Friday, November 9, 2012

A Little Side Project

I get home from work several hours before Nate does, and as the bathroom is a two person job, I've been trying to be productive while I wait for him to get home. But, I have a confession to make.

When I posted that beautiful picture of my new dining was a lie.

My dining room does not look like that.

It has a big metal dog crate shoved into a corner. Well, right now it has two, as Seamus is grounded for eating things.

Bridget is our big bad watchdog. She's even been known to scare people who are dogsitting her if she forgets who they are. She is head of security and is as good a reason as any for a "Beware of Dog" sign. This being said, she's also been known to let toddlers ride on her back as well as letting my one year old nephew hold on to her (forcefully) while she helps him walk around. She's a total sweetheart, she's also a total bad ass. Since she is perfectly behaved out of crate, and I'd prefer her to eat someone if we had an intruder, she gets to be left out of a crate.

But, her and Teagan are still getting used to each other. Teagan is in the rebellious age where she is testing her boundaries with Bridget who is Alpha dog (and NOT afraid to have angry fights to prove it.)

Imagine two powerful Jersey girls ripping each other's hair out and screaming. Now add in angry dog sounds.

That is kind of what it's like when she finally lays the smack down on Teagan.

This really only happens once in a blue moon, but since we've only had Teagan about 4 months, I feel safer crating her while we are gone. I know Bridget would win in a fight and I don't want to deal with the aftermath of a potentially injured Teagan being alone for 8 hours while we're gone.

For her safety she has a crate.

But, that being said, the crate drives me CRAZY. I did not just spend all this time and money redoing my beautiful dining room to have an ugly crate in it every day. And with them being 40-50lb dogs, they aren't small crates.

I've been racking my brain for a solution that would keep Teagan safe and be aesthetically pleasing.

Then in my many hours of pinning, I came across this.

Photo from Endorsed by Igor

It's from a blog called "Endorsed by Igor" and that my friends is a vintage TV. I immediately started drawing up plans and STALKING all of the internet to find one.

I hit gold when I found the Free Store. Apparently there is a store in Lansing called "The Free Store: Office Scrappers" and half their store is stuff you can just come take away, while the other half is very reasonably priced. (I will say this right now though...something or someone in that place reaked of cat pee the day I was there though so I didn't spend much time there)

Anyway, they posted on craigslist that they had a vintage TV console for free and all someone needed to do was come pick it up. I of course monopolized Nate's saturday demanding that we go out to lunch and grab it while waiting for paint to dry.

Here's my vintage TV.

It's not quite the right age for the house, but hey, it was free and the right size, so I am gunna go for it.

First I had to rip it all apart to see if Teagan would even fit in it. Though, I figured if she didn't, we have a 12lb Coton that comes to visit us several times a month, so worse comes to worse we could put it up in the guest room for him.

After I opened the back, this is what I saw.

Lots of wire cutting, bolt losening, unscrewing and spider killing later, I had it all out. It was slightly harder than what I thought it would be because originally I didn't want to remove any wires. I plugged it in though, and it wouldn't turn on, so I attacked every single wire to make it a little easier to see.

At several points I got super frustrated, but I kept telling myself that repair men had to be able to get into these things to fix it, and if they put it together, I could take it apart.

Eventually, I got it to look like this.

I showed it to Teagan (and I wish I got it on camera) because it was like she knew it was for her. I really just wanted her to sit in it so I could see if she fit, but she was running around it, sniffing it, jumping in and on it. She loves it.

Here is my plan.

The whole thing is going to be primed and painted including the pieces that need to be made.

The vented floor obviously isn't going to be a strong enough dog bed, so I'm going to cut a piece of wood to size and upholster it with a $5 fluffy blanket from Wal-Mart (her favorite) and a little bit of cushioning.

After that is slid into the bottom, we are going to attach a solid back (the back had the vents on it too) I thought about having Nate cut some like...air it or something, but it is going to be against a wall anyway, so I think the solid is a good idea. Plus, then she can't but out the back.

The front is the issue that we are having. While I'd love to just leave it open, she needs to be locked up, so we've come up with a few ideas. The trick is that it can not be a solid piece of wood or it'd be like shoving my poor puppy in a box- which is not okay with me.

  • We can remove the door from her metal crate and retrofit it to the TV to create a gate.
  • We can make a wood and metal mesh or punched tin door that can close.
  • We can make a slotted wood door.
  • We can use lattice.

Or some other idea that we haven't thought of yet.

I think what I'd want to do is two small slotted doors on sliders. That way there's no swinging door action and she can still see/breathe (which is good)

I figure we'll draw some plans up and see what will work best.

So that's my side project right now!

What's yours?


  1. I LOVE THIS IDEA. It's going to look so cute.
    For the door- she might be able to chew through something wood? Maybe chicken wire?

    1. That's what I suggested too, but Nate said if the crate made me twitch putting chicken wire up wasn't going to solve a problem. But I totally agree with you...let's gang up to convince the bald one.

    2. Would she hurt herself on chicken wire? It seems kinda sharp to about some interesting 'grate' type of thing? Decorative of course..don't you know a welder?


    I'm thirding the chicken wire idea.

  3. Such a great project!! Teagan is one lucky dog!

  4. You can buy a dog crate divider panel and some how securely screw it in. The divider panels are used for crate training puppies in their big dog sized crate. Or, hardware stores carry poly-coated rat wire (smaller holes than chicken, but no airflow decrease). Chicken wire scares me because it bends easily and when it breaks, it could do some real damage to her eyes.

    Your creative energy amazes me!!


Please leave us a comment! We love to hear from you. We promise your comment will appear as soon as possible :)