The Duplex

Okay, dog. You win.

My dog is smarter than me. Correction: She is smarter than me AND Alex. Or maybe she just knows how to persevere and wear us down, bit by discouraging bit.

I mentioned that we had some trouble crate training her. She would poop in her crate EVERY TIME we put here in there and eventually, we got so tired of cleaning up a crate and a puppy that we just left her out.  When she was a puppy, she was an escape artist. If we left her outside, she would get out, without any trace of how she did it. One time, we left her in our in-laws backyard, went to Six Flags, and when we came back to get her, she was sitting on their front porch. Perhaps David Blaine was her previous owner. She does things like mysteriously open shut doors. We joke that she has people hands that she conceals when we’re around and they pop out when we leave so that she can use the screwdriver she’s squirreled away somewhere to open the closet where we keep her treats. One time I accused Alex of eating some bread I had left on the counter and he hadn’t eaten it. Somehow Gracie had gotten up there. Honestly, she baffles us a little.

So…enter the window air conditioning unit that my parents LOANED us because the air conditioner in our duplex is original to the house. And by original to the house, I mean it’s probably 40 years old and can’t really get the temperature below 83 in the summer. To save some monies, my parents let us borrow the window unit so that at night, we can just have that running and the rest of the house can conceal a balmy 98 degrees.

We had it in last summer and it worked swimmingly. We reinstalled it two weeks ago since Texas decided to skip winter this year. After installing it, we’ve had a series of epic battles with Gracie.

Battle 1: This was a very small battle that started innocently. The A/C unit didn’t fit all the way across the window, but it has these plastic flaps that expand out from the side so there’s not a hole (see the picture).  We kept coming home to find that they had popped open, leaving a gaping hole behind our front bushes for any critter that happens to wander past to climb in. We probably have at least two snakes and a possum hiding in our bathroom cabinets. After numerous attempts to block the tracks with clothes pins and curtain rings, we decided to try a different tactic. (Note: At this point, we are not blaming the dog. She is just an innocent bystander.)

Battle #2: To escalate the seriousness, we broke out the duct tape and taped the heck out of the edges. Still, we would come home to find the entirety of the moth species had flooded our bedroom because there was a large gaping hole next to the air conditioner. After the third time, we wised up and realized that it wasn’t the moisture making the tape fall off…it was the dog ripping the tape off and tearing it into shreds. We caught her red bearded when I had to pull some tell-tale silver tape out of her beard. Time to escalate a little more.

Battle #3: We bought some insulating foam and insulated the crap out of those windows. Alex went outside and climbed around in the holly bushes. I held the plastic flaps closed while the foam dried. It was airtight, watertight, and what we thought…dog tight. This is the turning point where Gracie broke out the big guns.  We came home one night to find that she had torn the ENTIRE plastic flap off one side.  It was a mess of plastic, foam, and remnants of duct tape. We were so distraught (and tired) that we just covered it with posterboard. We joked that our next move should be to move the couch out onto the front yard, since that is the direction that we were heading. Little did we know…

Battle #4: Because the only thing protecting our sleeping sanctuary was a thin piece of green posterboard, we decided to keep our bedroom door shut until we could find a more permanent solution. Enter the Dallas tornadoes last Tuesday. Gracie, who has never ever before been bothered by thunderstorms, went on a rampage. She knocked over a plant of mine, chewed up some mini-blinds, OH and did this little number. For those of  you whose brain can’t comprehend what you’re seeing, that would be the carpet in the entryway to our bedroom. It appears that she attempted to dig her way into the bedroom so that she could destroy the posterboard.

Battle #5: Alex and I were battered and bruised so we left the bedroom door open the next day and of course, the posterboard had been completely destroyed. We were not surprised.

Battle #6: I put my game face on and got serious. I covered the gaping hole left by the posterboard with duct tape to keep the moisture out. THEN, I took a painting of Alex’s and DUCT-TAPED IT TO OUR WINDOW. If you’ll notice, this whole thing gets ghetto-er and ghetto-er as time goes by. Also, before you think I’m a bad wife for taping my husband’s painting to our window as a possom preventative, he hated it. When I left for work, I leaned some of Alex’s textbooks against it as another deterrent. When Alex got home, everything was intact. It seemed that we had found a workable, if ghetto, solution to our little problem. NOT SO. Yesterday, when we ran off to do normal people things like pick up food and go bike riding, Gracie ate the middle out of Alex’s painting. Look at all that’s left of it. She destroyed it.  It’s completely destroyed.

Battle #7: Alex put HIS game face on (which is alot meaner than my game face) and taped a wooden breakfast tray to the window. Please note, we’re at our wits end here. This is an absolute last resort. He leaned the textbooks against it today and we went to eat lunch with the in-laws. When we got back, this is what we saw:

That’s right. The left side has the wooden tray, which apparently worked so well that she decided to attack the other side. To add to the intrigue of this whole mystery, she was also wet- not just her head, but her entire body. It seems like Gracie took a quick jaunt out into the rain from her dog-made hole in our window.

We decided to give up and take the A/C out.  We will just be hot this summer.

Gracie, you win.

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