Is it a house or a home?

They say it takes a year for a house to become a home. I had never heard that before we moved to our present house but it certainly didn’t feel like home when we walked in. As time passed and I walked around the place expecting the old owners to come in and kick us out, I wondered just how true that saying was.

Our previous house was a tiny, cozy thing, just right for two people. By contrast, this house is big and poky, with doors, hallways and stairs everywhere. When I first saw it, I thought it’d be the perfect house for witches to live in–if they used a gas fireplace and needed air conditioning.

It’s been a year and things have changed. This is where Ocean got really sick and we almost lost her. It’s where the fence failed and our dogs got to run freely down the neighbourhood. It’s where my hubby built a dog castle.

We’ve made some memories here.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s starting to feel like home.

Akitas on the run

I was working from home when something flashed by and I glanced out the window and there was River, outside the fence, striding among the flowers, having a wonderful time.

We’d like to think we’re responsible dog owners. When we moved in, we installed a six-foot fence along the perimeter of half the back of our house. We also put metal bars at the bottoms and tops of the fence and tied the fence to the bars with zip ties so that they could not dig their way out or bend the fence.

Six feet. With bars.

Well, they found a way.

I ran out with leashes in hand and found River pretty quickly. He had probably started to wonder where his next meal was going to come from and was heading home. Ocean was a blur in the distance. I called her, she wagged her tail happily and took off.

Cursing that it was me and not my husband who had found the dogs, I put River inside the house and ran back out towards Ocean. She wasn’t thinking about her next meal, Ocean loves nothing more than to run and she was doing just that.

I shudder to think what out poor neighbours must think as they see these two escape artists legging it around. Big fence but pretty useless. Don’t those people check on their dogs? We should call the pound, the dogs don’t even come when she calls them.

I have managed to get both hounds back. They are delighted with this morning’s activities and don’t show an ounce of shame between the pair of them. They can’t wait to see what’s in store for this afternoon. I, on the other hand, am exhausted.

Best time ever!

On dogs…

I just love it when someone else says what I think. This cartoon said it all.

One more note, on the subject of doggies. Here’s a blog not to be missed: My Brown Newfs. It’s a site for dog lovers that specializes on Newfoundlanders. I particularly loved these posts:

9 Signs you drive a newfie mobile – I could so relate. Every time one of my fluffballs comes in my car, it’s covered in hair for weeks.

Embrace these 8 traits or don’t get a Newfoundlander– Absolutely true, honest and hilarious. I loved it.

What does having an old Newfie feel like? – I have two doggies who are now in their ‘later’ years. I loved reading this post because of the obvious love of the owner.

That’s just a couple of them. I love blogs that give me an honest view of what having a dog is like. It’s hard work. If your dog is big, the house is going to be messy. Rainy days, there’ll be mud everywhere. And yes, there’ll be dog hair in places where your dog has never been, like work.

This blog was awesome like that. Loved it.

Does My Dog Love Me? Signs And Science | Dogviously

One scary night

It happened yesterday, just before supper. Ocean, our akita girl, wasn’t acting right. I thought maybe she was feeling sad or off and I started giving her kisses and petting her. That’s when I noticed how tight and bloated her stomach was.

And she was trembling.

Now, most people wouldn’t panic but I panic at the drop of a hat. Watching Ocean shift restlessly in what I now recognized as pain, made me want to call an ambulance over. Instead, I called my hubby and two minutes later, we were in the car on the way to the nearest emergency vet.

We got there with a dog that was quickly deteriorating. Thankfully, they saw her right away. Ocean was inside the clinic for a minute before the vet called us (we weren’t allowed inside–I asked) and told us the diagnosis: A twisted stomach. Either Ocean got an immediate operation or she would die.

We had to wait hours for the results of the operation but I’ll tell you right away. Ocean survived and is recovering. She’s still at the vet hospital because until she can eat solid food again and take her medicines by mouth and not an IV, she can’t leave. We are at home, relieved and looking at River with sharp eyes. If he so much as yawns too widely, I worry.

I don’t want to jinx our situation and celebrate too early her recovery but I did speak to the vet this morning and she said Ocean was doing much better. We’ll know better by the end of the day because complications can still happen but the nightmare of yesterday is over.

I know Ocean is only a dog, and I know she’s going to die but yesterday, while we were driving to the vet and she was shaking with pain, I was beside myself. And she would try to lean against my side to try and console me. It’s things like that that make me think: humans could learn so much from our doggies.

My new toy

We got a Bissell. For those of you who, like me, had no idea what that is, it is a carpet cleaner. Now, I was pretty resistant to the new device at first. It’s bulky, weighs a ton and has more compartments than a submarine. But wow…it works so well.

Living with two doggies makes an impression and nothing is more impressionable than a rug. Check out the before and after pics.

This is before
This is when I had just done one strip.
This is the final product.

I love our Bissell.

Shhhh

So, here’s the thing. I kiss my doggies. I hug and pet them and whisper things to them and ask them questions. I rub their tummies and tickle their bellies and kiss their ears. They love it and I love it. I do it all the time and it often involves me rolling around with them.

My lovely hubby has told me time and time again that I should keep my distance a little bit and that shoving my face into their fur is not a good idea. But, what does he know, right?

Well, this morning I woke up with one eye open and the other closed. I have an eye infection.

I’m honestly hoping he won’t notice…a lot.

In other news, I did finish my painting.

If you have a pool…

It so happens that we have a house with a pool. We’ve never had one before and had no idea what to expect. An odd thing happens when you have a pool. Suddenly, people come over; and, more often than not, they bring their little ones in tow.

When we lived in the country, we had few visitors and even less little children over. Now, we’re suddenly the destination of parents. By the horde.

Adults like the pool but it doesn’t have the attraction for them that it has for children. And, if the children are poor swimmers or just out of babyhood, their passion for the watery domain knows no bounds. This is where I get worried.

I don’t know if it’s because I was once a lifeguard or because I tend to worry, but something happens to me when l see little kids kicking underwater and only the top of their head showing. I need to haul them out or give them a flotation device or jump in and stand beside them. I need to know they are safe. And breathing air.

Overall, none of the parents we’ve had share my concern. They simply trust that their offspring will emerge from under the water and take their next breath; some go so far as to turn on their cells and tune the entire scenario out. I can’t do that. In fact, their easy-going attitude freaks me out.

I wish I had a trusty Newfoundlander by my side who would happily splash into the pool and save the soggy, struggling swimmers. But I don’t. What I have are two fluffy akitas who have no idea how to swim or interest in the pool.

Newfoundland Puppies: Everything You Need to Know
I might be useless in the pool but I’m cute and I know it.

She’s right. They’re really cute.