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I love the show House Hunters on HGTV. It always amazes me when a young couple has a million dollar budget and million dollar demands. When we bought our first house, we walked in, took one look, and wrote a contract that day. I wasn’t worried about popcorn ceilings, en suites, or the color of the walls. Up until that point, we lived in a third floor apartment and I was tired of lugging two kids and laundry down to the basement to do a load of laundry in the community laundry room. All I wanted was my own washer and dryer. Years later when I had to go house hunting for Megan, she went on and on about finding the right home in the right school district and kept implying that she was sure dad and I were equally concerned when we went looking for our first house. I can still see the look of horror on her face when I finally said, “Megan, I never even asked about the school district. All I cared about was getting a washer and dryer! We were fine with you going to a one room school house that topped out at eighth grade, if I didn’t have to go to the bank for a roll of quarters every time I needed to do laundry.”

Our house hunting skills have not improved since those days and when we bought the home we are living in now, both of us walked in the day the contract was signed and said, “where is our other shower?” Turns out, we only had one bathroom with a shower and another bathroom with an enormous tub on the main floor. The bathroom with the shower we both swore was on the basement floor was missing and since we are sure we are not so stupid as to buy a house with only one shower, we can only assume we were robbed prior to moving in. Which leads us to today and the contractors we have hired to rectify the situation.

On a good day, Vern barks at people walking by our house, people thinking about walking by our house, or people in their homes maybe thinking about taking a walk soon. Vern is never off duty and takes his watchdog duties very seriously. He also seems to lack the ability to differentiate between people he has already met and people he has never met. It is like his short term memory is shot and every day is a new day for Vern. Every person is a stranger upon entering our home and has to be re-evaluated every time they walk through the door. One time, my uncle who stayed with us every Thanksgiving and had been in the house for days, came up from the downstairs in the middle of the night to get a bowl of cereal and Vern woke the entire household to alert us to the stranger in the house. In Vern’s defense, when John ran out to see what all the commotion was about, he said he was scared of my Uncle Bob too, because his hair was standing up in every direction and he was only wearing his boxers. Plus, he never uttered one word to Vern and seemed hell bent on getting that bowl of cereal. All I know is I was glad I had waterproof mattress protectors on every bed that night. We all took a vote the next day and voted that Uncle Bob stay in bed where he belonged at night or I was going to have to crate him in Vern’s old crate.

Well, the contractors have been in the house for one week now and Vern is still barking at them as they come in and out the door. I have explained to Vern it is the same three men he has seen for a week, but he still feels it is better to be safe than sorry. I couldn’t ask for a nicer group of men to be in the house and they all love dogs, but all Vern knows is they don’t belong here. Added to that is the fact that it hasn’t stopped raining in days and they walk in wearing hoodies and hats and Vern is exhausted at night trying to keep them all straight. One day, one of the workmen came in through the bathroom window to save time and later appeared in the living room seemingly out of nowhere. Thankfully, he assured me he would only do that during working hours, but it was almost comical to watch Vern process what just happened and offer up a bewildered bark or two. You could just see on his sweet face that this was getting to be too much for even his watchdog abilities. Meanwhile, Fudge sidles up to anyone who stops walking long enough and acts as if she has not known the loving touch of a human ever in her life. Between Vern’s barking and Fudge the love sponge, is it any wonder they have started shutting the door as they work in the bathroom? I did hear one of the guys saying, “good ol’ Vern,” as I was explaining to Vern one day that he really needed to pace his barking or I was going to lose my mind.

I keep telling myself that it will all be worth it when my bathrooms are done. It’s only been a week, but some days I have to remind myself of that more frequently than others. I am praying Vern starts remembering facial features soon or gets laryngitis. If I thought name tags would help him remember, I would insist the workmen wear them, but then again, maybe Vern needs glasses.

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Comment by Laurie, Fudge, and Vern on June 11, 2017 at 4:50pm

DJ, Renovations are done :) Vern can rest easier now! LOL

Cheryl, Poor Vern. He had a hard enough time keeping them straight when they came through the front door :)

Nicky, Thank you!!

