Dogs managed to survive millions of years of evolution sleeping in snowdrifts and looking out for themselves. In fact, their cousins the coyotes are sleeping in snowdrifts within 100 yards of this house as I write this. They survive. It's not a big deal.
But you make the damned things into house-pets, and all of a sudden your more sentimental house residents get the idea that the poor pups aren't going to survive in the woodshed if you step out for a few hours. Because it's too cold.
So it is that we can't step out the door without leaving them in the house rather than the woodshed. This used to work out OK. Not sure why it's gone off the rails. For a couple of years Boomer and Lucy would guard the homestead in our absence, and there'd be nothing amiss other than the indent on the down duvets that gave away the fact they'd made themselves at home on the beds.
That happy state of affairs has changed, and we can't figure out why. In the last couple of months we've taken to fixing all the bedroom doors with old-school deadbolts and hooks, and they bust in regardless. It seems to go in spurts. A couple of weeks of good behavior go by, and you figure they're over the urge to chew up everything you own, and then wham!
A week ago the Farm Manager bought herself a new pair of fancy boots. She's a practical country gal and this is not something that happens too often. They lasted two days. I'm telling ya, she woulda shot the dogs herself that night if she knew where I keep the rifle.
The reason she doesn't has nothing to do with the dogs, by the way.
Couple nights later we get home and they've busted into the bedroom and had a good feed on my leather jacket, a beauty from the Olde Hide House in Acton. Getting on in years but priceless just for sentimental value alone. Plus leather jackets only get real cred when they're turning a bit ratty, and this one had the patina of time-worn authenticity pretty much polished to a level 10 pitch.
I almost get that. My ratty old leather jacket could easily enough be mistaken for roadkill. But they also took out a pair of Addidas trainers made of 100% artificial materials, and a cotton lumberjack shirt. What gives?
While we were out for our Valentines' dinner tonight they broke into the bathroom and ate the top off the wicker laundry hamper. Then they spread the contents throughout the house. But here's the good news; they only spread it; didn't shred it... so the Farm Manager's new Silver jeans with exactly one wear on them remain intact.
So maybe things have turned a corner. Maybe they're getting better. Maybe I won't have to shoot them after all... not just yet anyway.