We got a dog! Jane is a one year old boxer mix who we adopted from a local event. She is a sweetheart, but, like every dog she has her quirks.
When we took her home, she had a case of happy tail. Happy tail is common for short-haired dogs. When they wag their tails and knock it against a hard surface like a wall or a crate, the unprotected tail opens up and begins to bleed. If you think about a dog who is wagging a bloody tail all over your house, you can understand what a disaster happy tail can be.
To help protect her tail, we held off on getting a crate so she wouldn’t whack her tail against the sides. This meant that when both of us are out of the house, she has free range.
Well, it turns out that we got a minimalist dog who knows that we still have a long way to go in our downsizing adventures. She has destroyed many items from around our room, including headphones, a hairdryer, plates, a pair of shoes, yoga mats, seashells, and our gerbils’ food.
Through her destructive hijinks, Jane taught me an important lesson. Downsizing your belongings is not fun if the choices are made for you. We are so fortunate that we are in a position where we get to make the lifestyle choice of building a tiny house. It is something we have chosen, not something we were forced into by necessity. We have the time, energy, and other ability to build this house. We get to choose which items we would like to keep and which we would like to get rid of. When this choice is made by someone else (like Jane), or circumstances beyond your control (like a house fire, robbery, or flood), there might be feelings of revulsion, anger, and resentment.
Jane also sparked us to make some more progress and make our own choices before she destroys something else. We went through about six boxes of things still packed away from when we moved a year ago, and kept only two.
Hopefully we find a better solution for Jane when she is left alone. I look forward to modifying our house plans to include doggy accomodations.