Every morning, when I come downstairs to take Emma to school, Willie is waiting for me. He goes on the school run with me, waiting for me to say “Okay! Let’s go.” so he can go bounding out the door and into the back of the car. As soon as I make my first appearance downstairs, he sticks to me like glue. He’s developed this funny habit where he follows me around downstairs and in the kitchen, constantly touching the back of my leg with his nose, letting me know he’s there. And he’s ready to go when I am. Some mornings, it makes me crazy. Some mornings I think what a good service dog he could have been.
But if there’s anything about Willie that’s remarkable, it’s his ability to make a mess and be a mess. He wears disaster like a crown.
When he was a puppy, he’d show up at my back porch door covered in mud, wondering why I wouldn’t let him come inside.
It started a routine that I secretly think he enjoyed–of being plopped into our big stainless steel kitchen sink for a head to toe bath and rub down with bath towels.
He is the dog, who can’t just take a drink from the water trough out in the field, but has to lie down in it.
He is the dog who won’t let you leave the house for 30 minutes, without reminding you why you should have taken him along.
He is the dog who gets taken to the big stream for his first swim of the season. And instead of staying in the back of the car on his towels to dry off, goes leaping over all three rows of seats to sit on the driver’s seat and wait for you to get everyone else in the car. And wonders why you’re upset that the soaking wet dog is now sitting in your seat.
He is the dog who pulls the toilet paper roll through the whole house.
He is the dog who can clear the coffee table with his tail and sit eye-level at the dinner table, grazing crumbs off the top when you’re not looking. (And when you are.)
And he’s the dog who has made quite a few friends in this family.
To know Willie is to love him. And to smell him.
Whether it’s wet dog smell, cow manure or panting dog breath–he lets his presence be known all over my house. With any 4-legged member of a household comes a whole lot of benefits. And a whole lot of cleaning. And Willie has certainly put my cleaning skills to the test. Just this morning, on the ride to school, he decided to sample all 6 bottles of juice that I had forgotten were still in the back of the car with him. I just can’t explain this dog.
So in honor of all of our favorite pets and the disasters they leave in their wake, I’m sharing my…
5 favorite ways to get the stink out and keep my home smelling clean and fresh (despite the hundred-pound Labrador working against me).
1. Baking soda: Baking soda is my number one defense when it comes to de-odorizing my carpets. A few times a month I sprinkle it around the area rugs in my house before I vacuum. It helps absorb odors and is one of those quick and easy fixes since I always have it in my pantry.
2. An essential oil diffuser: With puppies come accidents and one night I awoke to quit a disaster in the mudroom where Willie sleeps. While I worked to clean up the mess, hold my nose and keep from gagging, I ran my diffuser to help clear the air and get rid of the stink. This diffuser has saved me on so many occasions–including the time the dogs decided to venture into the woods to find some ungodly rottenness and then roll all over the mudroom floor right before guests arrived for dinner. My guests walked in to the scent of fresh citrus, not decomposed funk. That diffuser saved the day. (Here’s the one I love.)
3. Febreze Odor Eliminator laundry detergent. Remember that first trip to the stream this spring? Well, when your kids decide to wrap the wet dog in their beach towels, getting that wet dog scent out of those towels isn’t easy. Febreeze Odor Eliminator is added to your laundry along with your detergent and it doesn’t just mask the odors, it gets rid of them. Wet dog smell, food smells, mildew, smoke–it gets rid of them all. It an essential part of your pet-odor-fighting-arsenal.
4. Trader Joes Lavender Laundry Sachets. Lavender is one of my most favorite smells and when I discovered these dryer sachets from Trader Joes, I was sold. Not only do they freshen up your laundry in the dryer, once they’ve lived their life in your dryer you can sprinkle them on your rugs and vacuum the herbs up. It freshens your home (and your vacuum.)
5. Cedar Shavings under pet beds. Where does Willie go when he comes inside–wet and stinky? To his dog bed, of course. But by building a frame for his bed, we were able to line the bottom of it with cedar shavings. They are not only great for absorbing odors, they can also repel fleas and insects.
What are your best tips for combating pet odors in your home? (Here my husband would say, “Keep the dog outside.”.)
This post is a part of the Happy Homes Campaign with KSW Media. Thanks to Febreze Odor Eliminator detergent for sponsoring this project and today’s conversation. All content and opinions as always, are my own. If you’d like to try these products, you can download coupons here.