Sunday, 8 January 2012

Mila and the Renovations

Being a new year (Happy New Year everyone!!) we have been trying to make more of an effort to stay on track with our house renovations. Our mission over the last couple of weeks has been sanding and painting the hallway - and I am glad to say that we are just about there! 

Our house has been in desperate need of a spruce up for quite some time. The people who owned it before us didn't do any sort of painting in the 30 years they lived here - and it seems like they spent most of the time inside with the windows and doors closed, smoking up a storm. As you can imagine, the walls and ceilings are yellow and the everything needs to be freshened up...with oil-based paint. 

Of course, renovations in the presence of a lumbering black greyhound were always going to be interesting - especially when it came time to be painting doorframes, doors and skirting boards a lovely new shade of white. Mila always has the absolute best of intentions - but one of her absolute favourite pastimes is racing down the hallway to her bed with a soft toy and racing back again to show us how fast she is. That, combined with her wayward tail (which hits both walls of the hallway when it really gets going!!) was asking for trouble.

Our ongoing work on the house was one of the reasons that we decided to put off getting a dog. We couldn't be sure that we could control (or keep an eye on) a four-legged friend and get on with what needed to be done. I had visions of tipped over paint cans, smeared walls, and fur dried into the paint work - and we weren't really prepared to have our hard work ruined and all that money go down the drain, just because our buddy wanted to see what we were up to. However, it soon became pretty obvious that if we waited for a time when everything was done (when the time was perfect), we wouldn't be getting a dog until we were both old and grey. So, we put our concerns to one side (well, I put our concerns to one side - M still wasn't sure...) and we got Mila. We could work out the rest later!

Luckily, by the time we came to be really getting into the paint work, we had discovered the wonderful world of crates (thanks to Fatima - who convinced us that it was worth thinking about and was not a mean thing to do!!). We set up Mila's crate in the lounge (it fills nearly a quarter of the room) with her bed and her toys - in a spot where she could watch us working and feel like she was part of the action. After a bit of training and some bribery she seems to be getting the hang of  "in your crate" and what that means - and while we are not quite at the stage where she will hang out in there voluntarily, she is fine once she gets inside. When I say that we needed a bit of training, it wasn't even so much Mila - but me too. It took me a little while to get used to the fact that the "sad eyes" I was seeing in the crate were not sad at all, but was the same Greyhound expression Mila has when she is curled up of her bed. The bars of the crate are very deceptive like that!!

Watching the action from the crate
So, the first week of January has brought us a near-complete hallway and solved the problem of renovating around a dog. The crate has been god-send - and I can see it having a long and illustrious life with the three of us in future!

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