How’s Willow Adjusting? (+ Tips For Bringing A Dog into a New Home)

September 26, 2019

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

This post is sponsored by BISSELL®.

BISSELL is taking its love for pets to the next level with the introduction of the ICONpet High-Powered Cordless Vacuum™. Not only is it thoughtfully engineered with powerful features to tackle pet hair and messes throughout the house, but for each ICONpet purchased, BISSELL will help BISSEL Pet Foundation cover the adoption fee of a shelter pet in an effort to end pet homelessness–an effort we hold dear to our hearts. Several years ago we adopted a large Saint Pyrenees, Charly, and more recently, we adopted our current Bernese Mountain Dog, Willow. Two of the best dogs we have ever known.

We’ve received so many questions about how Willow has adjusted since our move 4 months ago. It took time for all of us to adjust and in ways we still are, but it was the most difficult for Willow to feel settled. From accidents in the house, which never happened previously. To not eating. And not resting at night. It felt very similar to how she acted when we first brought her home two years ago, so we knew more than anything she just needed extra love and assurance.

As part of the BISSELL’s ICONpet High-Powered Cordless Vacuum launch, and the important cause associated with it: finding loving forever homes for pets in need, we thought it would be the perfect time to share a few tips that have helped Willow get adjusted after adoption and in our new home.

When we brought Willow home 2 years ago, she had a lot of anxiety and would sometimes just sit and look at us and bark, as almost to say, “Take me home! Take me home!” Those first few weeks were an adjustment and required a lot of patience on both of our parts. When we moved–we experienced some of the same things. To help her, we took a LOT of walks – multiple times a day. It helped her get some energy out and recognize where home was. It was the best feeling when she would start turning into home automatically. When we moved here, we walked her around the large 3.5 acre property so she could become familiar with it.

We invited her into our room to sleep every night. Willow wasn’t crate trained so it was hard to know how to make her feel safe. She didn’t seem to want a bed or anything like that, but did seem to enjoy the comfort of our presence. So before bed, we’d call her into our room and that started signifying it was time to calm down and stop pacing. She gravitated toward the bathroom tile and funny enough she settled onto the tile in our new bathroom, too.

We learned that there were dogs that previously lived here, which could explain the accidents she started having in the house when we moved here. She was marking her territory. We knew more than anything, we wanted her to feel  at home and not threatened. The biggest remedy for that was to clean, clean, clean.

The ICONpet High-Powered Cordless Vacuum is equipped with convenient, pet-focused features that are expertly engineered for homes with pets.

  1. A High-Performance Digital Motor turning at 420 MPH, powering up to 40 minutes of cordless cleaning depending on the mode and attachments
  2. Versatile options allow this product to clean as a stick vacuum or transform into a hand vacuum, extended reach wand or hand vacuum with motorized TurboBrush tool
  3. An innovative Tangle Free Brush Roll on hair 6-8 inches traps pet hair without wrapping around the vacuum
  4. A removeable dirt canister for easy, yuck-free emptying
  5. A SmartSeal Allergen system helps trap dust and allergens inside the vacuum
  6. Specialized pet tools powerfully clean pet hair from all sorts of nooks and crannies
  7. Three cleaning modes work across any floor type
  8. Swivel steering allows for easy maneuvering around and under furniture

I’m happy to report that with all of these things and time, I can confidently say Willow has never been happier. In our last home, I would open the door and she would bolt every time. Here, she moseys onto the front porch for a morning nap and watches all the comings and goings throughout the day. The extra space has been heaven-sent for her and she really is so calm and happy.

Special thanks to BISSELL for sponsoring this post and starting this movement to connect more pets to their forever home. For every ICONpetHigh-Powered Cordless Vacuum sold, BISSELL is donating $25 to BISSELL Pet Foundation to help end pet homelessness. The $25 donation covers the adoption fee of one shelter pet at a BISSELL Pet Foundation Empty the Shelters event waiting for a forever home. At least $1 million dollars will be donated in 2019 alone!


