What Having a Dog Taught Me About My Kitchen

published Nov 5, 2017
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(Image credit: Minette Hand)

First, let me explain: When I say “having” a dog, what I really mean is “babysitting” a dog. I do not have a dog of my own. Mostly because my husband and I can’t agree on a size. I want a dog that’s small enough for me to carry around like a baby and he wants one that he can ride. So until they come up with a breed that can grow and shrink on demand, we spend a lot of time taking in other people’s pups while they go on vacation. (In fact, we just said goodbye this morning to a shiba inu named Sumo.)

We’ve learned a lot from watching nearly a dozen different dogs over the years. For one, I like rubbing bellies nearly as much as dogs like getting bellies rubbed. I’ve learned that dog toys are key for beating boredom on rainy days. And I learned one important thing about my kitchen.

What dogs taught me about my kitchen: My floors are never as clean as I think they are.

I’m a decently neat home cook. Even still, I sweep my floors almost every night because I still drop the random piece of onion (and actually, onions are super bad for cats and dogs!) or leave a trail of breadcrumbs from the oven to the other side of the kitchen. Plus, I have very long hair that is constantly shedding and there’s something extra gross about hair on the floor in the kitchen (no thank you!).

So I like to think that my kitchen floors are clean enough to eat off of. But then a dog comes to stay with us and manages to find tons of things to gobble up. How that’s possible is beyond me. Not only did our recent guest Sumo find plenty to snack on, but he also took to licking the kitchen floors as if they were made of peanut butter. (They’re not.) What was he finding? He wouldn’t tell me, of course.

As soon as Sumo left, I gave those floorboards a super-good scrub with a microfiber cloth, warm water, and white distilled vinegar (1/2 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water). Half because I didn’t want all that doggie spit on there, and half because I knew there must have been something lingering for him to be licking those floors so much.

I think they’re clean now, but we’ll find out the next time we take in another dog. For long-term maintenance, I plan on switching from sweeping to Swiffer-ing and adding more regular vacuum sessions.