Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Midnight, the escape artist

Two weeks ago, we lost our Lab, Emily.  It was a sudden, unexpected death. 

Kev and Andy were home with her and they buried her in our pasture.  While they were taking care of Em, they made sure that our other dog, Midnight, was with them the entire time--to ensure that he knew where Em had gone and that she was gone.  They were buds. 

For the first couple of days, Midnight would look for Em.  He wouldn't eat because he was waiting for her to eat.  He would go around the house and look for her.  When we'd let him out, he'd wait for her to join him.  It was heartbreaking.

He'd go to their pen and wait for Em to join her and would look at us with such pitiful eyes when we'd shut him up alone.  We've always penned our dogs when we're gone for the day--to ensure their safety, and the safety of my chickens and goats (when we had them.) 

Last week, Midnight got out of his/their dog pen.  He then tried to get into the house.  We found pieces of the brick molding from around the door scattered on the ground.  The trim around the door itself was destroyed.  There were claw marks in the siding and even beside the garage door.  (We have cedar siding, so it's relatively soft.)

I checked beside the sliding door upstairs, and discovered a nice "hole" in the trim and a pile of splinters.  I wouldn't put it past him to figure out how to open the sliding glass door.

Andy and I discovered that he'd chewed a hole in the chain link of his gate and pushed through it.  We blocked it (we hoped) and made sure we left him toys and chew treats the next day.

He was out when we got home.

Kev spent the weekend reinforcing the gate and put up some stock panel on the gate.  It's a heavier gauge than chain link, so he was fairly confident that it would deter more escapes.

It didn't.

Midnight was out again last night.  He didn't chew through, but had pushed the gate frame enough it's stretched and created a gap large enough for him to squeeze through.  And this time, he tried to open the screen door on the sliding door.  He managed to yank the screen door completely off--but left incriminating teeth marks on the aluminum frame.

Obviously, he doesn't like being alone in his pen.
Obviously, he doesn't like rawhide bones, beef bones, or chew toys.
Obviously we have a problem.

We either need to find another dog--soon, or figure out a way to stop the destruction.  If we can't...well, we won't think about any other options at this time.  He's a good dog...most of the time...he's just never been alone and obviously doesn't cope with being alone well.

It's frustrating.  I'm not so sure our house can survive Kev's remodeling and the dog...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Stair project, the continuting saga

Christmas is 3 weeks away. 

I'm hosting the family Christmas dinner. 

And THIS is what my house looks like..

Yep, I have a hole in my floor. 

A hole that also has a water line, furnace duct work, electrical wiring and cable wiring that all goes to mystery locations.  All need to come out and be re-routed before the stair framework can be put in.  Which has to be completed before the staircase can be put up. Which has to be put in before the old stairs get removed which will require more wiring to be moved... and so on and so on.

And, Kev thinks he can have it all looking nice before Christmas...


Christmas is in 20 days...

And we still don't have any stair treads.

And I've expressed my doubts about any real progress being made before Christmas.  Which  Kev shrugs off...


We've made a bet.  I bet Kev that he won't have this project completed in a year.  Completely finished in a year.  If he loses, I get a weekend trip planned by him.  If I lose, he gets the satisfaction that he's right, "as usual."  (That's what he picked folks!)

I just want it somewhat put together by Christmas.  USEABLE by Christmas.  Safe for little ones to maneuver by Christmas. 

Stay tuned...