So I told you a few days ago of the “work-around” solution to the Tinny crisis. And I also explained why the “mobile home” couldn’t work long-term for Tinny (never mind the inside of my car is starting to smell like a dog kennel). After more problem-solving I finally worked out a plan! Here’s how it happened (in my head):
ME: What’s the problem? SELF: Tinny tears up the house and our belongings when left alone.
ME: Why can’t she just stay outside? SELF: Tinny tears up the screens, windows, doors, door frames, weather stripping, anything between her and the inside of the house, trying to get back inside when we leave her outside.
ME: Where else could Tinny be that would keep her out of the house and also keep her from coming in contact with any and all parts of the house? SELF: WELL – if we had a separate fenced off area at the back of the yard, and built her a house in there… she would be contained and safe, and so would our house!
But then, being the humanitarian that I am, I got all wrapped up in concern over her comfort. How do we keep her protected from the elements if it storms, warm in the winter and cool in the summer? She needs a house that can do all this for her, and still serve as a TCU, or “Tinny Containment Unit.”
Enter my very talented and handy husband. I was fleshing out my idea with him – it needs to be insulated for warmth, but vented so it can cool during the summer. It needs to be large enough that she can be fully protected from rain or snow fall, and kept warm and dry. Ryan was internally rolling his eyes at all this, but at least knew that I wouldn’t settle for less, so set about researching plans for a dog house, or rather, castle.
I just want to say – he outdid himself. The TCU is now fully formed! We still need to fence off the area and paint the house, but I promise you Tinny will NEVER know how good she’s got it. She’ll spend days out there being mad and sulking, but I will be out on the town, relaxed and happy, knowing all is well in, on and around our nest.
Notes: The house is comprised of 2 separate living areas. The first is accessed through the dog door, which has been equipped with thick plastic strips to keep weather out, but allow easy passage by Tinny. As she enters the house, she is in a large, open area, which will have carpet (unless anyone has a better suggestion), blankets, etc. Plus there is a built-in section for water/food bowls, to keep them stable and prevent Tinny from knocking them over. At the middle of the back, she gains entry to the second living area. This one offers her an even more sheltered area, completely insulated (the whole house is), which will also have a heat lamp in the winter. A vent has been added for summer ventilation, but can easily be plugged for the colder months, to preserve heat. Three-quarters of the front is one long panel that swings open, so we have easy access to both living areas, and for food/water changes. Thanks to Steve at RLI Roofing in Knoxville for the shingles. I’m planning to paint but am open to suggestions on color……. although I’m thinking I should hire an artist to come in and paint a mural on the side, to truly do this Chateau justice!