In The Dog House and Lovin’ It

“In the dog house” used to mean being in a whole heap of trouble. But Calgarian David Beart is about to put a much more positive spin on that old phrase.

He is setting out to build the “World’s Most Pet Friendly House”, a custom designed home with Fido, or in this case Shreddy, in mind. Shreddy is the Beart family’s 15-yearold Wheaton terrier mix, and the inspiration behind the unique project.

“No one really builds a house that really includes the pets, so that’s what we’re going to do,” said Beart.

He said the project “just made a whole lot of sense.”

“When we bought a brand new condo years ago, we put the carpet in and within two years, our carpet was trashed because we had a dog and the carpet we thought was going to be good didn’t stand up. This time, we’re going to make sure the products that go into the house are pet-friendly.”

Beart had originally planned to build his pet-friendly home back in 2008 before falling ill. After a successful kidney transplant, the project is now back on track, with Beart detailing the process on his website www.professorshouse.com.

Along with products like scratchproof laminate from Shaw Floors, easy to clean carpets, dog doors, a grooming station and “a pet monitoring system,” Beart’s home will also feature a customized room designed just for a dog.

The goal, Beart said, is to provide owners of Calgary’s nearly 127,829 dogs and 95,670 cats with an affordable option for a home of their own.

“Right now what we’re trying to do is build a house with pet-friendly products, features and functionality that the average Calgarian can afford,” said Beart, who plans to keep his house in the $500,000 price range. “I think that building this house with products that people can afford, a lot of people will be able to relate to it.”

Not happy with simply satisfying the needs of man’s best friend, the home will also contain feline friendly touches like an enviable cat tree, window sill seating and spaces in the sun along with a 250-gallon aquarium for the family’s fish friends.

Scheduled to break ground this year, Beart’s plans to build his 2,400 sq. ft. home in Evanston close to one of Calgary’s many dog parks. Beart chose Trico Homes as the builder for the home, based in part on their pet-friendly advertising which features a pug named Stuart.

Trico Homes fittingly took home the 2012 Sam Award for Best Innovation, and Clark Hogan vice-president of marketing, said partnering with Beart was a natural fit for the company.

“It fits with our branding,” said Hogan. “We want to make sure that our homes are meeting families’ needs and that includes pets. What’s interesting about (Beart’s) project is that it’s focusing on how can we make our homes more suitable as far as being pet friendly, but also more durable so that the homeowners value is retained.”

For Beart, the test of that durability will come in rather extreme fashion. In order to confirm the home’s ability to withstand the very worst that pets have to offer, a dozen dogs will be taken to the river and allowed to get filthy, then returned to the home and let loose within its pet friendly confines.

However, Beart said he’s not worried.

“I am not concerned with the durability test at all, this is because we are creating partnerships with companies that stand behind their products and are confident that they can stand up to whatever we toss at them.”

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