Love Is More Important Than a Clean House

By Bobbi Leder, February 2012, Updated August 2021

To say I used to be meticulous would be an understatement; I really did sweat the small stuff—including crumbs—and would judge anyone whose house was not “company ready.” My floors were always vacuumed or swept, the dishes were hand-washed and put away immediately after eating and dust was a dirty four-letter word in my house.


If my husband made a mess after eating I would yell at him, and the towels had to be folded the way I liked them—just like in Bed, Bath and Beyond. Even my kitchen pantry was organized with all of the spices lined up alphabetically. Whenever I knew company was coming over, I would literally get on my hand and knees and clean until the house was spotless.



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When we moved to Houston we bought a brand new house with hardwood floors—floors I had never had before. Little did I know that every little thing would scratch the wood. I was mortified when I bent down and saw scratches and immediately blamed the builder for not putting the appropriate coating on the floors. The builder’s response was, “Get a dog and that way you’ll have so many scratches all over the floor you won’t even notice them anymore.” I was livid—how on earth could a professional homebuilder suggest such a thing? Didn’t she know I was house-proud?


I thought about installing carpet over the wood or even replacing it with tile but decided the hardwoods would have the best re-sale value. For some reason everyone loves them—everyone, that is, except me.


Then one fateful day in July my husband and I went to a dog show and I came home a different person. I wanted a dog. Yes, I knew these creatures were a huge responsibility—especially the breed I wanted, an English Cocker Spaniel—but my heart ached for a furry companion, so I bit the bullet and adopted a dog named Euri.


Euri was just about the cutest dog I had ever seen and everyone that meets him falls in love with him instantly. He looks like a stuffed animal come to life and has a personality to match.


Though I brush Euri twice a day, he still sheds like crazy. My husband was adamant that Euri was not allowed on the couch because he would get it dirty and fur would get embedded in the fibers, but Euri’s big brown eyes are so hard to resist, so months later, Euri was allowed on the couch. Yes, his fur gets all over the couch—even with a blanket draped over it—and yes, his fur is all over the floor, on our clothes, and all over my car, but I don’t care.


My husband files Euri’s nails at least once a month, yet his nails still manage to scratch our hardwood floors. We even had part of our floor replaced after Hurricane Ike and shortly thereafter, Euri scratched the new floor. But did I care? No. Nowadays I rarely make the bed, clean the toothpaste stuck to the sink or dust.


My husband tells me that I’ve changed for the better; I’m more calm, laid back and relaxed, and I don’t let every little thing bother me—including the crumbs on the floor. But most of all, I'm happy. So how has Euri changed my life? He taught me that keeping a tidy house isn’t the most important thing in life; letting love into your life is.

Photo: iStock

Bobbi Leder is a freelance writer and published author.