02 August 2010

T2 get a yard!

I've been a little lax with the storytelling lately, not because we've run out of stories but because the four of us (Toni, Téa, Chris and I) have been settling in to a new home. It's taking a lot more time and energy than we humans anticipated, though T2 seem to have gotten the hang of things pretty quickly.

The basics of the move are that the four of us were living in an aesthetically amazing vintage loft in a converted former Nabisco factory. That was the up-side. The down-side was that it was exactly big enough to comfortably fit me (since I was the only one of us there when I purchased it), but now had to manage for me, Chris, Toni and Téa...and our ridiculous amount of stuff. It was also in the middle of hipster West Loop in Chicago, which is great for people but really not all that great if you're a dog (although hundreds of dogs live in the neighborhood). For instance: we had to walk a mile just to get to a decent amount of grass; the amount of semis delivering products to the various warehouses were more than poor Toni's nerves could really handle; the time it took us to get from the third floor to the first tree in the event of upset stomachs was unsympathetically long; etc.

So number one on our list of must-haves when we began the search for our new home was a yard—preferably an oversized yard. No, we did not move just to indulged our obsession with T2, but as long as we were upgrading we might as well upgrade from all family members' perspectives. More space for us, more space for T2—everyone wins!

The change in routine from four scheduled, no nonsense walks involving leashes to an ever-changing plethora of random outings involving their very own yard, various wildlife and no leashes has been hugely popular. Téa is exhausted every evening, which is something I never thought possible. Toni, who's agoraphobia was so severe that she could hardly get herself out the door for the basics when we first met her, now bounds (really, she bounds) out the back door each morning and has even been known to fling herself onto the ground for a random roll on her back, also something I never thought possible.

They even have cool new neighbors: Anya and Vivian to the north, two dog-loving little human girls; and Scooby the obnoxious chihuahua and his new little brother Rollo the 10-week-old pit bull to the south. Tonight Arthur the mastiff, one of the new tenants in our first floor apartment, moves in. Téa was eager to show him her poorest, most unfriendly manners on first meeting, but we're sure she'll get the hang of him just as quickly as she has everything else around the new home.

Téa demonstrates the life-is-good back roll.

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