Friday, January 18, 2013

Do padded rooms have internet access?

It's been a long, cold week. Really cold. Cold as in too cold to put the dogs outside in the kennel. Even the long-haired bushy ones, because I'm a sap like that. So cold the cats don't want to go outside either. For that matter, if it wasn't for having to earn a living, we humans wouldn't leave the house either.

We've now reached the point where life is exceeding the limitations of my medication. Actually, we may have reached that back about Wednesday.

See, we have no use for cute little lap dogs. Oh no. The smallest dog in the house is my daughter's pit puppy who is probably about 30#. They just get bigger from there. A shepherd mix. A boxer. An Australian shepherd/heeler mix. And, last but not least, the 130# monstrosity that is our American bulldog.

And there's where my insanity begins. A medium size house, five people, five dogs, four cats, and a thermometer that is stuck between -5° and 15°.

Dogs are fickle creatures. They have no respect for personal property. It is all theirs. Shoes? Theirs. Couches? Theirs. Beds? Theirs. It matters not that furniture and beds are explicitly OFF LIMITS. If all dog pillows are in use, the first available blanket is theirs. Even if it's present location is on a bed or couch. They feel no guilt about moving it to the floor after they get yelled at for being on the furniture.

Garbage? Theirs. Especially if the can is overflowing because some teenager with an attitude refuses to take it out. Or forgets. Cats? Theirs. Personal mobile play toys to be chased throughout the house. Bonus points if they can get them to jump on top of the aquarium.

The basement? Theirs. As in their own personal bathroom, because my stupid humanness prevents me from understanding that it's too damn cold to do your business outside. We chat about this regularly. OK, not true. I yell and scream, they bat their puppy dog eyes and deny all knowledge. The porch? Theirs. Because if they actually go out to do their business, that's about as far as they go. Maybe it's colder out in the snow-covered grass, I don't know.

They are also remarkably like toddlers, in that the longer they are forced to remain inside, the less respect they have for appropriate inside behavior. The living room and the kitchen have become their personal Brickyard. Of course, the winner thinks there should be a trophy. Yesterday, it was the loaf of bread left precariously close to the edge of the counter. This morning, it was the tea bags dangling out of the much-too-full trashcan. Cross reference to lazy teenager.

And they are all losing the ability to communicate using inside voices. The bulldog and boxer turn into raging, slobber throwing creatures at any sound resembling a knock on the door or a ringing doorbell. Most frequently, those sounds emanate from the TV. It doesn't matter. The Aussie has turned into the gossip monger. If he thinks someone needs to be fed/needs to go outside/needs attention, he's at my elbow chattering. If chatter and nose pushing don't work, he starts yipping at me. If yipping doesn't work, he barks. At which point the cats and I have to peel ourselves off the ceiling.

This cold weather is to continue for days. DAYS, I say.

And that's why I desperately need to know if padded rooms have internet access. I should probably make a reservation. I suspect there's been a run on padded room lately.

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