Outdoor Creature Comforts
Gone are the days of Rover’s homemade doghouse, constructed of simple plywood, a few nails and a splash of paint. And indoor cats, historically “trapped” inside, away from the natural habitat of their ancestors, now have access to the world of chasing bugs and feeling the wind in their whiskers. Wild birds and animals, once considered passive invaders of a human landscape, are now bestowed with various creations designed to make their lives better than ever.
La Petite Maison is devoted to custom building extraordinary doghouses for the quintessential canine. Business partners Alan Mowrer, a high-end custom builder, and Michelle Pollak, the lead designer for the miniature custom homes, target their business to pet owners who simply want the very best for their pampered pets.
“The dog owner may have virtually anything they desire within the structure, from marble floors to hardwoods, hand-stamped wallpaper, air cooling and heating systems and even crystal chandeliers,” Pollak says. They offer customized, one-of-a-kind dog homes that are often miniaturized replicas of the owner’s own extraordinary homes.
“In Dallas we may create a lovely mini mansion, whereas in Santa Barbara, it may be a Spanish Mission-style design,” Pollak says. Building materials differ from region to region as well as to what type of breed the dog home is being built for. La Petite Maison prices range from $6,000 up to $30,000 for custom construction.
The cat’s meow
Handmade townhouses for cats and dogs to share are built by Blythe Wood Works. The company’s cat houses are available as a single or two-story unit. A lower platform is elevated about 16 inches from the ground and an upper bunk can be easily accessed by even the fattest cat and appease your feline’s primitive desire to sit on an elevated perch.
Want to let Fifi run wild? The Kitty Walk system provides access to outside elements for indoor cats. Built out of large, mesh tubing, the system may be linked via various connectors, allowing for indoor cats to have access to the outdoors while keeping them protected from predators or running away. Ideal for backyard decks, patios and apartment balconies, some Kitty Walk units have built-in hammocks for catnaps. The system also has an elaborate small dog and cat walking stroller line made with a compartment of mesh to prevent leaps to the sidewalk.
Birds in your own backyard will have it made at mealtime with the Advanced Pole System (APS) from Wild Birds Unlimited. APS has a modular design allowing for the addition or subtraction of various parts and accessories, so you can customize the grand feeding station in one of over 3,000 available combinations.
Carice Welch, owner of the PetPeopleFurniture.com, says, “Pets give unconditional love and today, more than ever, pet parents are reciprocating with building designer dog and cat houses, designer pet rooms, purchasing stylish clothing, glamorous jewelry and luxurious furnishings.”
To meet the growing market’s demands, La Petite Maison designer, Pollak, will be launching her line of designer pet furniture later this year. “Our customers want the very best for their pet but also have discerning taste regarding the furnishings in their dog’s home,” Pollak says. “We are filling a need with our new line.”
From feline to canine to our fine feathered friends, outdoor creature comforts provided by generous and loving homo sapiens are plentiful and promise to be even more so in the future.