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Dog Tired

Wanted: Your advice on dealing with an indoor dog and a toddler. Feel free to skip my ramblings and post your comments, if you wish.

Lilly (our dog) came to live with us on the Saturday night before Easter 2005. She yelped all night and I slept on the couch so that I could comfort her in the strange new environment. On Easter morning, Hubster and I elbowed each other awake throughout the service. Then we came back to the apartment to take a nap.

As she grew from baby to puppy, she chewed everything in her path. We loved buying her new toys and teaching her new tricks. Life was good. She matured into a very obedient adult dog. She no longer bounces off the walls. She’s content to sleep most of the day and all through the night.

She’s excellent with Bri (our toddler). Lilly will walk away when she’s tired of being pulled on and poked in the eye. I’ve never seen a dog that was so happy to play with a child. She wags her tail like it’s Christmas morning.

The downside to having her indoors, however, is the mess. Leaves and dirt cling to her paws and then get tracked around the house. She sheds her hair all over the place (but not on the furniture, she’s not allowed on the sofas). She spills her food on the bathroom floor. She has accidents. You know, normal dog stuff.

It’s only become a problem now that Bridoodle can crawl. She desperately wants to explore the house, but I can’t let her because it’s not sanitary. It’s driving us all nuts. When I sweep and mop the kitchen, it takes Lilly two days to get the floor messy again. TWO DAYS. I can’t clean the kitchen that often.

Our first thought was to officially kick her to the back yard. And we tried that for awhile. But she spends the night barking. It keeps us all awake and annoys the neighbors. So we gave up on that idea. We’ve joked about taking her to the pound. But we don’t want to get rid of her permanently. I wish I could put her in the attic until Bridoodle turns two and then bring her back down to live with us again.

Sigh.

Any suggestions?

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