Friday, September 23, 2016

"How can you take care of 3 dogs?" a condo unit? and without a helper?? That's the question we always get when we bring all our dogs in a public doggy event. LOL, honestly, I'm always not sure how to answer that question. I can't say "It's easy", because it took us a lot of research and persistence to train our dogs. But I also couldn't say "it's hard" because it's really not that hard anymore once you establish the good relationship with them.

me with our 3 dogs, HPE Run 2016 (Sep 18, 2016)

I always end up saying "it's okay", followed by the bazillion of unsolicited tips on how to do it. LOL! Here are the common ones:

1. Puppy-proof the house. Even though all dogs are now adults, they still have bouts of puppyhood where they have the urge to break things. So #1 rule in the house is to always puppy-proof when before leaving: coffee tables must me clear, nothing should be at the edge of tables and kitchen counter, charger cables must not be reachable, shoes/slippers must be inside the enclosed shoe rack, remote controls must not be left on the sofa, garbage cans must be sealed, etc. Rules may vary depending on the setup of your home, and on the chewing preferences of your dogs (For example, it's okay for old sturdy slippers to lie around the house because our dogs are not fond of them anyway. LOL)

2. Walk them everyday. I'm sure you've heard/read this everywhere (at least once from Cesar Millan): "Dogs need to walk to release pent-up energy", otherwise they will release this by other means. This is very true for our dogs, especially for our beagle. Something at home will be chewed at the end of the day if she doesn't get her morning walk -- whether it's a pillow, or furniture, or WALL, she can destroy ANYTHING. Note by the way, that walking is different from playing fetch. They can equate playing to rowdiness, while walking is to discipline. Sometimes 15 minutes of walking will do ...after all it is also very healthy for the human!

3. Train them. You don't have to train them how to stand on 2 feet or jump through hoops! You just need to teach them the basic ones needed in your lifestyle. For us, obviously, potty training is very important because we live in a condo (no backyard!) . Nobody wants to go home to a poop-filled house right (eek!) so we trained them to poop and pee in the balcony area while we're away. They are also trained not to cry/run after us when we leave. They just lie down and look at us when we leave. Sometimes they don't even look, and continue sleeping (LOL). This way, we leave them relaxed relaxed that sometimes they just sleep throughout the day, even if we are out for 8-12 hours! I'm no professional how this can be done, but just google away, there are lots of resources online! (Crate-training is another option for condo-dwellers, there are lots of resources out there! I couldn't help in this setup though coz it just didn't work for our dogs.)

4. Get used to cleaning. Before we had dogs, in our previous condo unit, sweeping once a day is enough, deep cleaning happened only about once a year, and mopping was never in our vocabulary. LOL. Now, we sweep the floor 2-3x a day coz of fur everywhere, floor is mopped once a week (oh, and we have separate mops for balcony and indoor floor!) because dog smell sticks on the floor, and we hire cleaners maybe once every quarter to deep clean the entire condo unit because cleaners still magically find the all the hidden dirt we can't see. LOL! And since our dogs jump everywhere, we also doubled our stock of bed sheets -- half is used as drop cover for the sofa, and all these are changed every 2 weeks or so. This is all because being a fur parent comes with this responsibility! Clean, clean clean, or no one else will! PS - my latest love is Mia Maison atomizer, using their scented oils. It can make the entire house smell so good!

5. Lastly, I say, "Ganon talaga" when my friends ask questions like "hindi ba nangangatngat gamit nyo?", or "hindi ba amoy aso minsan?" or "hindi ba [blahblah]". Living with dogs is a lifestyle. For us, it means less party hosting, less vacations, minimalistic home, cheaper day to day things (especially eyeglasses and slippers -- oh, our beagle's fave chew toys!), FUR everywhere, dog smell when we get home, more cleaning time, dog friendly car accessories, etc. It's hard to keep a PERFECT-squeaky-clean-and-organized lifestyle when you own a dog (let alone dogS), so you just have to deal with it!

At the end of the day, my dogs give me joy ...and they love me back, unconditionally. That thought alone makes every effort worth it. :)

P.S. I got more tips about the specifics of bathing, feeding, dog stuff storage, etc. I'll probably write these on my next doggy post!