Comment by DJ & Chance on May 28, 2017 at 8:55pm

Ha, ha!  Vern and Chance are alike on this one--their "job" is to protect us, even when we don't need or want it.  I love the image of the guy slipping in through the window and showing up in the living room to a befuddled Vern!

Comment by Cheryl and Finnegan on May 26, 2017 at 5:27pm

Our brave Vern is just keeping you safe from all things real and imagined. I wish I could have seen Vern's face though when the guy appeared inside of of nowhere.

Comment by Nicky, Riley & Boris on May 20, 2017 at 12:12pm

I love it....know it's trying for you but boy you put a smile on my face X

Comment by Laurie, Fudge, and Vern on May 13, 2017 at 10:30am

Karen, I know you love Vern and I do, too!! HOWEVER, his barking is driving me batty. I am fine with one alert, but then he needs to stop and that is the part he can't get. I had a new A/C guy come over on Friday and he said Vern was very intimidating. I just don't see it. Awww....JD....I wonder what that is about. He was so great with John. Love JD and I guess Vern is in good company.

Comment by Laurie, Fudge, and Vern on May 13, 2017 at 10:25am

Carol, LOL about the washer and dryer and thank goodness for your in-laws!! Vern's watch dog abilities are in overdrive right now and he is tired :) Fudge is no help. She just wants someone to pet her ALL DAY!!

Stacy, Thank you! I grew up with two sisters and only one bathroom with a tub. My mom hated showers and thought they were messy. I don't remember what my dad did...he traveled for his job and probably liked staying in hotels with a shower. We didn't know any better back then, but now, I couldn't live without a shower. 

Lindsey, Thank you!! Vern has moments where he is ok with them, but mostly he stays on his bed and watches them all like hawks. He is exhausted when they finally leave. They are all so kind to him, but Vern is making sure I am ok, I guess. 

Nancy, LOL...I wish I could send them your way. They are all so great. They are early every day and get me up at the crack of dawn. I even said to them, "aren't contractors supposed to be late?" I miss my days of sleeping in :)

DonMarie, LOL...Vern is keeping everyone in line and Fudge is no help :)

Lisa, LOL...Vern Barrymore :)

F, Thank you! I remember how fierce Calla and Luca were....LOL.

Karen, Except Vern barks at neighbor dogs he sees every day :) I think Vern just has a barking problem, but he thanks you for always making him feel loved!!

Deanna, Vern suffers from something :) LOL He is probably even more exhausted because Fudge won't help him bark. At least your daughter's dogs have a readily available sub!

Comment by Carol and Banjo on May 13, 2017 at 3:39am

I'm a little like Vern I suppose.   Every time you write a blog about him...I fall in love all over again!    We bought our first house for the same reason!  But, it only had a room for the W/D.   My in-laws were sweet enough to buy us our first washer and dryer.   

Comment by Stacy on May 10, 2017 at 7:31am

Laurie, you always make me laugh! My dogs are also terrible when extra people are in the house, whether they know them or not. But what really makes me laugh is the missing shower. I so identify! I moved into my first house and I cocked my head like a dog and asked, where's the dishwasher? 

This house only had a bathtub, but I knew it going in, and the bathroom remodel happened before I actually moved in. It was a one owner house from the time it was built in 1951. And to this day what I can't understand is how anyone lived in a house for more than 65 years with no shower! Craziness.

Comment by Lindsey Holt on May 9, 2017 at 7:49pm

I love reading your blog posts, they always crack me up.

As far as Vern, we have a similar situation except once they get inside he just mails them looking for the love and affection he is so lacking.

Comment by Nancy, Ned, Clancy, and Charlie on May 9, 2017 at 6:43pm

Vern is such a great watchdog - you'll never have a home invasion robbery while he is on guard duty! PS We have 3 full bathrooms and only one working shower!  Send those workmen our way.

 

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