Drawing the Line

It’s amazing what a difference a little space can make.

The old loft was beautiful, contemporary, and had giant spaces between everything. Our kitchen stretched across half the length of the loft, and due to our lack of dining table, was pretty much one giant open room. When it took Beamer a good couple of months before he stopped bumping into everything all the time, we just assumed this would be the rule in any new place…


Well it turns out that smaller, or at least more defined spaces make more sense to the B. He has really blown us away with his adjustment to the smaller apartment – even with the daily rearrangement of boxes during the first week! I’m not entirely sure why that is, but I suspect that the layout of the apartment is just more convenient for us all.

For Beamer, it is easier to navigate a home with defined rooms than it is to get around one giant open space that blends foyer, kitchen, living room, and den. In the new apartment, all the rooms are pretty much perfect rectangles so Beamer just walks in straight lines to get around. Best of all, when he wakes up from a nap it takes only a few steps for him to remember exactly where he fell asleep in relation to everything else.

The carpet has also proven quite convenient for Beamer, or at least in our efforts at refining his manners. How? The carpet differentiates dog friendly spaces from the humans only spaces, which are marked by smooth floor. And I can’t tell you how helpful this is in drawing the line with both pups!

I’m talking literal lines here by the way. Allow me to illustrate…In the old kitchen I ran into a lot of this:


Whether I was feeding the dogs or trying to cook a meal for Ryan and I, Beamer always managed to get in the middle of things. And if you recall a previous post about personal space, Beamer is just the kind of dog that has no regard for boundaries. Needless to say, I had a pretty difficult time trying to teach Beamer to respect my space in the old loft because I couldn’t figure out how to communicate exactly where the boundaries were.

By appealing to his sense of touch, I am having a much easier time showing our eyeless wonder exactly where the lines are. For instance, now at meal time we ask the dogs to sit and wait for their dinner on the carpet rather than crowding us in the tiny kitchen. This prevents Beamer from jumping up on me or pawing at my legs (which is a line he only crosses with me for some reason…)

Both pups are picking up on this new concept pretty quickly, so we are also developing their habit of waiting before entering through the front door after walks. Again, the literal lines help us out a lot here. Thanks to the threshold that marks our front entrance, Beamer is learning to wait behind the line before stepping paw into the apartment.

We are always looking at ways to improve our pups’ manners, so we want to know: what kinds of manners are you & your pup currently working on?


2 thoughts on “Drawing the Line

  1. I’ve heard, from others with blind dogs that the dogs can feel the walls without touching them, sometimes it’s duct work making a noise in the walls that only they can hear sometimes its just a matter of counting steps of the permiter. I find it fascinating that Beamalicous is thriving in the new layout – and love, love, love it all!

  2. Glad to hear Beamer is making the new home adjustment so well! I was surprised at how quickly Mr B made himself at home with us, being both a senior and deaf. People can learn a lot from dogs 🙂

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