A Peek in the Hallway

At first glance, our hallway is just like any other. It has off-white walls (stucco is the official hue, if you must know) and tan carpet and a few of our favorite wedding photos hanging in new frames.

But look a little closer, and you'll realize this hallway doesn't really belong to Conservative Hubby or me. It's Butter's hallway. His official domain.

Although Butter also rules the big picture window in the living room, both the upstairs and downstairs couches, the backyard, and essentially every other place in between he wishes to frequent, he regularly returns to his hallway.

If you stand facing the hallway, you'll notice that no matter how frequently I vacuum the carpet, the fibers at the entrance to the hallway on the left side are permanently matted down. This is often where Butter reclines in the afternoons, when he snoozes while I work. It's also where he dreams each night after he tires of resting on the floor next to my side of the bed.

And it's where he sits dutifully, waiting for our return if he happens to get penned in the hallway when we leave. (This happens less frequently now, but naughty behavior or muddy paws or the impending arrival of the mailman mean he's relegated to his hall rather than left roaming.)

Yet that matted patch of carpet isn't the only sign of Butter's presence.

There are the dirty, worn spots on the wall where Butter likes to lean. There are the corners missing their paint because we recklessly clank the gate against them too frequently. There are the millions of dog hairs that accumulate in the place where the carpet meets the baseboard. There's the black gunk stuck on the ceiling, an unfortunate side effect of Butter's ear problems causing constant head-shaking.

Speaking of that ear gunk, someone taller than me really should scrape that off. It's gross.

And, unfortunately, there are the bright red spots on the carpet, signifying those times when Butter's stomach was upset and he couldn't help but ridding his belly of whatever was causing the problem. (This happens infrequently, fortunately, but somehow only after he has eaten something colorful.)

Apparently the tile bathroom floor just steps away isn't nearly as inviting when he's not feeling well.

And so this is Butter's hall. The place where he can wait patiently for his family to return when we leave him behind and listen with one ear cocked to the sound of my typing in the office and keep watch on the world while we sleep.

And for this reason I can handle the dingy, dinged walls and the matted carpet.

Besides, as long as we leave the hall light off, it doesn't look too bad.

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