My head is about to explode. I don't eve know where to start. This moving thing is just insane. I think I need a vacation. :) Don't get me wrong, I love the new house. There is a lot of closet and cupboard space and the lay out is really nice; with the two bedrooms upstairs and the living area downstairs. The neighbourhood is pretty quiet too, but there is so much to do and I find I get sleepier earlier each day.
The first issue is the Dachshunds thinking the entire place is their giant pee pad. Most of the house is carpeted, with the exception of the two bathrooms and kitchen, and so I think they just decided that carpet works as a good pee absorbent. So, with that in mind I have been hyper vigilant with them. I am constantly bringing them out to potty and when I can't watch them I put them in a doggie pen we bought that is attached to Kyo's old crate. They actually have a lot of room in there, but of course they are used to roaming free so they are not happy about it. When they are in there I don't have to worry about surprise poop or pee spots, but I am always reminding them to "quiet." They aren't barking exactly, but a more high pitched squawking, or chirping if you are Balloo. We live in a townhouse now and that kind of noise is not acceptable. I feel horrible penning them in, but I can't be cleaning up poop and pee every half an hour. Each day the messes have decreased, but they are still way too frequent.
Last night we did have some progress and today as well, when someone finally used the many puppy pads I have placed throughout the house. That made me feel so much better I almost cried with relief. LOL
The newest development that our resident monkey, AKA Aria, can climb out of the pen. I don't think she's the one pottying in the house, so I guess it's not a huge deal, but it drives the other two crazy when she is running free and they are in their little house. I put her in her own crate this afternoon while I unpacked to be fair to the other two, but she started squawking as well. I also feel bad that they are not able to run around as much as they are used to because I feel like they are not getting enough exercise. I thought of maybe buying a few hockey balls-incredibly durable-and playing fetch with them in our little back patio area for some entertainment. I am trying to have play and cuddle sessions with them to let them know they are still loved, but I still feel guilty. Practically speaking, the puppies pottying in the house is bad for several reasons, but the thing that concerns Mr. K and I is that the carpet will get stained and we won't get our deposit back. Not to mention, puppy potty in the house is stinky and unsanitary. Any of you Dachshund lovers out there have any suggestions?
We knew going into this that Dachshunds were particularly difficult to potty train. It's not that they aren't smart enough to learn. In fact, they are probably too smart for their own good. If I am in one room, they will sneak off to another to potty so I don't know it's happened. Being blind is compounding this problem as well. I know if I could catch them at least once or twice and take them out right away, they would learn that inside bathroom breaks are not okay. But I can't catch them until the deed is done and I think they know that.
What is frustrating is that Aria and Balloo were basically potty trained at the House From Hell. If it was raining, they would usually go outside but refuse to go and come in and use a puppy pad. Doc hasn't even been with us for three weeks yet and his "accidents" were getting fewer, but moving has brought us back to square one. Up until yesterday, they wouldn't even use the pads. It's like they forgot what the pads were. I know they're stressed and they probably can sense the stress coming off of me as well which isn't helping the situation. I would walk them to ensure that they went. I love walking, but I don't know the area and I'm afraid if I go out on my own I'll get lost-more on that later. They also can hide in a lot of places in the house because of all of the boxes.
Speaking of boxes, the unpacking is driving me nuts too. Just when I feel like I'm making progress, I find more stuff. I think this frustration stems from packing for two weeks straight, moving and then having to unpack it all again.
The getting lost thing is irritating too. I know all of this stuff will rectify itself with time, but sometimes I think, "if I could see this would be so much easier." That sounds bad and I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I have had a lot of opportunities in my life that I otherwise would never have had if I could see. I actually think my disability has been a blessing in disguise, but right now I wish I had a set of working eyeballs. :)
Glacier is worrying me a bit as well. Today we went out to drop our rent cheque off and his working wasn't very good. He jumped a few curbs and even jumped one when a car was coming. It scared me. I made him redo all of the curbs and he got them right the second time around. I knew he was going to be rusty and probably need a few reminders because we haven't worked properly in eight months. This was something I was concerned about living at the House From Hell right from the beginning. It's also hard because Roscoe is Mr. guiding Pro. He always has been. Glacier and I have had to work hard from day one. Not as much as Jetta and I had to: my goodness that little girl was a handful. It is difficult to watch Roscoe and Mr. K work so nicely knowing that they have had the same life experience in the last eight months and then watch Glacier jump a curb with a car coming. (For you non-guide dog people, "jumping a curb" means he didn't stop when he reached the curb. He just kept walking. Guide dogs are supposed to stop at the curbs to show their handlers that they have reached an intersecting street. At this point, the handler makes the decision whether to cross or not based on the flow of traffic). It doesn't help that almost everyone we interact with-our friends down here-talk about how horrible Glacier is in comparison to Roscoe. I am a good handler and I know that, but having Glacier making mistakes like that makes me feel like I am doing something wrong. I feel judged when people make comments about how good Roscoe is at "following" and how badly Glacier "follows." Glacier and I never did a lot of "following" up until we moved down here and most guide dogs don't "follow" as well as Roscoe does. (Following means that the guide dog follows the sighted person or the guide dog handler in front of them so that everyone can walk together). I know with some work he will improve, but I'm not sure how we'll get that work. I suppose I could just go out and wander around and hope I remember how to get back. It would be a great confidence booster if we make it back in one piece. The only problem with that is that if I don't know the route, I won't know if Glacier is making mistakes. This unknowing would not lend itself to me being able to correct him. Certain mistakes like jumping curbs or not taking direct orders I can fix, but if he crosses wrong I won't know if it was wrong or if it was because there was an obstacle or no curb on the other side of the street. I still may try to venture out on my own and see what happens. If you check in tomorrow and my post is titled something like "Where am I" you'll know I got lost. :)
Anyway, thanks to everyone who reads this post to the end. It's more of a *itch fest today than anything. I'm going to head inside because it's gotten cold out here and hopefully the puppies have pottied by now. LOL
See you tomorrow.