Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Home Improvement

We caused a bit of a stir in the neighborhood this past weekend. Actually, we kinda gave the whole town something to talk about when we drove from Pavo, through Thomasville, and then into the outskirts of Cairo with a building (yes, a building) on the back of a tow truck. Now, this isn't just any old building. It's my childhood playhouse. It has almost 20 years of history!!

When I was 3 years old, my parents built a "storage shed." Of course, I helped! I spent two days hammering on one nail!! That Christmas, my dad carried me out. I was wearing teal footie pajamas and a red cowboy hat. I thought maybe I had a present hidden inside, but surprise, surprise, the present WAS the building!! It was my very own playhouse, an 8x8 wood building with a porch and shingled roof. I was really uptown!! My two cousins and me played for years in that playhouse.

In '98, was moved to the pasture and used as my horse barn. In '00, it got moved around to the backyard and fencing was attached to it so it could be used as part of a chicken pen. By this time, I was calling it my "clubhouse." In '03, I put up a poster in it that I had bought at the Scholastic book fair. It was a poster of two Cavalier Spaniel puppies with bubbly purple letters that read, "Puppy Love." I was so proud of that poster! It stayed in my room for a year after I bought it ('02), then was moved to the clubhouse once I got "too grown up" for it in my room.

In '04, my dad wired it for electricity and installed a light. I had plug-in outlets for lamps, fans, or even a TV. That year, one of my BFFs came to spend the night. I think she was the only one that thought it'd actually be cool to camp out in it!! We ate junk food and watched the Omen movies and Interview with a Vampire. We had to go back in the house to go to the bathroom - which meant a 30 yard dash in the pitch black of the country night. Don't forget, the little house was still part of the chicken pen, with the back wall having a roost mounted on it. If you've never been around chickens, suffice to say they are never quiet!!

In '05, the playhouse served as my music room while I taught myself to play violin. I know that saved my parents' ears!! I got my learner's license in '05, so the building was soon retired to the status of storage building.

Six years later, my husband and I bought our first house. Unfortunately, there was no room for all of our yard tools and other things that belong in a garage or storage shed. A year after we moved in, we still didn't have anywhere to put our things, and it was getting old seeing my front porch full of, well, junk.

My parents, loving and helpful as always, suggested we come and get the old playhouse and they would build themselves a new storage building. That's what landed us following my husband's coworker through town, the tow truck loaded up with my childhood playhouse. One of the little boys that lives behind our house told his family we were building a tree house. He later told them he rode his bike down to see us and we told him we were going to park our cars in it. So cute!! Everyone had to take a peek at the playhouse making it to its new home.

Like my parents, I like to take care of my things. They always taught me that, if you take care of them right, things can last a lifetime. The old playhouse will turn 20 this December. She's due a wood treatment, but otherwise in great shape. I'm hoping she lasts another 20 years, long enough for our possible future children to enjoy. (By then, we'll have a shop and garage for storage.) Axle and Remi are very happy to have more room in their bedroom, too!! :)

Dog Tags

A recent conversation has sparked an alarming issue: Axle isn't wearing any tags. Neither is Remi. My name is Meghan, and I'm a terrible pet parent. :(

I just gave Axle and Remi new collars on Axle's birthday. Remi's old one has her rabies tag, and one of Axle's many other collars has his. Axle is due a new ID tag since his is worn beyond legibility. Both Axle and Remi are micro-chipped, but a tag could get them home way faster, especially since some people (believe it or not) don't know to have the dog scanned.

Here's the problem. Axle has four different collars he routinely wears, and a few that he occasionally wears...not to mention the fact that I buy him a couple new ones a year. The obvious solution is the use a device to attach the tags to whatever collar Axle (or Remi) is wearing. I tried the tagnabbit (http://www.petmate.com/tagnabbit). Axle had broken it before the day was over. He'll also remove Remi's tags if not properly secured.

Next, I tried a screw-hook-thing. He got it undone. I really don't know how he did it, but he did. The only thing I have found that he cannot undo is the tradition 's' hooks that come with rabies tags. I have to put them on with pliers, and they're a beast to get off. That means I'm on the hunt for something new to attach tags with. It needs to be durable and Axle-proof. I haven't tried many products because I'm worried they won't work and I'll have wasted my money, so that's where you all come in.

What do you use to attach your dog's tags? Below, I've listed some of the items I'm considering. Any input is greatly appreciated!!