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Monday, November 14, 2011

Dumpster Diving Doggie Digs

This is one of my dogs, Arwen, a North American Hairless Chud.
Okay, actually she's a dog with a myriad of skin conditions kept in check with an arsenal of drugs that put my medicine chest to shame.
She gets weekly baths to soothe her skin.
She's pampered like a pooch in a Legally Blonde movie.
Her vet greets her with, "There's my little show dog!"
Her lounging needs are a priority
Last January, we got her a bed that was fit for a princess.
The princesses around here could take out a defensive line.
 11 months isn't a bad life span for a dog bed.
But as I started adding up the cost of replacing multiple units for the favorite flopping spots of both dogs, I got dizzy.
 I priced more durable foam cushions at the craft store and realized I was talking well over $100 to make my own beds.
Raise your hand if you see that happening.
 Think, woman, think!
So Samwow and I got up one weekend and canvased the neighborhood looking for my newest Grail, a curbside couch.
We found one with thick, firm seat cushions in good condition.
Is that crazy? Well, whether or not it is, the cushions went in the back of the Kia, and we left behind us some befuddled stares of folks who were knocking back beers a little early for my taste.
I was surprised they'd surrendered the couch.
After a two day regimen of extermination and decontamination, we got approval from Feline Overlord Inspector 5, and the project was under way.
Now to turn sturdy pleather cast offs into something that will be comfortable and match the rest of the room.
First, we get out the measuring tape
 And, of course, the scissors and the pin cushion.
 Cut out your pieces according to the dimensions of the pillows (ours are 24"x 21"x 8" ) plus seam allowance, so we need a top and bottom cut 27"x23", and 2 side pieces for each dog bed 26"x10" and 2 measuring 23"x10".
This is all fabric from the stash in tough denim, so so far our investment is zero.
 Zippers, too! Here's our only expense at 3 bucks a pop.
 Really long zippers (26" )
 And the sewing machine!
Vannah's very hip starter Brother is just fly enough for the chore.
 First, we're going to put in the zipper. We put it in on the longest side piece.
 Cut the piece of fabric in half the long way.
 Line up the zipper
 And sew~! Fold the edge of the fabric over a little so the edge doesn't fray into the zipper and make everything messy and gross.
 Now sew the pieces together. If your cushion is a rectangle (like ours) instead of a square, make sure you're alternating the lengths accordingly (short, long, short, long; like the rectangle).
 Sew on the tops and bottoms. Make sure you open the zipper a little so you can flip the cover inside out through the zipper opens.
 Sewing machine.

 Now throw it over the cushion
 And take an obligatory picture of a cat.

 These stack well for storage, and your little wiggly butt princess can have a bed where ever she likes to lie down.
You can also slide a heating pad into the slipcover, which is a serious consideration in my house with a nearly hairless pupster.

 The orders are rolling in from the other creatures who run our lives.
But for now, we have a sturdy, durable, washable, nearly free trio of new dog beds that match our living space like furniture, and one very happy little spoiled pooch.
What more could you want?


Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

Great idea, we use old sofa cushions for my dogs at my parents' house - because that's what was handy when I forgot to bring a dog bed. I'm lucky that my dogs are in the "we gently lie on our beds" camp. But dang, isn't it crazy how expensive the good foam is? That's what I use for my dog beds, because it's good for my achy Charlie's old bones, but the stuff is NOT cheap.

pilgrimscottage said...

My dog had the same problems and I put a clove of minced raw garlic in some minced raw meat everyday. It worked like a charm and the results started showing in two weeks. he looked so much better after the first month. Often times, commercial dog food will cause this.

Heather said...

Our dogs have never really been "bed" dogs. In fact, one of them (not our brightest, by far) prefers to lay on the hot concrete in the direct sun on 100° days instead of under a nice shady tree in the grass. Go figure. So for the most part, they're happy with laying on the carpet when inside.

Love your cutie pie dog! In one picture it kind of looks like you tied her tail in a knot ;)