides them with a sense of security. They have plenty of room and more amenities than most animals I know. Lucky, lucky dogs.

Do you have the luxury of a pet room? I'd love to hear about it. I've one-upped the pet room. I have a multi-room pet house. My pets even allow me to share it with them.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent from tomato-throwing non-animal-freaks.

**Names have been changed so their canine friends don't make fun of them for being spoiled.