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Carpet Cleanup Caper

The Carpet Cleanup Caper

I bargained hard when Hubby wanted to get a second dog. We already had one Norwegian Elk Hound. These dogs are notorious for shedding. I even have a T-shirt that says “EMBRACE THE FUR” above a silhouette of an Elk Hound Dog.

We did indeed have dog hair all over the place.  Dogie Fur “dust bunnies” were overrunning the house the way real rabbits would overpopulate a community in the absence of predators to keep their numbers down. Dog hair covered the carpet, the sofa, the upholstery in the car too. We purchased a Dyson vacuum as the cost of replacing dust bags in the old Sears canister unit was costing us a fortune. But vacuuming was almost a daily chore and Hubby was not sharing the work load here. We started a discussion about what would need to happen if a second prolific shedding machine was added to our household.

It was a given that the fur would increase. So how to make it less of a challenge to keep cleared up? If fur stuck to the carpet and upholstery then we could replace it with wood flooring and leather covered furniture and car seats. I bargained hard. All of this needed to be done before the second puppy arrived in our home.

Hubby decided his first task was to remove the old carpeting and replace this with wood flooring.  As newcomers to the Great Northwest, we spent a few weekends down at the local IKEA store.  There was no store like this in Arizona, although I hear there is now one location out in Tempe. I can only imagine how the locals there are enjoying the IKEA cuisine! I doubt the hardy pioneers of the Southwest been daunted by the recent “horse meat” stories. I seem to recall a shop called “Ye Olde Meat Market” that sold horse meat.  The shop garnered much business when local beef prices went through the roof back in the “seventies” they put a limit on how much one could purchase at each visit.

Anyway we’d spent many weekend afternoons, down in Kent looking at the new fangled IKEA store, specifically at the varieties of manufactured flooring. Of course one developed quite an appetite wandering through the maze.  Inevitably we dined on the Meatball Special in the cafeteria located conveniently at the middle of the maze, so that shoppers could refuel and continue on with their shopping quests through the rest of the store.

Hubby decided the Pergo laminate  flooring would be a relatively inexpensive way to replace the gray carpet that was currently installed in our recently purchased home in Seattle. Anything we could do to brighten up the coloring in the home would be welcomed. We made it through our first winter of no sun but saw the need to improve our surroundings artificially when at all possible to add more light and improving the color scheme.  The blond wood flooring seems to be a solution to our darkness issue as well as provide smooth surfaces to be easily vacuumed of dog hair.

For some reason many of Hubby’s Home Improvement Projects take place when I am out of town on business trips. This is probably due to the fact that it would be quieter around the house with me out of screaming range.  My youngest son’s room walls would probably not have been painted bright blue if I’d been home at the time. Oh well.

 

The carpet replacement job was well underway when I left town for a Gourmet Foodie convention in San Francisco.  The old grey carpet was stripped away and safely at the local dump. The dump is called the sanitary landfill up here, but it is still the same scenario as Phoenix. You drive in and they weigh your car before and after and charge for the weight lost. Hmmm, I wonder if that would work for a weight loss clinic. The work of cleanup and preparation for replacement with the new flooring seems a fairly benign activity to happen while “Mom was gone”.

Upon my return I saw that the floor debris was completely gone and the sub flooring not yet in place.  I could actually admire the cleanup work and rejoice that finally he had completed a job without leaving a monumental mess for me to clear away!

Back in the kitchen, inspired by the Gourmet Foodie offerings at the convention, I looked for a favorite saute pan. I started to whip up a tasty treat to reward my hard working Hubby. I reached up to retrieve the pan hanging on the pot rack in the kitchen.  As I pulled it down I noticed it was a bit dusty.  I chalked this up to not cooking with it for a few weeks.  Later on I needed a strainer which was also located on the pot rack. This item was equally dusty and upon closer inspection was covered with dog hair as well.

All of the pots and utensils were coated with dirt and hair. What had happened?

