We took the baby gates down a couple of weeks ago. Yes, you read that right. Baby gates. For a dog that is 14-months-old. We had baby gates up for a year confining her to a three-room area of the downstairs. For our sanity. And now she’s running free. I’m not sure I’ve seen her for a span of more than an hour since. I’ll come across her laying around in one room or another. She’ll look up and appear quite surprised to see me. Oh, hi, human mother! I love you. I’m super happy to see you! How about a belly rub?!?  And after 30 minutes or so she takes off to find another room to relax in. I think she views me as a distraction best avoided as she attempts to leave her scent on every square foot of the house. She’s also doing her very best to explore the scene from every window of the house which are all thankfully right at eye level for her. She can sit her little butt down and still have a decent view of what’s happening out there in the nabe. She’s got a lot of time to make up for as she’s been cooped up in three rooms for a WHOLE YEAR! And I can imagine it’s awfully fun to go all Ponce de León and whatnot – at least in her head (Aside to Lexi: Yo, we’ve already discovered all areas of the house. There’s no undiscovered territory left. Sorry. Pick another enterprise because discoverer of unknown lands/territories/spaces is no longer available. Oh crap! Please don’t pick the activity of leaving me a special surprise in a hidden place to see if I can track it down based on the smell.)

But what I think I was trying to say so very poorly, is that the whole family is giddy with the removal of barriers. We were getting so sick of having to open and close baby gates all the time. When you have a little baby, it’s a whole different deal. But when it’s because of a dog, people tend to give you that careful look (understandably, I think) of “Have you lost your ever-loving mind? Why in the hell would you keep something like baby gates up after house training is completed? Are you mad?” And if we were a little mad, we are now just plain manic. We are skipping around the house marching through doorways where gates used to halt our progress, and we all nod knowingly at each other. This is what it means to be living the dream, people. Our household has gotten a rather interesting dose of perspective. And by perspective, I mean a rather interesting dose of just how clearly not right in the head we all are. We are a bunch of loons, and we added the right puppy to our family as she is as much of one as we are.

Feed my skull resident...

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