I barely remember the days not so long ago when I had long stretches of time in the day to do whatever I wanted. An afternoon nap, running errands all afternoon, or even just sitting upstairs at my computer as the hours passed. I do not have that luxury anymore. Six months ago that all changed. My days are sectioned into small bits of time divided up by taking the dogs out, feeding the dogs, and walking the dogs. In the early days of puppyhood the segments were short and interrupted with accident clean ups, training practice, and visits to the vet for shots. Now the six month old dogs sleep longer, but need longer walks and sessions of exercise and play in the yard. So my errands I run are timed around the dogs’ schedule, and the only naps I take are when they nap, which is usually when I am upstairs taking care of things that aren’t easy to do with the dogs underfoot (i.e. showering, folding and putting clean laundry away, and just general picking up).

I’ve tried to bring the eager-to-be-with-me-at-all-times puppies upstairs with me. But with new undiscovered territory they usually go running through the bedrooms and long hallway in search of some kind of goodies. Snack wrappers in my son’s room by his computer, unmatched socks in the clean sock pile, contents of small trash cans in bathrooms, sandals, slippers, yoga mat… Whatever it is, it is interesting to them since it’s something from the elusive exciting forbidden area of the upstairs. Baby gates and shut doors have always kept them confined downstairs in the main kitchen-family great room. People disappear upstairs and return, building the curiosity and desire to explore for Summer and Koda. So when I make the hesitant decision to bring them on up with me as I tackle some household chores, I am asking for trouble.

Maybe one day this will change. Our Aussie, Dot, had free reign of the whole house, and would sleep on the floor of our bedroom. She also had her share of treasures she discovered in my older son’s room (like packages of oreo cookies and cereal boxes from his late night snacks). Dot also left us some presents up in the finished attic tv room; perhaps when she just couldn’t hold it when I was gone for too long out of the house. At least she chose a faraway spot to do it. Dot was not given that kind of freedom when she was as young as Koda and Summer, so they too have a ways to go before they are able to roam about the house. This brings me back to the present need to take time to supervise them, let them outside, take them on walks and give them attention. I knew my daytime activity schedule would change with puppies as it did each time we added more babies to our family.

Not that I am complaining, a house with busy puppies is a joy. They dance inside their crates when I come down in the morning, eager to jump all over me and give kisses before running out to the garden to relieve their full bladders. The second anyone in our family enters the kitchen Summer and Koda pop up on the sofa and turn their heads to see who is there, then it’s off to run over and greet them. One of my favorite sights is to see them wait for me to return from retrieving something from upstairs. As soon as they hear my feet coming down the stairs, they rush to the baby-gate and both jump up to see me reappear. They’ve done this since we brought them home. The only change is they are now almost taller than the gate. I’m hoping it continues to support their weight and doesn’t come crashing down. Or those dogs will be running wild through the whole house in search of the upstairs treasures!Puppies at the gate

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