Thursday, October 15, 2015

French Door Awning and Bad Puppy Tales

What a pretty courtyard!  I found this image when I was googling exterior fabric awnings.
I have an opportunity to work with Matthew Mead and Sunbrella and this could be the perfect 
project for my new French doors and courtyard.  I plan to make the awning and am considering 
either a wide grey and white stripe fabric or a classic black and white stripe.   The french doors are 
officially installed, and now we have to do the interior and exterior trim work, as well as 
put in the steps to access the outdoor courtyard.  After that a fence will be coming so I can
contain the new puppy and hopefully that will make a world of difference in my quality of life!
Just to see how far we have come, it wasn't long ago that this uninteresting back side of the house
looked like this.  A good place to throw a random tire or whatever, you know?
Since it is the north side of the house there are few windows, and that makes the facade look
strange.  But since no one sees this side of the house, it isn't the biggest deal.
But it is a private area and I came up with the courtyard idea...but the problem with that
was that to access it you had to leave via the front door.  With the outdoor grill set up 
out back for summer dinners and entertaining the front door was not ideal.  At that
point the french doors came into play (meaning in my minds eye) and finally I got hubs to 
go along with the concept.  I think it will become our most often used door, as hubs drives up
to the back of the house in his truck.  I may just start doing the same as I can bring in the
groceries without climbing two flights of stairs as our house is built into the side of a ledge,
and the front is at a higher elevation than the back.
Some granite blocks were set so we could start using the door.  When completed
the granite blocks will run the length of the door.  I have a pair of lanterns to flank the
door, and they are solar so that this space will be illuminated all night long.  They still need to be
wired, and I have no idea why that is, but we will get it done.  Now imagine the awning over the door.  I have to make it just right, as the doors swing open to the outside, and I really don't
want to look at an awning from inside the dining room, but I don't want it mounted too high on
the outside of the house either.  So that is where I am at with the planning.  Of course all the trim will
be put in place and it will look wonderful.  It already is awesome just going in and out the back.
 I have to mention Colby....he is running us ragged.  He is one bundle of energy
and Mr. Mischief is his tag name.  I think we are making progress on the house
training, but on the eating and chewing and biting front, we are not as successful.
So its a constant eye, and I am finding it hard to get anything done.  Its really been 
a huge adjustment,  imagine having given birth to a newborn who can instantly run 
and has sharp teeth.  Its not cool. 
 Colby does like to lay on the lap of whoever is 
lucky enough to be in hub's recliner, which is where I am finding myself these days
because that is the room he is quarantined in for the time being. I had no idea there were 
so many shows on day time tv.  I admit I am enjoying Who wants to be a Millionaire.
Last time I saw it the show was hosted by Regis Philbin. Now it is Chris Harrison from the Bachelor!
Who knew?
I will not get sucked into the soaps (I used to watch in highschool)  
and I will try my best to avoid the Kardashians.  I have NEVER watched TV
during the day, and now I am all about the questions on the Millionaire show. 
Anyway, back to Colby.  Its all his fault.  I have to stay in the TV room now with him.
 Sometimes he can be let out into the kitchen.  Look at him looking like 
he is the perfect puppy. He is NOT!!! He just wants another treat.  As long as I 
am in the kitchen he hovers and hangs out hoping I am going to whip him up a meal
or a snack.  Now I have to make a confession...I found out that I have been underfeeding
him by about half the calories he needs!!! OMG!!! I was talking to hubs and I said he always
seems so hungry, he acts like he is starving all the time.  And he did look skinny....
so I just grabbed the computer to google the caloric intake for a pup his age and size, and I 
was in shock!! OMG! No wonder he is being a pain chewing every rock and piece of mulch in sight. Not to mention our arms, legs....the vet told me how much to feed him when he was tiny, but I 
guess I didn't increase it enough.  How would anyone know exactly how much to feed a puppy?
Compound that matter by the fact that he has been having digestive issues (diarrhea) and we 
finally have that resolved.  So to introduce his new dry puppy food has been scary business
as I don't want to slide back into the bad tummy scene.  Oh man, this puppy thing is not for 
anyone who has a life to live.  I am in over my head, but now have to go with it.
The little gate we set up to contain him in the man cave TV room is not going
to work for long.  He busted through it this morning.
So wish me luck, and if I get anything accomplished on the home front it is
truly a TRIUMPH!!
PS. Just as I hit publish, I hear a loud snap right next to me....
what was Colby doing?
He ate the trim piece off the new door sill!!! 
OMG wait til I tell his father when he gets home.
See what I mean?  This dog is relentless.
Good thing I enrolled in puppy classes last night. 

