Huff and Minnie and Their Vegan Mid-Century Modern Sofa

Because of Huff and Minnie:

Photo Credit: Donna Reiss

I needed to recover our living room sofa.  It is a striking mid-century piece that I bought from a friend for a song.  She had inherited it covered in gorgeous apple green silk from her mother-in-law.  But her young children were destroying it with their peanut-butter-and-jelly fingers.

When I rescued it, I spent a pretty penny to have it reupholstered in two tones of butterscotch chenille-like fabric.  Because I knew the dogs would lounge on it, I laid a matching rubber-backed carpet runner over the bottom cushions (as  you can see in the photograph), but Minnie liked to burrow behind the pillows and, consequently, it was smelling a bit like dog and showing some wear.

Not wanting to spend a fortune nor figure out how to transport it to Joe’s Upholstery in VA Beach (the best!), I decided to simply recover the two large bottom cushions and the 4 oval back cushions.  Because of the dogs, I wanted something like leather, but for the sake of cows, I wanted a leather-look.  “Automotive Vinyl” was recommended and, while it sounds utilitarian and not terribly comfortable, it is the opposite.

I was able to match the butterscotch chenille of the frame and had new bottom cushions cut, as the others had gotten compressed.  Now, it’s stylish, comfy and animal-friendly in more ways than one.   The results are pretty retro-modern fab, don’t you think?

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  1. LOVE it! The REAL question is, however…what do Huff and Minnie think?! And, the problem is— no one will ever know how comfy it is because they won’t budge!

  2. Just found your blog (thru veganthyme) and I LOVE it! I am a vegan cook and animal lover. I was reading earlier posts and saw that you used bitter apple to help Minnie and Huff get along. I am about to add another (rescue) dog to my clan – so – how do you use the bitter apple to help keep a peaceful pack? I am a tad worried….. Thanks

  3. Hi Debbie~Thanks for such nice feedback. (And thanks to VeganThyme!) So glad to meet you. Good for you for adding a rescue. It is a bit stressful mostly because Huff is so big and really difficult to control if he gets a lather up. First we had them meet at the shelter. That didn’t go so well with Huff and Minnie because Huff was very jealous of my affection in particular, but the kennel manager saw potential and thought we should give it a try. Pyttle was fine with Minnie, but didn’t want a lot to do with her.

    The kennel manager trained US to say, “No sir” and spritz a little Bitter Apple in Huff’s mouth if he tried to go after Minnie. We had a bottle in every room! And she advised letting them hang around the house with leashes dragging behind them in the early days so that we could grab them if necessary. As it turns out, we had company the weekend we brought her home, and they had serious dog training experience. So, basically, someone always was holding a leash for the first 18 hours or so, except when we were asleep. It caused me a lot of anxiety.

    However, by the next day, we saw Huff go down in the play position and she had said that when that happened, we were home free. And it was true. Our husbands left for the gym and when they got back they could sense a difference prompting our guest to say, “Looks like they’re a pack now.” And they were.

    What we didn’t expect was, sometime later, for Minnie to assert her place in the pecking order with Pyttle. And she only did it when Huff wasn’t around–at the vet, on a walk, etc.–and once we had to get Pyttle stitched and stapled. It made my feel physically ill. But my husband figured out the connection to Huff the Alpha peaceamaker, so our vet suggested we crate not Minnie, but Pyttle, when Huff was on his walk or otherwise not home so that we were no longer fighting the order that was emerging. That worked really well. We actually just put Pyttle in the guest room with a baby gate so that she could see out, and I think she felt safe and special lying on the bed. 🙂

    There has subsequently been an occasional skirmish when Huff was home–we’ll find little specks of blood on the wall–but one time Pyttle got Minnie’s ear and I was actually glad. For a while, Pyttle learned to be respectful, but recently, she seems to be more confident and will get up in Minnie’s face about toys or whatever. Don’t know that that’s such a good idea, but there is largely a peaceable kingdom. No real stress for a long, long time. And we get so much joy from them.

    Let me know how it goes, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if I can be of any help.

    I would LOVE it if you would share The Blooming Platter with all you vegan animal-loving friends and contacts!


  4. I love the sofa Betsy. It looks fantastic!

  5. Thanks, Lee! I do too and it smells SO much better than before I had it recovered. 🙂 It wasn’t exactly my intention to keep the dogs off of it, as I chose that upholstery to be very pet-friendly, but it doesn’t appeal to the hounds and stay off they do. I’m definitely not complaining, though!

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