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That Time We Fostered a Large Cow

Sometimes friends come into your life for a season, and then, just as soon as they came, they’re gone again. Such was the case with Bessie.
White and brown cowhide rug
Bessie, of course, is the cowhide rug I bought recently for our office. She came to us (via an ebay auction) because she needed a home and a family, and we needed something to visually separate the dark wood desk from the dark wood floor.

Sure, we had other options, like this ikat rug I stole one time.

But the longer I looked at it, the more wrong the ikat rug felt in the office. (I’ll use it in Weston’s room, eventually.)

Plus there was the Giant Rug Dilemma: how far under the desk do we place the rug? We couldn’t put it completely under the desk because the edge of the rug would always be in the way of the computer chair. We could leave the desk completely off the rug, but then it didn’t serve the purpose. Or we could stick it halfway under, like in the photo above, but it wasn’t ideal.

We needed help. We needed Bessie.

Home office with cowhide rug
Her natural curves meant she could sit completely under the desk, but we could still slide the computer chair under it too.

But while Bessie was an improvement, she still didn’t feel quite right. See, Bessie was large by all real cowhide standards, but she still felt small in that room. We could layer her over a large natural fiber rug, but then we’d still have the problem of the edge of the rug under the computer chair.

She had other issues too. Andy immediately got creeped out by the way she felt underfoot. I just found this photo of him lording over her disapprovingly.
Sitting at a desk with a cowhide rug

Not really. Mostly he was just sitting there.

Also, she attracted pests. The moment we laid her down on the floor, we began suffering from an infestation of small children in superman pajamas.
superman montage
(Every time we flicked on the light switch in that room, toddlers would scatter.)

We loved Bessie’s natural coloring, her shape, her kid-friendliness, but it was clear that we had to help her move on to another family who could love her the way she needed to be loved, give her the attention and devotion she deserved. Craigslist was the answer. (And I made $5 on the whole transaction!)

…And just as soon as she came into our life, Bessie had moved on again.

But we weren’t ready to give up on the rug issue yet. I took to the computer and set out on a new search. These faux cowhides were much larger and promised to solve Andy’s creeped-out feelings and the size issue all in one go. They were slightly more expensive, but I used a coupon code to drop the price. Plus I loved them so much knIew I could happily reuse them in any room.

Meet Bessie’s replacement.
Faux cowhide rug in a home office
Her vast size makes Bessie feel positively petite, a rare feeling for an actual cow.
faux cowhide rug
Admittedly, right now the room feels very rug-heavy.
Large rawhide rug
But I think once we add some art, chairs and accessories, the new rug will fade into the background a little more. (I don’t know what furniture or art I’ll find yet, but here’s a little mockup.)

For now, I think Bessie’s replacement can consider the office its permanent home. We’ll think fondly on Bessie, but it’s like they say…

when you love something, you have to let it go.

Have you ever made a large online purchase that didn’t work out? Any ideas for treating toddler infestations? (The ones in the superman pajamas are the toughest to treat.)

Let's connect


  1. Ok, I loved Bessie. But I also love your 2nd choice. I like that it’s so huge. I have a cowhide rug in my dining room, but I also want one in my office! Darn it. 🙂

  2. Love this! Yes I have made online purchases that don’t work! It’s a risk when we buy online, but I think that is part of the excitement for me!

  3. Totally digging Bessie’s replacement. But she doesn’t have a name. Which makes me sad for some reason. My suggestion: Lafawnduh.

  4. The new rug looks great! I think it suits the size of your space better. Good luck with that toddler infestation! That’s the worst! ; )

  5. Faux cowhides, you say?! Now you’re speaking my language! I think it looks fantastic, and I totally just bookmarked that link.

  6. I just love that rug!! Looks awesome in the space so far.

  7. Looking good. The chair, plant and art make the room look AMAZING. It’s all in the finishing touches right?

  8. i love the replacement cow! i mean, i loved your first one too, but I almost love the colors of the replacement in that room a little bit better! The scale is really nice, too!