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  1. lol Oh my gosh, Amy! He is one little bundle of energy and mischief, isn't he? lol Typical puppy, though. :) You will love going to puppy obedience classes. I obedience trained all of our dogs over the years except for Maizie, who has been an angel from day one. She's certainly been the exception to the rule. lol Obedience training will help Colby become an actual "member" of the family and will truly make his life, and yours, much happier and less stressful. Puppies need strict boundaries just like kids, and once they learn what those are, they settle in and become functioning members of the family. Take heart! There's hope for that sweet little guy! :)

    xoxo laurie

    1. I cannot wait to do the classes. I have been training on my own and he knows many new commands, but seems to choose when he wants to perform them lol.

  2. We got a puppy 18 months ago after our {perfectly behaved 12 year old} dog passed away... OMG. OMG. it's not for the faint of heart. I feel your pain. Marcy

    1. I hear you Marcy, Dillon was as easy as they come...this kid is a different story. I didn't think puppies were that hard!!!

  3. Hahaha! Give him time. I had a friend get a puppy from the pound and came home and found broken glass and blood all over the living room. He was just THIS close to taking him back! ... and now it is 14 years later and the puppy turned into a lifelong friend. When my sister had a new puppy, she was so exhausted she was in tears ... Puppies are exhausting!
    I LOVE your french doors and little courtyard. It is wonderful... I can't wait to see the solar lights and awning... very curious how the solar lights will look and work. I adore awnings... gray and white stripes sounds pretty wonderful!


  4. Make sure to crate train him! They usually reinforce this in puppy class, as well. It gives you a safe place to put him when you need a break, and he'll get a much needed rest, too. Think of him as an overstimulated 2 year old :). Good luck!

    1. Hi Pam, that is one thing he is doing well with, the crate training. We do swear by it, and it is good for both of us.

  5. I laughed the whole time while reading this post because it brought back so many memories..... I could have wrote it two years ago about our girl Gracie!!! She was the hardest dog I have ever had to potty in it took a whole year! Suddenly one day she just quit having accidents....thank God! We are still using baby gates in our household......
    Good does get easier!!! LOL

  6. Puppies are SO much work and create a lot of destruction. But that face...... :)

  7. Just keep saying..."It's all temporary!" I remember when my 16 1/2 year old fur baby passed away. About 7 months later, I welcomed a brand new fur baby. I had forgotten what the puppy stage is all about, and then it dawned on me, everything is new to them and they are just trying to figure it out as well....I am sure it is equally stressful for Colby as it is for you. My little fur baby is now 7 years old...and as I see her aging into adulthood, I would give anything to have those baby years back! Comparing them to our baby that passed is sort of those sweet souls were puppies once too....we just forgot! Patience, love, rules, and repetition! God Bless.

  8. Oh my I have a 5 year old Colby. Sadly it has taken him five years to behave and he still has his moments. I have vowed to never get a puppy again...I am too old!! That Colby is adorable however!!

  9. LOL Amy! I am sitting here chuckling while I am reading this. That puppy is just too darn cute for his own good! Coach keeps mentioning that he wants another puppy-I am going to make him read this EVERY day!! Love the large striped awning, BTW. That courtyard idea was genius!

