Category Archives: My Dog House

Little Tiger Lily Brown

The Brown Family Farm has a new edition! Meet little Tiger Lily Brown.

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Tiger Lily is pretty much the best birthday present that anyone can ask for! It was Matt’s birthday a few weeks ago and his best friend said that he wanted to get him a wild animal. So here we are with Tiger! She’s a Mokave Jag Cat, which is a rare new breed that’s a hybrid mix of bobcat, snow leopard, Asian leopard and domestic cat. Some Mokave Jag cats weigh as much as 32 lbs and they look like mini bobcats. Some look more like beautiful spotted snow leopards and are a little smaller in size. Tiger is 4.6 lbs now, which is the size of my Mom’s little Yorkie. She’ll probably be two times the size of Bear.

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Why another cat you ask? After all Bear has put us through, we’re either bat shit crazy or we are now feline experts. Plus, I don’t think it can get much worse than Bear and his shenanigans so I’m praying that by getting a little girl and by training her properly, she’ll end up being a lot more… polite when it comes to her potty choices. Call me even crazier, but I’m determined to teach her how to potty in the toilet.

We picked Tiger up on Monday at the airport and lo and behold the poor thing had pooped and peed all over herself in the crate. We were scared. Holy crap, another Bear. To make matters worse, there were sounds coming out of that crate that a cute little kitten would never make. She sounded like a mini cougar growling and hissing. Once we got her out of the crate we realized that she was just really pissed to have been in a box on a plane for 9 hours. She’s the absolute sweetest most beautiful creature. She immediately started purring when we petted her and over the last few days we’ve fallen in love with her. She’s scary smart too! She already knows her name and she’s already playing fetch with me and knows how to get her mouse. Tiger has completely won us over with her sweetness, smarts and cuddliness. She loves to snuggle up with us under the covers and loves to take naps on our laps. When she’s awake she’s a nonstop tornado and then she crashes hard. I’m officially a weird dog girl, obsessed horse girl and a crazy cat lady now!

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The craziest part about all of this, is that Bear actually likes her. We were so worried because Bear was an alley cat punk when we lived at the beach. He would come home with battle wounds and tufts of black hair where he’s dew claw had been. Poor black cat. One time Bear had a whole in his neck that I could’ve stuck a finger through from another fight. Our neighbors constantly heard cat screams in the night. Maybe Bear senses that a baby tiger has moved in and that she’s going to grow up to be twice his size or maybe he’s smitten with the kitten. I will never know what Bear thinks and that’s ok, as long as he’s not peeing on me.

I’m just so relieved that everyone is getting along and that there’s going to be even bigger cuddle puddles of fur all over our house. If only the horses could come inside and cuddle too. Life is so much better when it’s filled with animals and love.

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Thinking about love

Wow! Life is crazy and good! It’s amazing how letting go and accepting the journey can result in the most positive, amazing and unexpected outcomes. I’ve always been a little bit resistant to change and now I’ve been shown the light! Change is fantastic!

I loved our life in San Diego so much that I was afraid of leaving behind all of the good, but God/the Universe/Mother Nature/a greater power had something else in store for us. I’ve always been an extremely visual person and a big dreamer and all of a sudden a ton of my thoughts and dreams are becoming a reality. I’m incredibly overwhelmed with gratitude and awe that this is all happening. One thing is certain- it all starts with Love.

My whole life I’ve been in love with animals. My whole world involved around them and they taught me how to love and truly care for something outside of yourself. I worked so hard in school because I wanted to make my parents really happy so that I was allowed to ride horses and maybe one day have a horse of my own. I continued to work hard through high school because I wanted to get into a good college so that I could have a career that could support a lifestyle that included horses. Then my love of dogs lead me to build a dog training and walking business. I would not have been able to achieve anything without my Love, Matt, and the devoted love of my mom helping me to run the business. It all starts with love.