  9. So the foster cow gets a name and the perm replacement doesn’t?

    Just because, Joel’s scooter is named Bessie. And you can tell Andy she’s not creepy at all. 🙂

  10. I love the second larger choice! Bessie was beautiful, but this one just fits better!

  11. Hee-hee, I love your rug story. As for your superhero infestation- I say live with it- it will probably grow on you. 🙂

  12. Have I mentioned you are funny? Oh I have? Ok. You are brave to go for a cowhide rug. I think it’ll look great once you’ve got everything else in there!!

  13. I just love the new rug! Looks great! You are so talented and inspirational!! I had that horse head that you have on your desk…. broke last week. I almost cried.. Seeing it’s twin made me happy! Have a great day! Love everything you do 🙂

    • I’m so sorry to hear of the death of your horse head! I’m honestly shocked that mine has survived this long. He’s just sitting there, right on the corner of the desk, right by where my two-year-old plays. It’s just flirting with danger.

  14. I would also like to note that the comment above was made by me, Katie, not Jen. The end.

  15. Love Bessie’s replacement… I like the brown in there and she does seem to fill the space better. I’m not sure how it solves the child infestation though…

  16. I LOVE the new rug. But I think Bessie’s sister (or brother depending on which way you go) needs a name too!

  17. Bessie would be perfect at our home should you ever decide…just saying..

    • We’d have to put you through a rigorous evaluation process to determine if you’re a suitable rug foster parent. It’s grueling, but rewarding.

  18. She (He?) looks so snazzy in her new pasture. I mean office. (Your office is way too elegant to be a pasture.)

  19. You are so darn funny. What is the new rugs name?

    The only thing I have found to cure Super Toddlers is waiting it out till their tiny cape no longer fits.


  20. Looks AWESOME!! As far as the toddler infestation issue, as long as you feed them, they’ll hang around and get even bigger. Soon you’ll be overrun… in the best kinda way. 🙂
    Au revoir, Bessie… sometimes it’s best to go faux!
    xo Heidi

  21. Keep the rug, I’ll take the rugrats off your hands. Cutest infestation ever!

  22. faux cow hide? what? I love the scale of the new rug in the room. Happy to hear Bessie found herself a new and loving home. 🙂

  23. I’m happy to hear that Bessie found a new home because I really love your new rug! What’d you name it? 🙂

  24. I love Bessie’s replacement! Good choice. I’m thinking her name should be Maude. Or maybe Bertha or Fannie. Just throwing out some suggestions. 🙂

  25. I love Bessie’s replacement. And way to be making a little dough on the resale *virtual fist pound*. Have you chosen a name for the new cowhide? Might I suggest Gertrude (Gertie) or Mabel?

  26. Bessie 2.0 is fantastic! Can’t wait to see the room with a snazzy little armchair and some beautiful art!

  27. I’m sure Bessie found a nice foster home filled with toddlers in superman costumes to play with her … hey, maybe they’ll even spill some juice on her …



  28. I feel that you love Bessie more because you’ve given her a nice name. My hubby too was especially disapproving before when I first bought the authentic cowhide rug, but eventually he became ‘accustomed’ to it so it stayed on our dining room floor til now. I know you’re kind of not into the real cowhide rugs now, but do you think this one I am eyeing will work great considering my hardwood floor is a shade or two lighter than your office?

  29. I know this is old, but I just started reading your blog.

    Just wondering if Bessie’s replacement has been named since she became a part of the family? Rosie? Cinnamon? Doris?

    • You know, we never did name her, but now that I see your comment it’s perfectly clear that Rosie is the right choice. 🙂


  1. […] Aside from that, we also added our DIY capiz shell chandelier, some super fancy bookshelf lighting that we LOVE and a faux cowhide rug. […]

  2. […] discouraged because I couldn’t find anything that I liked! But then this blog popped up: View Along the Way  which linked to an overstock webpage that – had faux cowhide rugs! […]

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