  10. What a cutie!! I just inherited a grand-dog, purchased a new rug and that little bundle of joy--haha has practiced his potty training over and over on it!! Hope you are better at training than I am!!! xo leslie

    1. Try a spray bottle mixed with 2/3 white vinegar and 1/3 water. My carpet cleaner guy told me about this formula and it's worked for me with all my fosters and rescues I've had. The vinegar neutralizes the acid in the urine, taking away the smell so the dog won't go back to his "marked" spot. Hope this helps!!

  11. Oh Amy, Colby melts my heart.... he is adorable. I have to tell you I was smiling whilst I was reading about Colby's antics. Good luck with Colby's training, I can't help thinking that he looks like he has a mind of his own.... what do you think?
    Best Wishes.... I am still smiling.

  12. We've raised many a puppy. With two of the puppies (various breeds) we did have a one time chewing episode...but only once! What I did was reprimand them with a strong "no!" followed by spraying something they'd hate to lick/chew/etc. on the item they thought was so tasty ;-) Example: One time I happened to have some perfume in my hand and sprayed it on the item the puppy was chewing (the door stop). The next moment she tried again.....oh man! That was a never again thing for her. Because coupled with the "no!", she associated "no" with an icky taste. One time; yup, one time. Never chewed again on stuff not for her.

  13. I hate to say it, but get another puppy! That will keep him busy. I foster pups all the time, and am especially fond of the bully breeds (I have 5 pitties), and the best thing to keep a puppy busy, is another puppy...and as they grow and go into the terrible 1-2 yrs. of age (when the real destruction turning over planters, digging up a tree in a half hour...a real tree, like 20 feet tall). I have boxer/pit, and she and my foster beagle/boxer are inseparable. They chew on each other, roll around for hours, play tug, chase...I don't know what I would do if I did not have the boxer/pit to keep the beagle/boxer busy...I suspect probably picking up chewed house parts.

  14. Oh Amy....What's that saying about having babies while we were young? does that apply to puppies, too? I'm sure once you start the classes, things will get better...LOL. Colby's face just makes me laugh!!
    Your awning is going to look wonderful in your courtyard! What a great idea!

  15. Oh no!!! Remodeling and raising a puppy at the same time is definitely not for the faint of heart!! Just keep your eye on the "prize" ahead ( remember our days of youth and the mischief we got into ??.. hehe :)) ) and he will be an obedient little guy before you know it! So glad you got the digestive issues ( and feeding!) under control! I do hope that you are feeding him a very good grain free dog food made in the good old USA. For his nibbles and chews..I get my furbabies raw bones (sliced leg bones with the marrow in the middle about 2 inches long) in the freezer section of my local pet store. ( some how they are rid of the bad bacteria without changing the nutritional value) I take one from my freezer, pop it into the micro for a few minutes and wait until it cools before giving it to my dog. I lay an old blanket on the floor and they are to stay on that until all the goodness is eaten off of the bone. I've fostered and rescued many dogs and this is a great way to keep those little teeth occupied. The bone is always one of their fav chew toys! ( WARNING: do not buy the pre baked ones you may find in the pet store. They usually come from china and a baked bone will sliver and break, getting into their digestive tract.) Colby is an adorable little guy and before you know it, he will be an obedient and happy member of the family!!

  16. This is why I always suggest getting two puppies at the same time...they chew on each other and not on you and your stuff. This is also why God made puppies so you don't kill them. It's tough when you have a chewer. I'd get the big tall baby gates right away. They may not hold him though. Some dogs see the gates and just don't even try to go through - others see them as a challenge and tear them down. I've got my hands full over here with Franklin. He's doing lots better but now is at the stage where he wants to move around a lot. He struggles to walk. He walks hunched and can't control his little back legs well. Still wearing diapers. I fear its not going to get any better than this. I hope that Colby becomes a good puppy soon...but sometimes it takes two years for them to get out of the chewing phase. Which isn't that bad if you have a small dog but with a big dog...they can really do damage in that two years.


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