Matt and I have talked about our dream house for hours and hours over the last few years. We’ve always imagined a decent sized property so that we could have our own little zoo filled with animals and our kids. We imagined a property with big trees and a creek and a space to build a barn for our horses, music and art studios. We talked about which styles of houses that we loved and talked about how we wanted to renovate an old house and fill it up with friends and family. I always thought that this was going to happen down the road… in at least 5-10 years, but it’s happening now! All of the hours of dreaming and planning are manifesting now. Next week we close on our dream property that has all of the details mentioned above. There’s a creek and big sycamore and oak trees and a preschool across the street with kids laughing.

And to top it off, we already found my dream horse to complete the vision. Her name is Gracie and she’s a beautiful warmblood mare who’s perfect for me! She’s not too easy and will keep me on my toes. We have a lot to learn together and I’m so excited for all of our upcoming adventures. The timing has been just right because her owner is a friend of Matt’s mom who has owned her for ten years and has been her only rider. He’s so in love with her and has been looking for the perfect home for her. He could easily sell her for a few thousand dollars, but out of love and loyalty to Gracie, he’s giving her to us for free and entrusting her into our care. When he told me that he’s giving her to me my eyes welled up with tears of happiness and thankfulness. I’ve dreamed of a horse like Gracie for so long and I can’t believe that she’s going to come live with us at our new house. I can’t wait to lavish her with love and paint our house in love.

Matt and I are dreaming like crazy these days and envisioning afternoons picking veggies in our garden and cooking big family style dinners after going for long rides on our horses. We’re thinking about how we want our future to be filled with laughter and adventures with our family. I think about loving Matt with my whole heart and holding his hand when our hands our bony and veiny with age. I am so thankful to be with a man who wants to make our dreams a reality by planning, talking and working towards them everyday.

I’m in utter awe of the power of dreaming and being in love. It’s truly magical.

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How to Train Yourself to Be a Cleaner Person

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Living in a dog house is a dirty business. With two shedding golden retrievers, a long hair orange cat, a brother, a fiancé, the sand from the beach, lizards, dust from our disintegrating old building, and the constant flow of people in and out of our house, it’s basically impossible to keep our house spick and span. My good friends will tell you that it’s not easy being a house guest at our place. One of my brother’s friends was sleeping and got pooped on by our bad cat Bear and another one of my friends woke up with a cricket in her bed. We’ve also found a mealworm or two in our couch cushions. There’s fur balls the size of golden retriever puppies under my couch and the amount of sand on the floor calls for flip flops all year around. Our house has been called the Neptune Zoo on more than one occasion and our friends have learned to stay at the Travel Lodge up the road.

Needless to say, cleaning my apartment is no easy feat even though it’s only 1,000 sq. feet. I moved in with Matt and my brother four years ago and it was definitely an adjustment. Matt has a lot of toys and a tendency to leave a snail trail behind him. I can walk into our place and know exactly what Matt has been up to all day. He cares more about organized closets than leaving trash and crumbs all over the counters. However he is really good about taking out the trash and if I ever ask him to clean something up he’s really good about it. Still, the level of mess drives me bonkers sometimes and at one point I just wanted to give up!

I can’t just blame Matt and the animals for our messy house. I have a terrible habit of leaving clothes all over our room. I have a weird mental problem with not being able to put my lightly worn clothes back into the closet with my clean clothes, and I definitely can’t put those clothes in with my dirty clothes in the laundry basket. Strange, I know! So instead my slightly smelly clothes end up on top of the laundry basket and then start spilling onto the floor making them even dirtier so they end up as actually dirty clothes. I’m also not the biggest fan of doing dishes and I can’t stand bathroom germs. I can only clean my bathroom if I’m going to take a shower right after. I’ve seen way too many black light tv shows to want to clean my toilet or use a dirty dish rag to clean my kitchen counters. You would think I would want to clean my bathroom all the time because of the germs, but I put it off because I don’t want to get personal with the petri dish of bacteria which is my bathroom. I’m also not super great about organizing closets. If it’s behind closed doors, it hardly exists. I’m a surface cleaner who’s also a germ-a-phobe. I also can’t stand vacuuming or mopping floors, which is a must-do living with dogs on the beach.

