AT:LA reader Heather writes us: I'm hoping you might be able to help me with an area rug dilemma. I own a 40-lb Staffordishire Terrier who loves, loves, loves to lounge on my cream-colored living room area rug. I don't mind, except she hasn't learned how to wipe her paws yet. Despite my housekeeping, cream has turned not-so-cream, and now, frankly, the rug is ugly. I've requested quotes from professional cleaners, and was a little turned off by the price. (Call me nuts but shouldn't cleaning the rug cost LESS than the rug?) Since we're not giving up the dog, we're probably going to go through this again and again. I'm thinking we need a different rug. Something esthetically pleasing and soft underfoot, but also able to withstand Rosebud and her doggy ways. Our living room has several mid-Century pieces... a dark cocoa-colored chair, a mocha-colored couch. The wood in the room (danish tea cart cum tv stand, cocktail table, couch/chair legs) is stained in a warm pecan. The walls are painted cafe au lait and the trim is white. The curtains are linen (flax and ivory). I don't want anything too dark because it will make the room look smaller, and obviously, with the dog, the lighter colors present a challenge. A builder suggested a wool rug, because it would wear well. Someone else said I should go with an outdoor rug. I like that idea, but most outdoor rugs I've come in contact with are either hideous or don't have a pleasing texture. Heather, We've had similar problems over in our neck of the woods, too. (We had a shagg-ish wool rug that was ivory, and our dog liked to eat his treats solely on said rug. Needless to say, our Dyson was put to the test many, many times over). Luckily, our friends whom we shamefully know only as "Moose's mom and dad" highly recommended a striped dhurrie rug, and we think it might solve your problem. They're not plush, but flatweave wool or cotton (making it very easy to clean!), and really soft for bare feet. Also, with something like stripes, it won't shrink your living room space, but actually make it appear longer depending on which way you lay it. We're a bit partial to this rug, or if you're looking to stick with the Craftsman-style color scheme, maybe something in red like this Birmingham red cotton rug from Dash and Albert (it's reversible!).