Heading back to Carolina, to get a few things in place for Christmas morning. Mike has a Little Tikes truck to assemble, and I need to push a dustrag and vacuum for a little bit, then figure out what we' ll have to nosh on at midmornng tomorrow. Country ham on rolls, and some spiced cider, for starters.
I ran to the grocery store, which is only five minutes from Jenna's house, to re- stock there, and have a few goodies for the week. For some reason I cannot explain, i really enjoy shopping that fairly small Food Lion, but hate to darken the doors of the bigger one nearest the Carolina farm. it is cleaner or brighter...something, but I am not precisely sure what it is yet. Ever have that feelng about different stores in the same chain?
We had a very heartfelt talk last night, a lot about our life in general, and about how we manage our pets In particular. I wanted to bring in the remaining kitty at Jenna's for the winter. She was an indoor cat at different points in her life, and the other one going missing about a month ago has had me bothered ever since.
We agreed to set up her food and water, plus a litter box, in the basement, and give her the run of that and the sunroom we added this summer. She loves to stretch put on the old chairs I've set out there, soaking up the sunlight. If it is a mistake, the damage will be limited to concrete floors and removable cushions.
Further parts of the conversation related to the fact that I have realized, partly by having a house that is easy to clean in an hour and keep clean for long spells with little effort, how tired I am of trying to keep our Carolina home decent, with four big dogs rampaging through it.
Their manners have gotten atrocious, and although they don't break their housebreaking training, they shed constantly, and track in more dirt than I feel like cleaning up anymore. Add to this the tendency two of them have for jumping the other two, and the furniture that gets nearly knocked over in the process, and even just when Mike calls them to kennel up every night.
Our big male has developed a cery bad habit of running right through my feet and legs, and Ihave become fearful that he will knock me down the many steps that accommodate the changes in elevation throughout the house. It is like living with a bull in your china shop, except it's my bones at risk here.
I finally told Mike last night that I really wish the dogs would be managed in the yard and kennel, without coming indoors anymore. He sees my concerns for safety, and realizes they haven't behaved well enough to be much company while we are sitting around at night for a couple of years now...since the last stray came into the pack, essentially. We have kept them out when Winn is over for a year now anyway, for his safety.
I don't think I would have ever been able to get him to see how much peace and cleanliness we are deprived of, because of four big dogs having run of the house, if not for our time at Jenna's house, with only one calm kitty cat. Why does one have to stop beating one's head against a brick wall,to notice how much the banging was hurting?
i am sure it will take a while for them to stop scratching the doors, but the paint needs re- doing on most of them anyway. Maybe by spring, if we just never let them in, the message will get across.
One of those " this hurts me more than it hurts you" things. They have insulated houses with deep
pine shavings for bedding, eat all together at the kennel feeder now ( if you don't count raiding trash cans and eating up rolls of toilet paper), and we are wiring the adjoining shed for lights, so can add a receptacle for heating their waterer. We do not have the cold you girls out West and up North get anyway, and none of these dogs are old and decrepit.
Spent an hour or so this morning cleaning house at Jenna's. I am actually, for once, looking forward to cleaning the Carolina house, knowing it won't just be undone five minutes after the dogs come in the door. As of this afternoon, they are strictly outdoor dogs.
Perspective is one thing I have had difficulty with, i suppose from being mostly stuck in one place, and not having a break from the daily grind, for most of my entire lifetime. When you stand in one spot, you never see how things could be different.
Can you think of any examples of when stepping back or to one side helped you solve a problem you didn't even know you had?
I understand what you are saying, it is like the light bulb coming on sometimes. And I know what you mean about dogs in the house. Years ago our son had a small short hair dog and I get the idea that I wanted a dog too. I thought we have one how much can one more dog mean. I was so wrong. It was much more than twice the work. Now that our dog is gone I see how much mess a dog can bring into the house without one realizing it.
Plus, she is limited to the utility room and kitchen. She sneaks her paws and nose over the threshold into the dining room but she doesn't cross the line unless someone knocks on the front door. Then all bets are off!
Thank goodness it is only one ( very BIG) dog in a very small area. Otherwise she might be banished, too!