So what is a dirty dog girl to do? I’ve decided to train myself (and influence those that I live with) to be cleaner. Matt and I made up a chore chart because I hate nagging and I don’t want our happiness dampened by our unclean living space. The chore chart has made all of us more mindful of how much we should clean and how much we actually do. The satisfaction of checking off a chore feels really good. I remember being a kid and asking my mom if I could make myself a chore chart, mostly because I wanted to use shiny stars to reward myself for cleaning up my room (another strange thing) and I wanted a weekly allowance. To this day I still love the satisfaction of a simple check mark or a shiny star. Funny how something so simple can make me so happy. I also LOVE the feeling  of having a clean house. Which is why I’ve been training myself over the last year to make better habits.

Just like with training dogs, it’s important to make baby steps and to look at simple solutions first.  Matt got me the best Christmas present ever this year- the pet hair edition iRobot Roomba named Harriet (pun intended). I LOVE Harriet. Anyone who lives with dogs must have this amazing piece of technology. I can honestly say that not having tumbleweeds of golden hair flying across my floor has increased my happiness by tenfold. It’s the BEST feeling to multi-task and turn on Harriet while I’m doing dishes and then by the time I’m done, my whole house looks ten times cleaner and I can walk around with bare feet. My friend Nadiah has an  iRobot named Sandy and we can’t wait to get them together for a playdate. I highly recommend reading the Amazon reviews for the iRobot. The best one is about someone’s iRobot smearing huge circles of cat poo all over their house. Don’t let this be you. Make sure you check your house for cat poo before turning on your robot. I know I do. Also, if anyone reads this, please tell Matt that I want a Scooba iRobot for my birthday. That would be the best birthday present in the whole world. No more mopping!

In order to decrease my nagging and my frustration with our apartment, Matt decided to hire a cleaning company. Once a week we have our amazing house cleaners, Vicky and Alicia come and do big cleaning. I LOVE them and they make magic happen. If you want their number just let me know, they are incredible and so very sweet. It’s worth every penny when you live in a dog house with two boys. They’ve increased my happiness exponentially. Cleanliness equals happiness.

After reading what I just wrote, I do kind of sound like I’m an extremely lazy person, but I swear I’m not! Life gets busy and if you can get help from a robot named Harriet and have someone do big cleaning, you can increase your productivity, reduce your bitchiness toward the people you live with and create more time for having fun. Because cleaning up is a lot easier now, I don’t mind cleaning up as much. In fact, I’ve been teaching myself to do 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening before I sit down and relax on the couch. It’s a great way to start the day and a great way to unwind from the day. I’ve also learned to see Matt’s snail trail as a love trail. He doesn’t see the mess, so I’ve learned to accept it and to leave sticky notes pointing out the mess rather than nag at him. Nagging is a major buzz kill for any relationship. All of this is probably not rocket science to a person who is naturally clean who lives by themselves with no animals, but for me, it’s made a world of a difference. Oh and I’ve learned to hang up my medium dirty clothes in a special spot behind my bedroom door where people can’t see them. Not that anyone cares.

Now that I’ve aired my dirty laundry to the world (another intended pun), I hope that I’ve been able to help other dirty dog girls learn how to keep a cleaner dog house. Trust me, I still have a long way to go before I’m a super clean dog girl, but for now, the crickets are no longer in our house, the cat is more potty trained (depending on whether or not he’s mad at us), the mealworms are in the lizard cages, and Harriet continues to suck at her job, in a good way.

My Dog House

This is what a dog girl’s house looks like. It’s full of love and dogs. It’s also full of dog hair and cat hair too. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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My Daisy girl is my most favorite couch accessory. She’s a constant fixture of happiness and peace in my little beach side apartment that I share with my animal-loving man, my little brother, Mr. Taj, Bear the cat, and our slithery friends- Benjamin the green tree python, Ezmerelda the bearded dragon and Zero the panther chameleon.

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There’s lots of love packed into our little place. It’s full of laughter and lots of cuddling. I love my dog house and all of it’s creatures.

I’m excited to share my dog house with you! I can’t wait to share my tips on how to live with animals and how to create balance and peace in an inter-species household. Happiness is a Roomba, a good lint-roller, plenty of good smelling candles and much more!

Peace, Paws & Love,

The Dog Girl