Finally, this year, we decided to do something about it. It wasn't going to be easy though, because with the old house, comes hot water heat (hot water runs through pipes in radiators throughout our house). I love our hot water heat: it's clean (no dog hair blows around), it heats up fast, and it heats pretty consistently throughout the house. Unfortunately, it means that we don't have vents and had not option of just slapping a central AC unit into the system.
We had various Heating and AC companies come out and we finally decided on a system where there are two interior AC units hanging on the wall.
One in the office.
There are a few drawbacks to the system, which I feel weren't well explained to us ahead of time. One is that there is an external pump/water storage unit for the bedroom unit. I assume that this is because the two units are connected, with the office unit flowing directly outside. It's not too annoying, but when the unit is full, then the pump turns on to send the stored water out the pipes and so it randomly gurgles for a minute or so.
It's been working well for the past two months and the dogs appear to leave it alone. I think eventually we'll have to figure out a more long-term solution, but for now, it keeps the house dry.
While this system wasn't cheap, I honestly don't know if we (or the dogs) would have survived this summer. It's been exceptionally hot, and this was a great investment in our quality of life. I would definitely recommend this as an option for anyone who has a hot water heating system.