124. The New Routine and a New Problem

Friday 6/30- Since we don't have a kennel for Skye, for night #1 we made do by putting together a makeshift enclosure out of storage bins and boxes at the foot of our bed, unfortunately she cried until we got out of bed and went to her. We tried just letting her cry herself to sleep like you do with a baby, but since this was just an enclosure made out of boxes she figured out that she could jump out of it (I guess it wasn’t high enough) and found Ramie’s side of the bed, then just sat there looking at him. Hmmm, what are we going to do? We decided to move & re-arrange the boxes in a way that she could sleep next to the bed and next to Ramie. Once she was in her little enclosure next to the bed and Ramie left his hand hanging down so she could touch him she quieted down (already a daddy’s girl?). As soon as she fell asleep Ramie could roll over but once she woke up and realized his hand wasn't there she would whimper again. This ended up waking us up a lot, and each time he would put his hand back down by her until she fell asleep again. This continued for the next couple of days. 

This is my stubborn, I'm not going to bed look!

The temporary kennel area

Even before we brought Skye home, we had posted on our local Facebook group asking if anyone had a used kennel that they were willing to part with for sale. Someone who spent part-time in Uvita and part time in Canada responded that they had one and only wanted $30 for it but were currently in Canada. They would get a hold of their housekeeper and coordinate a time that we could pick up the kennel. Since we didn’t know how long this would take, we continued our search for a store that might sell them new as well. The pet store here in Uvita did sell them, but they were on the insanely expensive side with a medium size kennel costing $145 and a large was $175 which is well over double what they could have cost back in the US. It was difficult to justify paying that price so we continued to hold out, hoping that we would get our hands on a used one soon.

Saturday 7/1- Fortunately today finally worked out to coordinate with the housekeeper of the Canadians! We drove up to the house and Ramie ran in while I waited in the car with Skye. We brought her along for the ride not only to get her used to being in the car but also because we didn't have anywhere to close her in at home. When Ramie came back out of the house with the kennel in hand I could tell that it looked big... maybe even bigger than the one that we had used for Breeze & Kota back in MN. After he put it in the back of the car and we were backing out of the driveway I asked him if it really was as big as it looked and his response was “HOLY CRAP, that thing is massive!” It turns out that it's an X-Large, made for huge dogs, but it’s what was available in a price range that we could feel good about so we would make do. 

At home Ramie set the kennel up in our bedroom (wow, this thing is REALLY BIG!! I could sleep in this with Skye!).

He decided to make a divider out of the lid of one of our storage containers to make it a more appropriate size for this tiny little dog. We struggled to figure out where we could put this giant kennel and eventually it was decided that since this was also a new situation for Skye that it should probably go next to the bed on his side like the makeshift enclosure had been. It fit between the bed and the patio door, but just barely! Ramie didn’t even have room on his side to get into bed, he’d have to crawl in from the bottom! Honestly, this thing is so massive that even full-grown Skye will not make use of all of the space in this thing. That's ok though, it’ll get us by for now until we can find one that is a more appropriate size. That’s the whole motto of life here in Costa Rica anyway- make do with what is available! 

The New Puppy Kingdom

Once Ramie was done outfitting the kennel with the makeshift divider, he moved on to the kitchen to chop up some celery and a small piece ended up falling on the floor (what a messy cook!). We don't typically feed our animals people food but as far as we know, Skye has never had people food before, so we wanted to see what she’d do with this. Hmm, I think she’s not really sure if it’s food or a toy!

Tonight we put Skye in her new big kennel next to the bed, we turned off the light and got ready to go to sleep. Immediately, Skye started whimpering and let out a couple barks, which is rare for her as she really hasn’t found her voice yet. Ramie reached over and put his hand in her kennel, she laid down and was quiet. I guess she just needed that little bit of reassurance that she wasn’t alone. We will have to work on this but it's only been a few days so we will let her adjust to her new house. I totally get it, she’s used to having 7 brothers & sisters all in a puppy pile, she probably feels lonely!

Sunday 7/2 - Tuesday 7/4- While I worked for a few hours on Sunday, I was off for more days in a row since we brought Skye home than I have been in a long time, and I must say that the timing worked out pretty great! Not only did I get a lot of bonding and play time with Skye, I also got some projects done around the house and worked on some crafts projects. While we were out shopping for dog related items last week, we learned that dog toys are pretty expensive here. Instead of spending a lot on stuffed toys that a puppy will probably destroy quickly with those sharp little teeth, I decided that I’d make her a few out of some tough canvas that we have at home and I stuffed one with a chips bag, (you know the crinkly sounding plastic) so that it would keep her slightly entertained. They aren’t pretty but they’ll give her something to chew on and play around with until she learns to not destroy things! 

Yes, they are very basic but will serve the purpose.
This is by far her favorite toy. The new toys have some tuff competition

It has been interesting having a puppy back in our house, but we knew it would be a lot of work again and we had been mentally preparing ourselves for it since we decided that we’d be bringing one home. I must say, though, that just in these first handful of days with her, we’ve seen that Skye is a very intelligent dog, she listens well, stays close to us, comes when we call her and has already figured out a few rules of what she can and can't do. She also hasn’t had any accidents in the house yet, including overnight (she whimpers loud enough and gives us enough time to get her outside)! She still always wants to snuggle, and I think that maybe even once she’s a big dog she’ll continue to try to climb onto our laps for cuddles. 

