When we returned from our California trip our heelers, Molly and Grizzly were happy to see us and welcome us home.
And that is a good thing. I am still amazed that the two of them don’t take off roaming somewhere when we are gone. I remember growing up our neighbors and the dog they had. That dog took off every chance he got and they were always out searching the neighborhood calling for him. These two don’t seem to share that urge. We have a friend feed and water Molly and Grizzly and take them for a walk every day while we are gone. He puts them in their doghouse / pen at night, but during the day they are free to roam and explore; they choose to stay at home. That is the good news. For the bad news I have to take you back . . .
We got the dogs as six month old pups in the spring. Knowing how cold and wet it gets here, we wanted to make sure they had a warm, sturdy doghouse. We did research and carefully took measurements so the house would be not too big and not too small, but just the right size for the two of them.
Nephew Nick was here when we started building the doghouse. We had the leftover building materials from our shed, so we made a plan to model the doghouse after the shed and use up those materials. We included the dogs in the building process so they would be comfortable in their new home.
We constructed it in pre-fab sections so we could move it into place.
And it’s a good thing we did because the sections were so heavy we could barely lift them – let alone the whole thing.
To put it all together, we started with a double insulated base so the cold and damp wouldn’t come up through the floor.
We attached the side panels which we sided with OSB on the inside so there wouldn’t be any raw edges for them to get scraped on.
We added more insulation in the roof and walls.
We used the leftover siding and roofing from the shed project, and added a covered porch. You don’t want the pooches to get wet and they could sleep outside on the porch if they want to in the summer.
We ended up with a very sturdy doghouse. One which is probably better built and insulated than many of the homes around town, including ours. So, the doggies had a lovely warm home at night, but what about during the day? When they are not following us around and “helping” with whatever we might be doing, they are usually sacked out on our front porch.
That is fine in the summer time, but during the winter they would be cold and wet. So I convinced Rick to help me build a “daybed” for them on the porch. They would be warm and comfortable while they guard the ranch.
An insulated, cushioned pad so they would be comfortable while on sentry duty during the day. They liked the blanket so much they chewed it up in about 20 minutes. I was sure this was just puppy exuberance and they had learned from this youthful misadventure. So I replaced the covering with an even more cushioned Indian Blanket motif. Doesn’t it look nice?
This one lasted about a day before it was ripped to shreds – actually just the center. The boards that I used to tack down the edges kept them firmly in place.
I decided that they were too young to appreciate having a nice, soft covering on their bed and would wait until fall when they had outgrown the puppy urge to chew everything in sight. At Thanksgiving when we had a big snowstorm I felt the time was right to replace the dog cushion. This time I bought a heavy-duty one at Costco. Molly thought it was so nice she wouldn’t let Grizzly get on it at first.
She did eventually relent and let him share her bed. Which brings us to the bad news. Apparently they are not as wise and mature as I thought. Or they were just really bored for the two weeks we were gone. Either way, their bed cushion is now scattered all over the porch and front yard.
I alternate between thinking we are making progress – after all this cushion lasted over a month before they destroyed it, and we were gone for two whole weeks – and thinking the mangy mutts can sleep on the cold porch. Since the stuffing got wet and then froze in place and we haven’t been able to scrape all of it up yet, I’m leaning pretty heavily toward the cold porch.