We've been debating where to put a Christmas tree, because of Finn. In nice weather he's outside or inside tied to the kitchen door handle so he can't wander very far. His bed, food, and toys are there. Most importantly, apparently, is that we are there. Our master plan: give him free reign of the living room during the Chicago winter. The family room is carpeted and full of toddlers and babies and their toys.
|Two year old boys eating breakfast - note: Finn's |
area is to the right of the table. He was
still sleeping in his crate - he and Lad sleep
in. Meal time with toddlers is challenging.
The living room is where we usually set up our tree though. It's off the beaten path, so Finn wouldn't give my allergies any trouble. Honestly, at this point if I haven't started wheezing, I don't think I'm going to . . . so long as I don't start sleeping with him in my bed or getting my face in his fur and nuzzling him like he's some sort of cute, irresistible puppy. Well, he's all those things, but there's literally no chance in hell that I'll become that reckless. My friend, Becky-who-babysits, loves on him enough for both of us.
I'm not a monster, I DO scratch him, pet him, and talk lovey-dovey to him for some seriously joyful stretches of time. But I leave my nose out of the love-fest and I wash my hands immediately following. Becky's kind of love-on-Finn is much less reserved.
Anyway, we've tried training Finn to hang out in the living room. We even moved the huge coffee table out of the room*. "Here you go, enjoy your larger space Finn." Well, turns out he'd rather be near us. He doesn't stay in there for long. I'm opposed to having baby gates all over the place. I'm tall, but I'm as clumsy as a baby giraffe. Not interested in taking a header.
The girls got creative during our attempt at training him. They set up Curly's iPad and then called it with my phone to spy on him. Our version of an indoor surveillance system. When he got close to either of the two exits, they scolded him and we all shook empty water bottles full of coins to alert him: NOT OK. Anyone wondering why I'm behind on my Christmas shopping bill, paying, and laundry?
|Yes, we have a workout bike in our living room. That's another story. This is Curly getting him to sit and Mini in the video chat window. We are easily amused.|
One of Coach's patients told him that Irish Setters are pack animals, so he will insist on being near us. Have I mentioned that we don't know anything about having a dog? Or was that implied?
|This is not Miles. I took Finn to the |
pet blessing at our church.
He was in heaven.
Anyway, a HUGE fluffy white dog named Miles approached on the path. I was trying to steer Finnegan AWAY from Miles. Here's where I need help: WHAT IS PROTOCOL? Am I supposed to keep my not-my-dog away from other dogs?
Mile's owner then said in a very sweet voice: CAN WE MEET?
|Unrelated, but funny. I was taking a photo |
to show Lad that Finn was going to church to
be blessed and Finn took a crap, as in THIS IS
WHAT I THINK OF YOUR BLESSING.
|Piece of shoe.|
I went to check on him. Oh. Shit. He'd wandered out into the front hall (I can't see front hall from the kitchen) and snatched one of Coach's black shoes. He'd ripped a piece off of the back. Oh brother. Note: he also had my running shoe in there, like it was next on the menu. That would've ended badly.
|Shoe minus bite size bit.|
Coach: THE BLACK ONES, WHY?
Me: (groan) OH. WELL . . .
He didn't want me to run to the shoe repair place. He tried them out at home and they seemed fine. It wasn't noticeable. He's in the market for a new pair, so he wasn't terribly upset. He always buys exactly the same shoes. He likes the support/the look. I suggested that we tape up the back of them with Curly's black electrical tape that she uses to secure her dancing shoes. He took a pass.
|Can I get you a pillow?|
|Ugh, this was a hassle.|
Anyway, we put Ed, Tank, and Reg in the big room with three beds. We moved Lad to the empty bunk bed room. Lad didn't want to sleep in the twin size bunk bed. We bought a full size mattress. He'll take that with him when he (and Finn) move out. We planned to store the bunk bed in the crawl space and basement storage room.
|Speechless, can't even say LOVE WHAT |
YOU'VE DONE WITH THE PLACE.
Note the bed height though.
Pretend it's made.
Well, the bottom drawers and book shelf piece that fit under the bed didn't break
down. We decided to leave it in the room and construct Lad's bed around it. The problem: what to put on the other side of the mattress to support it? Hmm.
Me: WHAT ABOUT THE COFFEE TABLE IN THE LIVING ROOM? THAT WAY FINN WILL HAVE MORE SPACE (back when we thought that smart idea was gonna work)?
The coffee table, stacked with the bunkie boards from the bunk bed helped level off Lad's makeshift bed. Now, his bed appears to be lofted because where were we going to keep the box spring if he didn't use it? If he doesn't like it, all the more reason to save up and move out. Am I right?
|After the shoe eating, |
I was working at the
computer and I just let my buddy
hang out near me.
We had the floor color first, so the dog
matching the exact shade of our floor
was not planned, but genius - right?
Oh, we once left Finn in the kitchen for less than an hour. He chewed our very nice, slightly new French sliding door (photo below). Now he goes in his crate when we leave the house. Oh, and we're thinking about enclosing the dance stage in the basement, so he can have a bit more space when needed.
|Speaking of guilty as charged.|
Look over his shoulder at what was a very nice door frame. Humph.
Hit me with your dog advice. What's holding up your tree buying, gift ordering, card addressing progress?
*editing to add: Finn escaped yesterday, and why escape? - good home, great food, several sets of hands to pet him, etc. Yes, you are right - I FREAKED OUT. There is a stake in the ground with a cord-like 12 foot rope that attaches to his harness. (I could be using the wrong lingo - I don't own a dog). Anyway, the weather in Chicago is unseasonably wonderful. I put Finn in the yard tied up and the tots on the deck, not tied up- but the gate locks. When I went out to bring the tots in for lunch, and move the dog from the yard up to the deck . . . he was gone. So was the long cord. I had no idea how long it was since he'd slipped away. I called his name. Nothing. I looked down through the yards and there he was. Sniffing in someone's bushes several houses down. I called him and he looked so happy that I wanted to play with him. He ran directly for me . . . with the 12 foot leash thing whipping around behind him. It's a mystery how he got unhooked, because the attaching clip is not broken. Anyway, PHEW.
** ALSO (this just in and I HAD TO SHARE): My brother, Pat, called here this afternoon. Wanted to grill me on what we were going to do about having Christmas with my folks, like boosters and such. He heard a baby in the background.
He asked me: IS THAT A BABY?
I was like: YES, I RUN AN IN-HOME DAYCARE (have for 7 years now, but that was implied).
He was speechless.
Bottom line: my brother didn't know what I do for a job. He lives 12 minutes from me. Not that that matters, but he isn't in Alaska and never in touch or anything. Mind.Blown,.