This is my dog, Falafel. He was a death row dog at the local
animal shelter when we met. I had been jacked around for
months by a local animal rescue group with good intentions
but a bad case of inertia, so one Saturday I went to the local
pound and browsed the cages of
homeless hounds. I had a prepared list of criteria for the dog
I was going to adopt. He met none of them. He was too big, 
and too much of a runner. he was ill suited by breed and
temperament to  be out in public under voice command, and
he was sure to tear up my yard and jump the fence. Naturally,
I took one look at him and took him home. Of all my
concerns, only two held up. He will never be the sort of dog
that follows at my heel and ignores the urge to chase after
anything that moves, and my back yard will never be on a
magazine cover. Both are things I can live with.
La Casa Del Falafel
Of course such a dog needs the
best dog house I can provide, so
I set about building him one that
would be the envy of any dog
anywhere. The temperature
here in Dallas routinely exceeds
one hundred degrees in the
summer, and gets rather chilly in
winter so if he was going to be
in the yard while I’m at work,
he’d need an air conditioned
dog house. The shed in our
back yard would be the perfect
place to conceal the equipment,
and the house would be
designed to resemble the shed.
Insulation was a high priority, as
was structural strength. The
walls are framed with 2x3 cedar
on a treated  2x4 base. The
interior is 5/8 plywood. The walls
and roof are insulated with
cellulose. The exterior is a style
of plywood picked to match the
shed as closely as possible. Air
conditioning is achieved by use
of a recycled water cooler, a
junkyard heater core from a pickup truck, and a small fan. The cooler chills
the water, which is circulated by means of a sump pump through the heater
core, and back to the cooler. The system works fine at temperatures up to
about ninety, but to cool beyond that it will require a cooling tower of sorts to
remove more heat from the water before running it through the cooler. I have
the parts to do this, but the project has been put on hold indefinitely because
it is cheaper to let Falafel stay in the house during the warmest weather and run the central A/C than it is
to cool his house. Oh, well. He never seemed to like cool air blowing through his house anyway. He still
hangs out there when the A/C isn’t running.
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