The only furniture she is allowed to sit on and she loves it!
First trimming of her nails and this is how she chose to lay

In less than a week she has met Geoff & Tracy, Loren, Nancy & their son Tim, and Geiner and so far she loves all people and she doesn’t bark at noises or people coming into our yard, but honestly that is one thing we kind of hope she does pick up on- we want her to be a little bit of a guard dog/alert system for us. One of the comments that we’ve been getting from people when they meet her is that she looks so much tinier in person than she does on the pictures that we’ve posted. I’ve been trying, but it’s hard to get a picture that shows how truly itty bitty she is. 

I fit anywhere, this is great!
Dad, I cant see where we are going!
Introducing Skye to Breeze
This ball is almost as big as me, I love it

Saturday 7/8- Hello happy readers, Ramie here!  I’ve encountered a little bit of a problem recently and I'm here to tell you about it. Way back when we built our house we opted for a live hedge fence along the back of our property instead of a concrete wall. Our builder planted Limoncillo which is a very thorny, strong plant that provides a beautiful hedge but also security. I’ve had a row of it growing for over a year now and just recently planted a second row. The problem arose when the owner of the lot behind our house (the same owner that we purchased our lot from, this neighborhood was originally a large plot that she subdivided into lots) saw the newly planted trees and investigated. The lot is for sale and I was hoping that nothing would come of my planting this and I would end up having this discussion with the future owner, which may be years yet, but it happened now instead. Yes, technically the hedge is on her property by about 8 inches but she decided that she didn't want it there and came to talk to me about it. Thankfully, she gave me the option to remove it instead of just digging it up herself and throwing it out.

I was given one week to remove it. Ok, lets get some perspective here, there are over 300 plants back there. Digging up the new plants will be easy but the ones that have been in for over a year are rooted in and we will have to get as much root as possible if we want to transplant them somewhere else & have them survive. I think I'm going to need help with this so I put out the word to Geoff. He has a local guy who has been doing projects for him and he said he will bring him over to look at the job.

Geoff brought Harvin over to look at the job last week. We walked the property, discussed what needed to be done and where we would move them to, which was a very good question since I pretty much have my entire perimeter planted with these already, but I guess I’ll be really packing them in now. That’s actually ok though because it creates a thicker more secure hedge. Harvin thought it over and gave me a price of 30,000 colones (about $55). I didn't hesitate and told him that would work for me. He had a busy upcoming week so today, one week after the conversation, we would be relocating them.

Harvin showed up at 6am today with his wife who would also be helping. Harvin speaks very little English and his wife doesn't speak any. It will be interesting working directly with them but it would give me a good chance to really practice my Spanish.

We went through introductions, gathered our tools, had a cup of coffee, and started digging. Once we had a couple wheelbarrows full of trees we moved them to the new area we’d plant them and Harvin started digging the holes. I took the bag of compost, added a handful to each of the holes, put the trees in, and covered them up. It was a good system. Eventually we ran out of trees and had to go to the back for more. Harvin's wife had them all dug out of the ground and nicely stacked up. We loaded as many as we could and continued until they were all planted. Surprisingly we were done planting them all by 10:30. It went so much quicker than I expected; I thought we were going to be doing this all day! I ended up paying them 40,000 colones for both of their time. That's about $75 and well worth the extra I gave them! Sadly, moving my hedge along the back of our property has now created a new problem. We no longer have a secure “fence” in the backyard. What we have left is basically just some erosion fabric strung up on wires held up between fence posts. I already had Geiner (our builder) out when we were told we needed to remove the plants to discuss what options we have and what we should do. Now we just have to decide make a decision. Ok back to Dana’s story time.

(Yeah, I got out of all of the hard physical labor this morning, someone had to make sure Skye didn’t run off!!)

After being with us for a little over a week I think we’re all settling into a rhythm. Skye is doing so well, she only chews on her toys (and our fingers & toes but we’re working on that), and she hasn’t destroyed anything. She seems to have picked up potty training, and she discovered that she loves to shred dead leaves that she finds in the yard. She’s still nervous about new things sometimes but she is slowly picking up how to walk on a leash and she still stays very close to us when we’re sitting around outside. We’ve moved her kennel from the side of the bed where Ramie can reach down and pet her to the foot of the bed where we want her to be, and it seems to be working. She isn’t making it all the way through the night yet, but that’s to be expected at this point. At least she doesn’t cry when she is “by herself” at bedtime. Every day she proves that she’s a smart girl with some of the things that she’s picking up on and today she learned how to give me a heart attack.

While Ramie was out working in the yard relocating the plants, I was keeping an eye on Skye. Since she doesn’t usually wander too far away from where the people are and spends most of the day sitting by us, when you notice that she isn’t in sight you check the normal places, call her name, and she’ll show up. Today started out that same way, but mid-way through the morning we went through this little routine and she didn’t show up. I was looking everywhere, Ramie heard me calling for her so he was looking around the yard for her as well. At this point she was probably gone for several minutes (which is long for her) and then she wandered out of the house looking for us, probably wondering what all of the yelling was about. A little while later she wandered off again, I looked around for her, didn’t find her, and called again. This time I saw her come out of our bedroom. Well, that was strange- I looked in the bedroom before I called her name and didn’t see her! The 3rd time she wandered off I checked the bedroom first. I looked around, called her name, and right before my eyes she came crawling out from underneath our bed! 

Well- I sure didn’t expect her to go hang out under there!! I guess she found a new hideout, hang out spot. I guess I don’t blame her, our bedroom doesn’t get any direct sunlight so it’s probably the coolest room in the house, and the tile under the bed was nice and cool! Today we humans learned her new hiding spot, so it will be the first place we look now when we can’t find her out and about. 

Sorry, I can't help myself. You might see comparisons like this once in a while 💘

Pura Vida!