Here's the story.
Chewy, our nine year old German Shepard, sleeps on the floor in our bedroom. For the past nine years we have tried to get him to sleep in one of the boy's rooms. As a puppy, we've tried putting his crate in Max's room. Fast forward some years later and a new house, we've put his orthopedic bed in Tommy's room. No matter how hard the boys try, Chewy always ends up on the floor in our bedroom.
Right next to me.
A couple of nights ago, Dan went up to bed earlier than normal. After being in Rome with Tommy for a week, his body has been off his schedule. And it's not like he's got a desk job where he can dick around all day. Working through jet lag he decided to get right back on schedule. And he was exhausted.
No worries, an early bedtime would do the trick.
After he was asleep for about an hour or so, I noticed Chewy at the bottom of the stairs doing this weird foot dance. It was almost Celtic like. Using the bottom two stairs he would go up two and then down two, up two down two. All four paws on the stairs and then all four paws off the stairs. Over and over.
At first I ignored it because Chewy has a phobia of stairs.
After about ten minutes I decided to investigate. He looked normal. No limping no crying. Nothing visibly wrong. Just a dog looking like he was doing some Irish jig.
My thoughts: this dog is f-ing with me.
I stood at the top of the stairs and called him up.
Let's go Lord of the Dance.
He did his dance, then took a lap around the house, as if he were getting a running start. But no more than two steps again. This went on for quite sometime.
If we all went up to bed and Chewy was stuck at the bottom, he would bark and cry and probably shit all over because he's a nervous diarrhea dog.
I couldn't wake Dan up, he was so exhausted when he went to bed so instead I took one for the team. I decided to make a bed on the couch and sleep downstairs and then Dan could deal with this tomorrow.
I started gathering blankets when Tommy asked what I was doing. After explaining to him how Chewy was acting he got a sheet to cover the couch. Then he got a box fan (because who sleeps without a fan??). He knew these were dire times.
I knew once I posted this on Facebook I would draw many comments. What I didn't expect were the personal texts asking if I needed anything. As if maybe I should be put on a meal chain for my pains and sufferings.
It was the worst night of sleep ever. I think I finally fell asleep around 4:25am.
At 4:30am I wake to Dan standing over me confused.
Dan: Kate! Are you ok? Why are you on the couch?
Me: Chewy won't go up the stairs so I slept down here so he didn't freak out.
Dan: *mouth wide open, staring at me with a dumbfounded look on his face*
Me: Well, I wanted you to sleep.
Dan: Why didn't you just block the stairs and come up to bed?
Dan and I have been married for twenty years. And in those twenty years I have about a 99.9999% chance of being right about things. So then this happens...
The next night Dan blocks the stairs so that Chewy can't come up. Chewy is an old dog. He's never been really good at stairs and we kinda knew there would be a time when he'd no longer be able to manage them. Dan's thought was that eventually Chewy will get the hint and get used to sleeping downstairs.
Mmmmmhmmmm. Sure. And my thought was that Chewy will freak out and do something bad.
Because he hates me.
The first thing I notice as I am walking down the stairs the following morning is that it smells like shit.
Just as I predicted, Chewy shit on the floor in front of the stairs.
Fortunately, it was on the tile part. Unfortunately, Dan stepped in it then walked on the carpet to turn on a light before he realized what was going on.
Dan and I made eye contact as he was kneeling on the floor, in uniform, wiping up dog poop.
I'm pretty sure we had an unspoken moment where we both knew:
1. We are taking the Chewy thing to the next level. And more importantly,
2. I was right. Again.
Dan announced that Chewy has basically been evicted from the house FOREVER and from this moment on he will be an outside dog, just like "all the other dogs that live out here".
Because we aren't heartless people we have transformed the garage into the ultimate doghouse including a raised bed, on a platform, that Dan built with his own two hands, his food and water bowls, and basket full of toys and bones. He has access to the entire two acres and friends to play with if he gets bored.
I spent my day scrubbing carpets.
We shall see how this goes. Already I have complaints from the boys. The same ones that don't feed/water him, don't pick up after him, and don't really play with him.
My gut feeling is that Chewy will end up in the house but it will NOT be without a dog crate.
And before any of my dog-loving friends start revolting just know that this too, like most things, will blow over and Dan will have a change of heart just like when he swore we'd never turn our heat on before the middle of November, even when it was 56 degrees in our house, and then I swore I'd never take my clothes off again.
And as history has proven, I'm almost always right.