Soft Puppy Warm House

Our First Foster Dog Experience

Last month we started fostering for Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue. We thought it would be a good way to get more experience with different dogs, see how we do with a multiple-dog household, and help these great dogs that need a home.

Enter Apollo, a sweet 4 yo Border Collie / Labrador Retriever Mix whose previous owner surrendered him and his “sister,” Mackenzie, due to medical reasons. Both of them wound up in a shelter and were picked up by GLBCR. After two weeks at another home, we picked him up on July 9, 2014 and began our first foster experience.

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Replacing Rotting Boards

When the patio guys took out our old deck, they found among other things a board directly beneath the sliding door that had started rotting away. We were fine contracting out the gas line but figured we could take care of this project ourselves.

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After several calls to various family members more knowledgable than us, we decided all we needed to do was cut through the old board in the middle of the joists and put in a replacement. We got some pressure-treated 2-by material from the local Home Depot along with some 1-by material, weatherproofing clear coat, and fireblock.

We applied the weatherproofing the 1-by material and while that dried used a Dremel multi-tool to cut away the rotten wood. It probably would have been useful to have a little more power, but the Dremel was available and cheap so we got it and made it work.

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Once everything was cut away, we used our circular saw to cut the 2-by material down to size and fit it in the new hole in our house. Three-inch roofing nails were used to nail it to the floor joists. We then sprayed some of the fireblock around the edges to keep everything sealed and hopefully prevent the issue from happening again. We put the 1×12 weatherproofed wood on top. With a little effort, we got everything in place.

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From Deck to Patio!

We knew the deck wasn’t going to last very long when we got the house. After patching one hole and other boards starting to rot away beneath us, we knew it was time for a change.

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Since we’re not great with maintenance we wanted to go with something as low-maintenance as possible. This pushed us in the direction of a paver patio. They look great and most importantly are about as low-maintenance as possible; you just wash it down with a hose every several months. Follow the link for after photos and details.

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New Flooring!

About time! Our “2-3 day” flooring install job is finally finished only 4 weeks later! It was a long and very frustrating process, but it’s a huge improvement. New hardwood flooring is now installed where there was once brick tile, old vinyl, old parquet, and some not-so-bad carpet. It ties the whole first floor together. If you all the details on why we won’t be using Lumber Liquidators nor Apple Renovation Services again. If not, here’s the before and after photos.

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Floors, Dogs, and Recallers

It’s been a while so I thought I would write a quick update on the major things going on over here.

Floors

We’ve been dealing with huge flooring issues recently and I won’t go into all the details but we’ve had all our furniture in one room for the last 2 weeks or so. It’s been very stressful but we’ve finally worked something out with the contractors and they should be fixing things next week! Here’s just a sample of the flooring where you can see the floor dips by > 1/2” over about 1 ft. For reference the installation specs allow dips no more than 1/8” over 6 ft.

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Nova

We enrolled in Susan Garrett’s Recallers 5.0 class at the alumni rate and have been going through the games. They’ve been a lot of fun and I like that there are stretch goals for people who have done the class before. Our goal is just to be able to do the games in a variety of locations, specifically outside. Yesterday we played Tug-Drop-Sit-Run outside and Nova was fantastic (at least when Apollo wasn’t interfering).

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Apollo

Our resident foster dog spent most of the week sleeping and decompressing. Losing your entire family and being placed somewhere strange is a lot for anybody so we played quiet games like nose touches and got him ready for crate training. He’s starting to perk up now and is very interested in Nova when she’s tugging with me. Considering he used to growl a bit when she came close and now they seem very comfortable this is great progress. I also have to give Nova huge kudos for being better than I could have ever dreamed with him.

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Not everything is great though. He destroyed his plastic crate one night and a significant portion of carpet in one room in about 15 minutes. Oops. At least it was carpet on the list of things to replace.

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It’s also still hard to find things that really motivate him. Even things that make other dogs go crazy like cheese, chicken, and hamburger are only mildly interesting to him. I also don’t think he knows what a toy is, and has shown no interest in anything I’ve tried, including several non-traditional toys like paper products, leaves, and branches.

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Kitchen Cabinet Reface: Days 15 – 16

We’ve been so busy with all kinds of other fun stuff, that we haven’t had time to finish our write-up on our cabinets. We always try to post real-time updates to Facebook and Twitter, but now we’re finally able to post our final before and after photos!

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For the rest of the details, follow the link.

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This Week in Puppy News: June 16 – June 22

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Sorry this is late. The main event for this past week was the SPARCS canine science conference. You can find out more about that over at Canine Science.

Last Friday was also take your dog to work day. Was anybody able to participate?