April 12, 2010
For the past couple of weeks, LeRoy - our elder dog, somewhere around a dozen years old now - has been desperate to head down to our lower level rather than to stay upstairs where we've been locking him for the past few years. It's not like we trap him in a cage; he gets the run of three rooms - with a couch, water, toys, two big windows that he can see out without even jumping. But that's not been good enough for him for the past couple of weeks - no idea why.
He's been knocking down the baby gate that we use to trap him and heading downstairs to lie on the couch and the carpet - rather than the laminate floors upstairs. No idea why. Maybe it's the warmer temperatures - it is cooler downstairs, after all, and he is getting older by the day.
On Monday we'd headed to Home Depot to order a new water heater - hoping to qualify for the Ohio Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate program. That meant we'd have to switch from our 80-gallon electric hot water heater (which has been slowly leaking for the past year or so while we hoped to avoid catastrophic failure through sheer blind faith) to a smaller 50-gallon gas model, something more in line with our two-person household.
We got to Home Depot, answered the needed questions, scheduled the delivery and installation for Tuesday morning while The Girl was home, and dropped a few bucks for an extended warranty meaning we'd not have to buy another water heater for a long time.
As I headed back to school on Tuesday after Spring Break, The Girl began her break by stinking up the house with paint and primer - the kitchen walls and trim on Tuesday before tackling the bedroom trim and doors for the next few days. She'd used up the sage green for the kitchen walls and headed to Sherwin Williams for a quick resupply.
She left the dogs upstairs.
I called to check in on the way home and found out that the conversion of our electric to the new gas hot water heater would take an extra six or seven hundred dollars - new piping, new venting, an expansion tank, a pressure release valve, a flux capacitor - and that we'd actually be better off to just buy a new, same-sized electric tank - both in the short run and the long run. Lucky us. So we needed to head back to Home Depot and change our order.
As I drove home through the neighborhood - our suburban, uneventful, white-bred niehgborhood - three police cars - one undercover - rolled to a stop, and the police ran out, chasing someone down the street. I've no idea who, no idea why. Just a little excitement to start the week.
When I got home, I found that LeRoy had broken into the barricaded kitchen, gotten into the wrapped up paint tray and tracked paint across the laminate floor after apparently trying to eat the plastic paint tray while The Girl was restocking and I was hearing the sirens. The Girl took the floor cleanup. I took the dog cleanup and hopped into the shower to scrub his feet and mouth.
Once everything was under control and as cleaned up as we could imagine, we headed to Home Depot to switch our gas for an electric hot water heater, our 50-gallon, energy efficient tank for an 80-gallon energy monster. No worries, they said, since we'd never actually gotten the gas model in the first place. All we had to do was call the installers back and tell them to change what they were bringing our way.
So homeward we headed.
To a dog that had been trapped upstairs. And who had ruined our upstairs couch.
He'd apparently gotten freaked out and peed all over the thing, urine dripping into places that we would never be able to clean. Admittedly, the couch had been through the wars, having been with us for a week longer than LeRoy had been. The cushions were ripped in various spots, and we'd extended its life by covering it in a rotating pair of king-sized sheets so the dogs and The Girl could still enjoy it.
So, out to the garage the couch went, replaced with what The Girl spent the next three days referring to as our doggy opium den, three separate palates of dog beds, piled so that the two dogs and the aged cat could enjoy them. Heck of a start to the week.
Thursday, more painting by The Girl. LeRoy again broke free to downstairs but without incident.
Friday, more painting and the installation of the $600, 80-gallon hot water heater - which, of course, cost $1200 after still-needed expansion tank and pressure release valve.
Friday evening then was a trip to Ikea to see the couch that The Girl wanted to replace the destroyed couch with. She'd sat down in every couch in the store and chosen the one that felt best and was also washable and relatively inexpensive - for a couch, anyway. I wasn't immediately sold on the couch but didn't see any better options at Ikea, so we headed onward to Ashley Furniture, Costco, and Value City Furnitue to see if there were any better options.
There weren't of course, so we headed back to Ikea to pick up the last Klippan four-seat sofa in the building along with two washable covers and head home with the flatpacked couch hanging a foot out of the back of the station wagon. An hour later, we were sitting on our new couch, long enough for both of us to lounge at the same time.
If LeRoy pees on this one, we might have a dog to offer around.
He did, of course, greet us when we got home with the couch with a thoroughly destroyed book that I'd borrowed from my principal. $38 plus $10 shipping to replace that one.
It's never boring to be a home owner.
In an only vaguely related note, we got our taxes finished this week and owe like $2500.