What do you think?

  1. amy mcgarr says:

    I need more about dogs and clean houses. I’m a very neat person, love decorating and all things home. Enjoy our 50 lb labradoodle who doesn’t shed or drool. We are getting a Saint Bernard pup in a few weeks and I am having a bit of a panic. Been searching the internet … big dogs and a clean house. Yours is all that pops up. Love more advice before my drooling, fur ball shows up

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      It’s a daily struggle, Amy! We have like six vacuums, haha! The Bissell is truly a game-changer though. We’ll never go back.

  2. Cristy says:

    Loved this post and I’d love more Willow content! It gets me every time. :D Dogs are such an integral part of the home for people who consider their pets as family (me) and I loved the project from a few years back on making a custom bowl mounted to the wall for Charly. Also, I had only been following you all for a couple of months before you sadly had to grieve her loss and I was still heartbroken. Willow makes me smile and I love how well you all love her!

  3. Coleen says:

    Sweet Willow. We all need an adjustment time…even our four legged family members. Did you ever read/see The Art of Racing in the Rain? Such a good book for dog owners. I loved it mostly for the dog voice through out. I always felt my dog can communicate with me. The book cements it!

  4. Katie says:

    Kudos for adopting and not shopping! Can you please mention what responsible rescue or local shelter that you adopted from? You have a large and attentive audience, and you have a perfect platform to use your voice to help bring attention to the THOUSANDS of shelter and rescue dogs that exist in every community. You’ve mentioned ‘adoption’ many times on your blog, so I am assuming it’s very important to you. Give that rescue/shelter a shout out- I’m sure they’d be so grateful for the attention. These organizations are constantly doing the work of angels and tirelessly helping the voiceless.

  5. Karen says:

    How does the Bissell compare to the Dyson cordless you have? Wondering if they’re comparable or if one or the other is a major upgrade

  6. Mel says:

    We’re moving in a month and while i’m moderately nervous about how our 3 year old will adjust, i’m VERY nervous about how our 5 year old cockapoo will adjust. Fortunately I work from home so i’ll be with her at all times. But she’s a highly sensitive pup and I know it’ll take her some time. Our current house has multiple front facing windows that she’s in front of all day and the new house only has front windows in the kitchen. My husband and I already agreed that top of the list is to build her a bench in the kitchen to look out the window. Got to take care of our furry friends first :) And the 3 year old will be fine…i’ll paint her closet door pink like her one here and she’ll be happy (as for the sponsored part of your post….my husband has regretted for 5 years since we got married that we didn’t register and get a cordless so perhaps it’s time…..)

  7. Linda says:

    Your family and Willow were made for each other! I’m so happy she’s adjusted well. Kudos to you guys.

  8. Nicole Roe says:

    We moved only 3 doors down and our dog for the first month would escape to the old house multiple times a week. We still owned the old house and our neighbors would text us that he was asleep on the stoop. We still find our cat over there harassing the neighbors dogs and catching critters.

  9. Laurel O. says:

    Wow I can’t believe it’s been two years since you adopted Willow! Seems like it was just yesterday!

  10. April says:

    It’s tough being a dog in a human world. Willow seems so sweet, and is lucky to have such a patient family.

    If she hasn’t been interested in traditional dog beds, but you still want to offer her something more joint-supportive than the hard floor, check out Kuranda beds. It’s an aluminum frame with a taut nylon insert. Very firm and sleeps cool (I’m guessing that’s why she likes tile.) They also sell toppers to make it a bit cozier. The dog and cat are obsessed with it. I love that it’s stupid simple to clean. Will last forever. And they have a shelter donation program. Great company.

    Looking forward to more construction progress! Have a great weekend!

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

Last week, Chris and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to London for work. We were invited by Williams Sonoma and William Morris and Co to preview their newest collaboration and the inspiration behind it. It was my first time in London and although it was a quick trip, they brought us all over […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations