Wednesday, April 22

This Doggie's Backyard

Happy Spring Everyone!

We last left off with us getting tDog2 (Naïa)... our sweet Australian Shepherd/Border Collie cross.  She came home about the same size as tDog... but she is now more than double tDog's size! 

How is it working out in the 200 sq. ft. bus you wonder?
Well, for the first couple of weeks, we tried to partition a part of the bus for this little growing puppy.  Our friends lent us a metal doggie fence that we put in the middle of the bus (taking up a third of our space!) as an (attempted) aid in house training.  About 2 minutes after we set up the gate, she climbed over it! We wanted an active, agile dog, and we sure got one!   We kept the fence there anyway and tried to teach her that it is not ok to climb the fence with gentle words and persistent redirection... Basically, it only worked when she was tired and sleepy (a.k.a. it didn't work!)  But we were determined, and walked over that fence dozens of times to get from one end of the bus to the other in the name of doggie training.  Eventually, we admitted that the entire bus is smaller than most spaces people probably partition for their puppies and we got tired of crashing into that fence and living in a mess, so we removed it.  There are unfortunately no photos of this set up (fence+house training time) because we were too sleep-deprived to take any! But we do have photos of a sleeping puppy (since the awake puppy was too fast for the camera!)...

In the car
It is not easy having an active puppy in a small space.  There is not a lot of room to teach her tricks (to keep her mind and body engaged) and there is little or no way to contain the Outdoors that she brings in (sand, mud, leaves, twigs... Did I mention sand?!!)

Daily sweeping required (not always done though!)
At the beginning, we were able to keep her off the bed... well... let me rephrase... At the beginning, she wasn't able to climb/jump onto the bed.  But that didn't last long.  She now freely jumps on and off the bed (often to and from the couch!) 
Passed out after playing with her toys and my socks (aka her toys!)
This means that our bed is basically a sandbox :(!  But it's hard to prevent her from doing this since our 'bedroom' has no door.  Plus it is also (very) hard to resist snuggling up with this super soft ball of puppy fur!  And in our tiny space, there is not much room to do this on the floor - and the floor is particularly hard and cold these days because we removed all the rugs to prevent puppy accidents.

We made tDog's kennel into tDog2's bed for a while (above photo) but she outgrew it very quickly and we do not want to get a kennel that will fit full-sized tDog2 since it won't fit on the bus anyway.  So for now, tDog2's bed is the couch...
and then in the middle of the night... it's our bed.  As I said, she often jumps onto the bed from the couch... it is not uncommon for her to land ON sleeping tBoy (I'm so glad that I sleep on the other side of the bed!) 

It is NOT easy to accommodate a growing puppy in a small space, but thank goodness for 3 things: 
1. the forest backyard,
2. tDog2's canine buddies and
3. Spring weather! 
View from the bus window of tDog2 exploring the woods right outside the bus
Walking around the farm with canine buddies
Playing by the bus

Running at the beach

tDog2 meets River
Learning to swim!
Chillin' out with her friends beside the bus
There are 9 dogs who live nearby.  Many of them roam freely so they often end up outside our bus.  tDog2 loves to play with her friends and we love that they help use up all her energy!  It is such fun to watch them play and tDog2 is getting a lot of canine socialization. 

The forest backyard has saved us from going nuts in our teeny tiny home with the puppy!  There is so much wilderness for her to run and play in that it makes up for the lack of space on the bus.  What is also wonderful is that it is obvious that Dog2 is designed to be outside in Nature and it is so great to be able to provide her with the freedom to be in her element.  Having tDog2 in our small place has also gotten me hiking more (I much prefer to ride my bike!) because tDog2 won't be able to chase mountain bikes until winter (when her bones are fully developed)... So hiking it is.
Sunrise in the trails

A good little climber dog

Two dogs stuck at the bottom of the slab

When we are not on the farm by the bus...
tBoy has been doing some training...

Attentive doggie pupils learning about trail running with bikes

 (bribes may have been used!)

Climbing trees
Fetching sticks
We've taken her to the city.  She gets quite stimulated and requires very little physical activity because the mental stimulation completely tires her out!
Doggie beach in the city
Bike ride to town (she no longer fits that chariot, of course)
tDog2 meets Pacific Ocean on the way home from the city
Last weekend we did some rock climbing.  It's more puppy friendly than mountain biking.  On Saturday, we climbed routes (climbing with ropes)...

tDog2 wandered around getting LOTS of attention

The following day, we went bouldering...

It really was the next day even though tBoy was wearing the same t-shirt!
The doggies kept busy by chasing one another around in the forest...

and napping.

Reminds me of another crag dog (tDog back in our climbing days)

So... living in a teeny tiny home with a puppy is possible because of the Great Outdoors!  Not so different than how tBoy and I manage to live in this small space.  The bus provides us with the home essentials while Nature is our playground.  tBoy is dreaming of having another dog who can always play with tDog2...  Three dogs and 2 humans in 200 sq.ft.... I'm not so sure about that!!  But so far, us 2 and our 2 dogs are doing just fine!  However, as this...
The day we picked her out of the litter (she was 4-weeks old!)
continues to grow, like that...

Almost too big to carry!

We'll see if we outgrow the bus?!

As for today...
A calf was born at the farm
The dog we are dog sitting (yes, we have 3 dogs on the bus these days) made a new friend
Happy EARTH DAY to All!
(Next post: What happened during our search for land...)

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