Tag Archives: puppy

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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I was ” Paw Dialed”

My nine month old Elkhound puppies called me today on the phone! No kidding, my cell rang and it was the home number. I answered expecting the caller to be my son Nick.

“Hello… hello?” No response from the caller but line was still open and I could hear some background noise.  “Nick is that you?”  Still no answer but more scuffling could be heard and then the line went dead. I dialed back and received a busy tone several times. What was happening at home?  I was in Napa this weekend and wishing we had a security system that had video feed.

I’d spoken to the family, including the puppies almost every night. As much as I enjoyed the luxury of sleeping without fifty pounds of hound on my feet, it was a bit cold in that big bed all alone. I admit I was longing for the silky touch of their cuddles. The buzz of the hotel’s alarm clock was a poor substitute for their wet noses and smooches on my neck and face that accompanied their wake up greetings each morning. My hubby reported that the pups both were excited to hear my voice each time I called. Elki, our female puppy even licked the screen of hubby’s smart phone  while she listened to me calling her name and murmuring how much I missed my furry babies.

I called Nick’s friend and performance partner, Brian. He was scheduled to see Nick for a practice in a bit. He answered his cell phone and I explained about the weird phone call I’d received from our house.  He said he’d leave right away and would report in when he arrived. We both doubted that Nick was in distress, but there was still a sense of urgency that he needed to follow through and set me free from worry.

By this time I had a suspicion that two frolicking puppies may have knocked the phone from its cradle on the night stand in my bedroom. We have set up the base unit there as it needs a bit more space, with the answering machine portion, which is much larger than the individual phone units and their base changing cradles. Somehow they must have stepped on the redial button in the process of their revelry and miraculously called my cell number. Probably all that was needed would be to put the phone back on the hook. Even Nick could do this if I could just speak to him, but alas… a busy tone still was the only response I received when I dialed our home. He was blissfully unaware of the situation.

Sure enough Brian confirmed back to me when he called me back on his cell phone. Nick was just fine.  It was just the bedroom phone disturbed by the pups. Bad news.  Just replacing it back on the stand would not restore service. Upon his arrival at our home he went to the master bedroom and examined the phone system. It was completely destroyed. It would seem they’d lost patience during the call and took out their frustrations on the phone and handset. It was completely disassembled and all the wiring was chewed beyond repair.

These were ATT phones and several years old. So obsolete that no replacement parts exist and would need to be replaced with a whole new set. I wonder if I can claim this on my homeowners policy or as an expense on our taxes.  Until we replaced the crumpled plastic, bent circuit board and dangling wires with a new unit and phones we had no phone service on the land lines.

They are not actual land lines of course, but internet cable service, but dead just the same. Had this been the old fashioned phone with copper wiring, we might have had some fried pups!

I am a proud mommy and would love to believe that our puppies are so superior that they could actually figure out how to dial me up on the phone.  It would be very sweet to think that they missed me so much.  But then I’d have to be upset with them if I thought they did it purposefully. A whole new phone system is not going to be cheap!  I might have to pawn (no pun intended) some of those expensive chew toys that they choose to ignore in favor of dirty socks out of the laundry.

Much easier to call this incident the canine version of a butt dial!

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Tabasco is the new orange

Tabasco: the new accent color at our house.

Readers if you do not have dogs… just stop reading now. Prospective dog owners please do the visual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your easy and shouting “nah, nah, nah” to keep from reading a story that will make you question why you would ever think of owning a dog. 

Only the dedicated dog owners will truly understand and appreciate this post. Dedicated, Unconditional Love type owners like the couple we met at a local dog park when our puppies were very young.  They own two German Sheppard dogs that were about a year old. My husband mentioned that our puppies were beginning to chew a bit and we were troubled about this aspect since we’d not had that experience with previous pets. The husband laughed and stated that their dogs had a project going in the basement of their home that was keeping them very busy. Basically they had sacrificed the carpet on that floor to the dogs. They figured it would take a year or two before the floor was down to the cement, but seemed like a bargain if they’d stay away from other parts of the home.

Our puppies chew… everything! We purchased a rather expensive, “guaranteed to work”, bottle of Fooey™. This is a bitter apple mixture that our puppy trainer swore was the best. “Be careful to not get this stuff on your hands” she cautioned.  And she was right, because of course we had to taste it ourselves. Made my hubby pucker up like I hadn’t seen since our first date! Great! This was the answer to saving the woodwork. Our dogs licked the surfaces we’d sprayed and smacked their lips for more!

  We’d already tried vinegar. Our house smelled like the salad bar at Sweet Tomatoes. We had tons of chew toys and read the articles on how to get training going by redirecting the pups away from the undesirable item and over to their toy box to find a fun new item that is good to chew. This was accompanied by chirpy enthusiastic reinforcement type statements that made us sound like the 9th grade cheer squad.

A friend said she’d tried many recommended methods too.  She found that Tabasco sauce, straight out of the bottle was the only thing that stopped her Golden Doodle in his tracks.  She painted it on every surface that her pup was attacking. “Great! We’ll try that too”. What did we have to lose? I didn’t take into account that we have all white trim and carpet in our home but stopping them from chewing the trim, right down to the wall board, it was worth a shot.  Orange is a great color for fall, right?

We have bright orange trim now throughout our home. I have developed a slight cough, due to inhaling the fumes of Tabasco as I slathered the walls and trim. It is a good thing that COSTCO sells industrial sized bottles because purchasing such a large quantity of the grocery store 5oz. size would have been even more costly than the Fooey™ .

How is this working you ask? Well I had not found any new shreds of carpet at the bottom of the stairs yet.  I checked other spots in the house for new damage and gouges. We were looking good.

Just as I was feeling like we’d won this battle, our little girl pup seems to have developed a slight cough. 

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