Dogs in the house Day 1

Anyone who knows Jeff probably thinks this is either April Fool’s Day or I’ve just completely revolted against his no-dogs-in-the-house policy. Neither of these are true.

Seven years ago, when Jeff and I moved in together, we compromised regarding the dogs: I could have them, but they had to live outside. I agreed, as Breanna was about a year old and still very annoying, and the thought of not having to walk her in the middle of the night when I got off work from my editor job sounded really great.

I have been begging him to change that rule ever since.

Kishin is a loyal dog.Today I sit here typing and Kishin is napping beside me. I am the happiest girl in the world with my dogs beside me.

But, if you know Jeff you are probably wondering how the heck this happened. I, too, am scratching my head a little bit and wondering – but I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth!

For several months (years, really) he has given me clues he was thinking about it … mentioning that one day, with the landscaping done in the backyard (hence, no mud, therefore no muddy dogs) that maybe we could let them inside. Or if we moved to a house uptown we could have the dogs inside since we would have no yard. I’ve countered that if they could be inside in a condo, why not a house? And he always said the house was too big – too many corners for them to hide in, chew things up in, pee in, whatever. But the dogs are getting older and calmer, less annoying and less likely to do a lot of damage.

A few weeks ago he casually mentioned that if we were to get an iRobot Roomba then we could let the dogs in the house. I shrugged off the comment – I knew what he meant: months, years from now, hypothetically. I’ve spent too much time getting my hopes up and then being disappointed; he was crying wolf. Plus, who cares about a robot vaccuum; Ronnie hooked us up with his Dyson before he moved to California and I absolutely love it.

Then I visited Jenny in Greenville and Chris in Athens; I took Breanna with me. She’s a great inside dog now, and I love bringing her to visit. I got a text from Jeff right before I left Athens saying “Hurry back! Kishin needs a bath.” I wondered why he cared if Kishin was dirty – does that mean Kishin is coming inside? Nah.

But I returned home to a clean Kishin drying in the driveway and a Roomba in the living room. And a list of rules Jeff came up with after much research about making outside dogs inside dogs: No dogs on couches, in beds or out of crates while we’re not home. No going upstairs without being escorted. And I’m in charge (meaning I walk them, I clean their messes, etc.)

And then, just like that: they’re inside!

A few things I’ve noticed:

= Breanna is spending a lot more time in her crate here than she did in Athens. I’m pretty sure she’s angry at Kishin’s mere existance. She spent time without him in Greenville in Athens and now she’s back: he missed her like crazy and she could care less about him; he’s like an annoying little brother (no offense, Kevin!)

= The dogs seem to be working to establish dominance all over again inside. They had 2 minor scuffles yesterday; hopefully they’ll work it out soon.

= Kishin follows me around everywhere. I absolutely love it. I do have to get used to having a 4-legged extension of me, but I welcome it. They both listen very well when I told them not to follow me upstairs; Kishin sits at the bottom of the steps and cries until I come back down.

= They both know not to use the bathroom inside. I have no idea how Kishin knows this as he’s never been an inside dog before. They do seem confused when I walk them, however: I think they are expecting that we are going on a run, so it’s taken several trips outside before they’ve stopped pulling me like they think we will be out for miles. In Athens, Breanna knows when we go outside that she is going to the bathroom. I’m guessing they still expect to be stuck in the backyard here; thus, not worrying about using the bathroom too much. They are catching on quickly, though, and they’re already a lot faster about doing their business than they were the first night.

The Roomba is pretty cool, for anyone who is wondering. I used to think it seemed lazy – I mean, how long does it take to vaccuum, really? But with the dogs here now, I notice how quickly the hair seems to blanket the floor. Vacuuming every day is not ideal, even as easy as it is. This thing is great: All I have to do is push a button every day to keep the dog hair off the floors? Not bad. The downstairs in my house is very open; not a lot of walls between rooms. The Roomba does seem to have a hard time covering every part equally – I noticed it kept wandering into the dining room even after it was clean, and it hadn’t yet found the kitchen. It does come with some virtual walls that I don’t quite understand how to use yet, so maybe that will help. So far I think it’s totally worth it. It doesn’t work as well as the Dyson, but I don’t have to do anything but push a button. That rocks.

The best part of the first day with my dogs? Taking a nap (on the floor of course, since they’re not allowed on the couch or in a bed) with Kishin curled up next to me. You can’t beat that.