Denver — The solar-heated doghouse must be an idea whose time has come. At least two of man's best friends, one in New Mexico and the other in Tennessee, are enjoying what must be the most avant-garde in doghouse designs.
Both have homes that utilize passive solar technology. Their doghouses have windows designed to capture the rays of the winter sun, and brick floors that store the heat to keep them warm through the night.
the simplist of the two was built for Kip by his owner, David Robertson of the University of New Mexico's Energy Institute. Mr. Robertson used materials left over from construction of his own house.
The more elaborate doghouse was designed by Don Finkel of Knoxville, Tenn., for his pooch, Sampson. It has a solar reflector that collects winter sunlight and funnels it through a small window onto the brick floor. This design received a special prize in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's first passive solar awards.
According to Mr. Finkle, Sampson's domicile is "a hard-nosed solution to a cold-nosed problem."
At any rate, being in the doghouse isn't half bad for Kip and Sampson.