The Boys' New Home

After weeks of searching in the horrendous Seattle market, the family has finally closed on the house they'll be calling home for many, many years! The sale closed yesterday, and the first Jeepload of boxes was brought over this afternoon. It's felt like a dream since the offer was accepted, but it's actually happening now.

More square footage than the four of them will know what to do with, the house will give them plenty of room to grow in the coming years. In the more immediate future, the yard will be where they spend the most time. The previous owner used to run a doggy day care in the house, and the backyard is DECKED. OUT.

The vibe is more dog park than backyard, and they couldn't be happier about it. The boys will be able to sprint around like loons and play actual games of fetch. Their mom even has some agility training ambitions. (We'll see.) In comparison to their teeny, tiny lot in the city, this place is the bomb.

It will still be a while until the boys get to check out their new space. Until then, their mom will keep bringing over a few boxes at a time. With each trip across the water, she'll add a few more touches that'll make the new house feel like home. <3

Ask a Dog Walker: Do You Let the Dog Watch?

Now that Grimm's mom has been in the dog walking game for over a year, her clients are beginning to see her as some sort of dog behavior expert (a stretch, really). With that come a handful of questions that they only ask after battling back a blush. A recent favorite:

How do you stop the dog from crying and scratching at the bedroom door when you lock him out to . . . you know . . .?

After stifling her giggles at the client's awkwardness, Grimm's mom bluntly explained that she doesn't. Grimm is not banned from any bedroom activities. In fact, he's not even banned from the bed. It's unconventional, but it works for his family.

Ew. Why?

It didn't take long for Grimm's parents to figure out that locking the dog out of the bedroom during sexy time results in high levels of anxiety for everyone. It's impossible to get in the mood when the dog's howls are punctuated only by him body slamming the door. And locking him in the crate only solves one of those issues.

They experimented with different arrangements, but ultimately allowed Grimm to tell them what he was most comfortable with. Now he reliably curls into a tight doughnut on the very corner of the bed and doesn't move until all the excitement is over. Then, he stretches to rest his chin on the nearest ankle. It may seem weird and barbaric, but all he wants is to be near his humans.

Grimm's parents have theorized that he considers this to be an extension of his body guarding duties. No one asked him to stand (or doughnut) watch over their most vulnerable moments, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

But That One Article Said...

Last fall, some Hungarian researchers discovered that dogs appear to have episodic memory. This essentially means that they remember way more than we ever thought possible. Immediately afterwards, the website Broadly extended that conclusion to claim that humans should be careful what they do in front of their dogs because they're likely to remember.

To that, Grimm's mom says, "Soooo?" If that's the case, Grimm has memories of seeing his mom do all kinds of things: doing the dirty with his dad, putting in a tampon, picking her nose, etc. It doesn't matter. It's not as if he's a toddler that's going to start asking questions.

Speaking of Toddlers

When little Pudge joined the family in November, he was immediately integrated into this routine. The first few encounters were interrupted by a cold nose and tickly whiskers, but the young pup quickly caught on. Now he curls up with Grimm and snoozes right through the action.

Know Your Dog

Of course, this approach isn't going to be a good fit for every dog. A high-energy pup that is easily excited may opt to participate a little too much. A dog that's bonded very closely with one partner may feel the need to "protect" him or her from the other. Only you know how your dog is likely to react to seeing something he can't un-see. Even then, you may be surprised by how calm he is once the space is no longer prohibited.

If you're going to give this a try, be sure to give it a few tries. The dog is most likely to calm down only once the practice is normalized. If the first attempt doesn't go well, just laugh it off. Don't get angry or draw too much attention to the situation. That's a memory you don't want the dog forming.

Is Grimm's mom the only one who doesn't mind the doggie witnessing doggy style? Be brave. Speak up!

Guess the Doggie DNA

It's time for a game to lighten the mood over here at Grimm's house.

Some readers may remember a mention of doggie DNA tests. Well, Embark finally offered a BOGO deal on them, so we're all about to find out what the boys are made of.

While we wait for the results to come in, I'd like to know what you think might be in the pups' family history. Send in your guesses, and we'll see who comes the closest.


Intern at 26

Today Pudge's mom did something he'd never seen before. He saw her shed off her usual stretchy-wear and put on an "underwire" thing that made her very angry. She spent extra time in the bathroom. She put on shoes that made a loud sound. It was all very strange.

When she returned home, Pudge's mom was a weird combination of happy and sad. Pudge curled up on her lap to try to make sense of it. She kissed him on top of his wrinkly head, and he felt her mood lift a little. Sensing that his job was done there, he tumbled off of her and made a beeline for Grimm's jugular. There was wrestling to be had.

Pudge's mom dusted off her favorite dress and hung it back up. At least she'd nailed the interview. The work may not be paid, but she was glad to have something in her field again. The Seattle job market had spoken. It said, "Your work and skills are valuable, but you will only be paid in good feels. Hope that's okay."

No, Seattle. That's no really okay, but you make the rules, apparently. So from now on, Pudge's mom gives her time to a nearby ESL class. In exchange, she gets the hope of maybe someday getting an actual job. Maybe.

How long should Pudge's mom be willing to work for free? How do you feel about unpaid internships overall? Have you ever had one?