Do You Allow Your Pets on The Furniture?

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Shortly after we adopted Pew, Anita and I moved into our apartment in suburban New Jersey. Soon after that, we got a new couch. And not long after that, we created a new rule: No Pew on the couch.

If you could see how pretty this piece of furniture is, you’d probably understand. (Not to mention the fact that it’s worth almost as much as I am.)

Yet we know many folks who give their pooches free range. In many of these cases, this stems less from a relaxed attitude than the perception that enforcement is difficult.

Indeed, for us it sometimes is. When Anita and I eat dinner in front of the TV, Pew often tries to wiggle her way up onto the couch next to us.

We gently repel her, just as we do when she attempts entry onto the chair Anita inherited from her grandmother, or the bed. (Most of the time, that is. Anita can be a weak link when it comes to the occasional canine snuggle under the covers.)

There is one piece of furniture on which Pew is allowed. It’s the beige chair in the living room. A hand-me-down Anita inherited years ago from a former roommate, it’s a wood-framed camelback armchair upholstered in heavy jacquard fabric that Pew nevertheless has rubbed pretty raw.

Pew lounges on that chair while I work during the day, but when Anita comes home in the evening, Pew springs forth to greet her before spinning around and coming right back to it. (She’s into running circles when she gets excited. Is that odd?) Her nails, combined with the amount of time that she spends on the chair and her wrestling around have basically destroyed the covering to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised to see stuffing emerge before too long.

Nonetheless, it’s nice for Pew to have her own furniture domain. And we’ve found that she follows our strange house rules even when we’re not in the room. Her chair makes her feel like she’s part of the family, I believe, and time she spends there is time she’s not spending where she doesn’t belong. Still, she often longs to hang out with us on the fancier furnishings.

What do you think of our strategy, readers? Do you think pets get confused by a system like ours? Have you ever decided to relegate one of your lesser pieces of furniture to a pet? Can they tell the difference between “their” furnishings and “yours?”