I love watching people’s non-verbal’s as I tell them I have a black Lab and a Collie that live with me and my family in 425 square feet. Even with pandemic masks over their faces, I can clearly make out the wide eyes, raised eyebrows and slight intake of breath. The next question is almost always some version of “How does that work?”
It works beautifully. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve definitely had to adapt to get here, but they are worth it! I’ve had to learn more patience for my sweet Lab girl, who believes it is her sole purpose in life to be my constant shadow. I do have a quick escape up to the loft if it becomes too much but for the most part I’ve just gotten used to her being 2 inches to my left or right. I’ve had to scootch around to the edges as my old Collie lazily decides that lying right in the walkway is the perfect spot. I’ve gotten not one, but two couch covers as I’ve given up on the off-the-furniture rule and made peace with the fact that dog hair is my constant accessory (although that’s a Lab thing not a tiny house thing).
One large way we “made this work” is incorporating them from the very beginning. They are a special part of our lives and I was thoughtful of that when thinking how we would function day to day within the space; hence the dog door, the semi-permanent picket fence and a retractable baby gate to keep the professional beggar and thief from the table.
To those that think they might suffer a loss of quality life in going tiny, I assure you they have not (I type this as my tired Lab lays near me after a day of playing outside with the community kids).
For anyone considering going tiny with their fur babies, I encourage you to think through how your pets will live alongside you every day. Ask yourselves: Where will they sleep? Where will their food and water bowls be placed? Where will you keep the dog food? How will you ensure they get exercise? How will you bathe them? Where will you keep your Costco supply of lint rollers? Once you have these questions answered, you are ready to go tiny with your furry friends.
In a nutshell, they are family and I couldn’t imagine not having their wiggly butts greeting me each day. Big dogs with big hearts have a place anywhere, even in a tiny house.
Be sure to join my Facebook Group Tiny House Haven for more tips and tricks for living tiny!