If you were to come to my house, you’d think I owned a Westie. Walk into any room and you’ll find a photo of a fluffy pup in the grass, a decorative plate hung on the wall, with a Westie painting and white pooch figurines on many a table top. The truth is, my Westie passed away six years ago, but looking at my interior decorations you wouldn’t think so. You’d think he were in the next room. Yet, all owners must agree — dog shrines never really go away, do they?
Now with a new Westie entering the family, Shea Farrell (yes, at birth he has been blessed to be a Mets fan), there will be plenty more Westie decorations to enter the fold. He has no idea what he’s getting himself into.
And how can you blame me? When you have the cutest dog in the world (and who doesn’t think they have the cutest dog in the world?), then you want everybody to know it. Not only are your Facebook and Instagram accounts flooded with his adorable mug, but of course your home becomes a walk-in photo album.
Instead of looking like the crazy dog lady (or man) you are, practice these subtle forms of appreciation. Join us as we play our own version of Where’s Waldo?
With a new photo every month, you don’t have to choose your favorite, but you do have to narrow it down to 12 (and if you have an active Instagram account, that is much easier said than done). The good news is Snapfish will not only create the calendar ($19.99) for you, but they’ll also print any additional photos you request.
2. Photo Album
And with a calendar comes the traditional photo album. Many claim that cell phone cameras have made the paperback album obsolete, but don’t believe them. There’s something about a tangible collection of photos that feels like a memory you can touch. Start a baby album for a new pup or chronicle the life of an old friend with 121personalgift’s Paw Prints Personalized Photo Album ($39.95). Store it under your bed like the old days.
Save counter space in the kitchen by using your fridge. Small personalized magnets add a touch of character to the room without adding clutter or being too #crazydoglady. We love this set of three glass magnets at Shutterfly ($19.99). Or make it simple by purchasing magnets and slipping in any snapshot of your choosing.
4. Coffee mug
Whether you enjoy coffee time at home or you bring your cup of Joe to work, this personalized mug ($11.20) will bring Buddy or Lady with you wherever you go. Think of this as the grown-up’s version of embroidering your name on your lunch box in grammar school. So much cooler, right?
5. Christmas tree ornament
A personalized ornament is subtle and only displayed for the holiday season. Purchase a frame ornament and stock any photo of your choosing. Or better yet, have the ornament specially made at Zazzle ($16.95). Many companies also sell figurine versions of common breeds.
6. Doggie pillow
You may have to resort to a breed lookalike, but this fella ($24.95) can sit on the couch and he won’t shed (not even a hair), snore or pester you for bathroom breaks during your favorite program.
7. Yard flag
Always take advantage of your perimeter property as well. Sneak in another decoration in the backyard with a personalized yard flag. Flagsrus.com lets you choose from lifelike portraits to comic book designs ranging from $13.99-21.99. If all else fails, most yard stores sell breed options that last for years. My Westie flag has been kicking it for eight years and counting.
8. A farewell frame
Although most non-pet owners wouldn’t understand, there’s almost nothing harder than losing a dog. Hold on with a solitary frame, like this “Forever in Our Hearts” ($24) example. A dog may be gone, but he has never truly left your home.
And if you really don’t how to control your crazy dog-owner ways, embrace it. Go ahead and make a shrine. Let the non-dog owners even try to judge. After they get a look at your pooch, they’ll completely understand.
How do you decorate your home with doggie love? Tell us in the comments!
About the author: Shannon Farrell is a freelance beauty and fitness writer residing on the Upper East Side of New York City. When she isn’t testing the latest mascara or running through Central Park, she’s dog watching. There isn’t one in Manhattan she hasn’t commented on. #crazydoglady