Nutmeg’s Destruction Teaches a Lesson

Nutmeg and Nora, Cairn Terrier sisters, joined our family about five years ago. We have had our ups and downs but we eventually settled into a comfortable companionship, occasionally marked by complications caused from the Cushing’s syndrome and then the blindness that Nora developed a couple of years ago. We call Nora our special-needs dog, while Nutmeg is sometimes overlooked, sometimes referred to as the red-headed step-child.

Summer 2016 Photo Credit:  Misty O'Connor

Summer 2016
Photo Credit:
Misty O’Connor

Well, this post is all about Nutmeg (mostly).

Now that Nora is blind, she does not dominate ball play anymore. She’s more obsessed with her “Baby,” a stuffed candy cane, which we, for some reason, assigned a female gender. So, Nutmeg doesn’t have to worry about Nora taking her balls anymore, she’s loves to carry them around, and often, she seems to work them under the sleeper sofa in the family room, or in any other nook or cranny, necessitating our involvement to retrieve them. Maybe she’s a genius dog and figured out that she gets attention that way.

Well, after hundreds of retrievals, the process started to get old for my husband and myself. One day, I sat down to eat lunch in the living room, catching an old Gilmore Girls episode on Netflix and could hear Nutmeg in the family room making the familiar little groans and tiny howls that she produces when she’s lost her ball.

I must have lost my mind that day, because I actually thought Nutmeg would just have to wait, or deal with the lost ball on her own.

Oh, she did.

The destruction.  Note the brown pillows behind the polka-dotted ones.

The destruction.
Note the brown pillows behind the polka-dotted ones.

Eventually I got off my derrière, because Nutmeg was being “so irritating.” When I got to the family room, I saw bits of brown on the floor, and, at first, I thought that she had taken out biological revenge on me for my laziness. Then, I realized what had happened.

She had torn apart the bottom of the sleeper sofa, trying to get to her ball.

Have you ever laid your eyes on something that made you put your hand to your mouth and say, “Oh no!” over, and over, again? I couldn’t be mad at Nutmeg, because I realized this was my fault. How did I think a ball-obsessed dog was going to deal with her problem in a constructive way?

Soon, I reasoned that I never really liked the sofa, so I went shopping for a new one. Believe me, the sofa is not worthy of a professional upholsterer’s services. After visiting a couple of furniture stores, I realized that all sleeper sofas are ugly unless you pay a lot more than I wanted to. Still, I found one that cost about 50 percent more than I wanted to pay and didn’t look too bad, and I said I’d be back a couple of days later so my husband could look at it. Then, I set about finding a new home for the boring, brown sleeper sofa that is only four years old and has only been slept on five times or so.

Surely, the Salvation Army, or some other charity, would take it. No dice. None of them wanted a torn-apart sofa any more than I did. It seemed like mine was destined for the landfill, which wasn’t acceptable to me.

I can do this.

So, I decided to try to repair it myself, thinking about different ways to approach the problem. Cut material from the back? Buy new material that sort of matched or complemented it? Then, my husband remarked that neither option was necessary and pointed to the matching pillows. Genius.

If you realize by now how much I hated the couch, you can imagine how much I couldn’t stand the matching pillows. At least they could have made them with some sort of print. So, tearing them apart and seeing if I could make a patch for the sofa sounded good to me.

The pillows were adorned with piping, so when I dismantled them, I saved the piping in case I could use it to make the patch more interesting. I threw the pillows’ zippers away. When I need to put a zipper in something, I buy the kind that’s in a package, with instructions. This tells you how often I sew.

Once the two pillows were in four pieces, I squared the sections off, making sure I had the material all going the same way. Then I sewed all four together in a line, using the piping in between. It’s amazing! The size couldn’t have been more perfect for the area I wanted to cover.

A step stool held up the sofa bed while I worked on the patch.

A step stool held up the sofa bed while I worked on the patch.

Annie, get your gun.

I used a staple gun to attach the material to the wood frame and tucked either side in. Voila! It looks so nice! The three lines of piping give the sofa a more-interesting look now. And now that I have three hours invested in it, I have more “skin in the game,” as they say.

Nutmeg’s destruction taught me a lesson about laziness, and it gave me a nicer-looking sofa. I even have some fondness for it now. Last night, when we were going to bed, before we turned out the living-room lights, I started walking in the opposite direction from the bedrooms. When my husband asked where I was going, I said, “I’ll be there in a sec. I want to look at my sofa again.”

The finished product.

The finished product.

Don't look so sad, Nutmeg. it's all better now.

Don’t look so sad, Nutmeg. it’s all better now.

Ann Silverthorn

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Posted in Daily Life, DIY, Family, Nutmeg and Nora
4 comments on “Nutmeg’s Destruction Teaches a Lesson
  1. Dawn says:

    Awesome story, Ann! Loved it!

  2. Karen says:

    Great story! You never know what to do with your dog. We had our grand dog over for a week and every time he moved, Mom tried to take him outside. He had pee’d at one point in the house. So the entire week was spent trying get the dog outside and then back in again! Stressful! As much as we love dogs we plan to remain pet free.

  3. JK says:

    Oh my gosh! What a great turn around story! Sweet Nutmeg, sweet Nora. Talented Ann and patient Jim…

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