I went to the closet that held various cleaning equipment meaning to grab my vacuum and do a bit of clean up of the area.  I glanced over at the Shop Vac® and clearly it had not been used in a few weeks, the cord was still wound up neatly from the last time I had deployed this equipment.  However the leaf blower was there cord sprawled all over the floor, the attachment still in place too, indicating that Hubby had recently used it.

Even though I knew it was the wrong time of year to be blowing fallen leaves I could not resist asking what the heck he’d been doing with that leaf blower. Sure enough the answer I received more than explained the dust and dog hair that covered all of my cooking equipment on the pot rack.  In a brilliant ploy to save time and be efficient, Hubby had literally blown out the back door, all of the construction debris. Of course he never looked up! Obviously he didn’t cook using any pots or pans during this time. In my head was a cartoon-like image of Hubby screaming “Woo-hoo!” as he waved the leaf blower.  He opened the back sliding door to our deck and proceeded to blow, through the kitchen, all of the accumulated dust, wood scraps and contributions of hair from the family Norwegian Elk Hound, into the back yard.  Did I happen to mention the dog is a male? They probably did a  high-fiver (or pawer) each other in congratulations on the job well done.

Happily the wood flooring went down without further incidents. Leather sofa and chairs were purchased. Our new puppy was driven home in my newly upholstered car. Clean up of fur was easier and we enjoyed living with two Elk Hound pups, fur and all.

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The Great Elk Hound Escape

“The dogs are out!” I am a bit breathless as I share this with Hubby. I’ve roused him from sleep fairly early in the morning and he is still groggy. “What do you mean?”

“I mean the dogs have jumped the fence and are in the wetlands!” I am now exasperated and throwing on suitable clothing to go out onto the street in our neighborhood and round up our furry escapees.

“They could not have jumped that fence” he cries in disbelief. He is now struggling into a pair of jeans and heading down the stairs to the recreation room where a doggie door opens to let our pups into their fenced area in the back yard of our home.

I say fenced, but this fence is a “work in progress” and has been since we brought home our new puppies.

Our property is about one half acre and most of the “back yard” is in fact part of a two acre wetlands preserve. Lots of old growth trees and a floor of ferns, sisal and blackberry brambles while unfriendly to us humans, provide wonderful wild life habitat for birds, squirrels, raccoon and the occasional coyote. We own the lot and pay taxes, but there are many restrictions as to what we can do with the property beyond the rear fence that extends out 12 feet from the edge of the house. There is a steep incline to this part of the lot and so once over the fenced dog area it is a pretty steep drop down to the bottom of the lot. There is a creek running through this and the adjacent lots which adds to the boggy marsh like terrain. Not a place we often go hiking through, but rather admire the flora and fauna from the deck on the rear of the house.

Our older dog was pretty arthritic during his last few years while lived with us at this home. He certainly was never spry enough to jump over the fence and explore the wet lands below. Not so with the two young pups! We had several weeks time before they came home to live with our family, to get ready. My suggestions to Hubby about beefing up the fence structure and adding height fell on deaf ears. The process of keeping one jump ahead of their capacity to leap has become a running gag in the family.

Back to the morning I mention above. I had by now run out the front door and managed to round up both of the adventurous Elk Hounds. They were still young enough to fall for the rattling of their favorite treat bag. They scrambled up the side hill of a neighbor’s yard that was not fenced and willingly came back into our house through the front door. Hubby was still down stairs out in the dog run. Shaking his head in a state of disbelief that the pups could have jumped this fence, he had not closed the door to the run.

Both puppies barreled down the stairs and out their door and demonstrated that they could indeed clear that fence. They leaped like deer right over the fence in front of a very shocked Hubby! Just in case he didn’t believe they could do it. The second time the wily pups were much harder to convince to come back. Dog treats didn’t lure them as easily this time around. Hubby finally had to trek into the brambles a bit before they’d get close enough to be grabbed.

A shopping trip to the local Home Depot ensued immediately after we’d secured the pups in crates at home. By the end of the morning the fence had an additional foot of chicken wire added to the top.

Hubby stood back admiring his handy work. He stated smugly “This should hold them”. I just chuckled and muttered under my breath “Yeah, for a month or so until they grow a bit more”.

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