I have tried - really tried -to keep a decent house with the dogs in it...they just outnumber me too greatly, and have gotten too ill-mannered to enjoy them indoors anymore. We are sitting here at Jenna's, with one calm and contented cat stretched out on the ottoman...it is like having a stuffed animal about 96.8% of the time. I know she will shed some, but brushng hercoat regularly ought to forestall a lot of that.
We never had a dog in the house until my first Heeler, Murphy, about 20 years ago. I actually considered her to be a coworker on the farm, and afforded her that respect.
I showed Mike in my Animal canister yesterday just how much dirt and hair were in the family room floor alone. He was shocked. I already knew, because I see it every time I clean house.
I have read that for each adult in a household, you should vacuum one time a week. For each pet, your add one more vacuum pass. That would have meant running the Animal every day, if you counted our BC, Riley, too. Who has that kind of time?
I am glad we have met minds on this one. I am looking forward to not getting wrapped up in hair every time Winn and I get down on the floor to play.
I had a cat in the house part time when we were first married. When the cat died I said never again. I still have scratch marks on the window sills. (she was outside part of the time), I don't miss opening the refigerator to see cat hairs. Overall, I don't think cats shed too much but I just decided it wasn't for us. Going to have problems with family when I announce that I don't want their dogs in my house after we get the house next door remodeled. Especially, that weiner dog that barks at me like I am a stranger. The relatives dogs ruined the screens on the screened in porch. Tom and I got to fix that. I've also noted that when family comes the dogs don't know to get out of the way of walkers and canes. Something else to trip over and give that dreaded broken bone as you get older. Maybe as I age I'll mellow to a cat again. But, then I've seen some battey operated ones that look pretty real. Cat hair in the frig did it for me.
Lu Ann, your Sable is exactly like our first Aussie. Brilliant dog who I trained not to cross the line. He would play in the kitchen & not cross over even when his play ball rolled into the DR. When we moved out here to the farm he was a permanent outside dog only inside the back door when it stormed. Scared to death of storms.
We at one time had a poodle-years ago in town. Did'nt shed but occasionally would have clumps if we didn't take care of her. My friend has some kind of darling little dog I would consider-her kids got for her after a very messy divorce to keep her company and it has worked.
Cats shed a lot too-you just don't notice as much and I'm allergic to them so no. Mom's neighbor has one & it's up on the counter, table, etc. Nope, not here.
I had always had German Shepherd s but never in the house. They were farm dogs outside only. I had NO idea how much they shed. Professional grooming really helps and she looks gorgeous after but we just dont get her there enough.
The fur in my Dyson shocks me. But I just feel more comfortable with Sable in at night. We are keeping her outside most of the day but she is ready and waiting at 10 pm!!
I think when you multiply the number of pets, the pleasure you gain from each one is divided. We have reached a point of diminshing returns, for hem and for us.
They need more time to just be dogs, running and playing freely on the farm. We will still kennel them at night and when we are gone. Their kennel is 800 square feet, so not at all confining. They have a better house than many people do.
As for Foxy...she was a pet cat to our older daughter, whi then moved her to Jenna's house, to he beat back the mouse population a few years ago. She has some age on her, but she wents straight back to using her litter, and unless we are there, is restricted to the basement and the sunroom, with its concrete floor. We have the interior portions of the house armed with alarms, but can send someone in to these areas totend to her, if necessary.
She showed no interest in going out in raw rain and wind this morning. I think we made the right decision for her welfare. It is hard to explain, but right after Jenna passed, I became attached to seeing her there, when I arrived to work on the house and yard. Mike even talks to her and pets her, and he is not a cat person, either.
Like I said, the clear cup on the Animal canister really showed Mike why I am so frustrated. I can run the upright for months on end at Jenna's, over roughly the same area as our downstairs in NC, and not dump it. The cup has to be dumped several times to ge over that house once.
Just too nasty...and I couodn't pretend it wasn't bothering me anymore. When the house was so rough and there was no toddler in it, it was different. Now, with nice rugs, and Winn running all over the place, things had to give.
Things start for one reason, and get worse by degrees. We went from one nice, well- trained dog to a pack of five with mixed manners. Could maybe tolerate one, but whoch one do you choose?