I think he missed seeing neighbors & dogs regularly. -- This wouldn't be a problem with Bella, I don't think. I think her stress level might actually go down without seeing neighbors and dogs regularly. She does like to watch the world go by, but she has "opinions" about how some of them are doing it, so it might be better for her to just watch squirrels and ducks. That's a good point for a more social dog, though.
s an OT my question would be how are your knees? LOL
Mine are fine. DH's are used hard in his job, so he's going to get creaky before I do, I think.
In relation to Bella, would she be able to do the stairs? Does she sleep with you guys/in your bedroom now? If she can't do the stairs will she miss that?
She hasn't had to do stairs in forever, so I don't know. She can do the 2-3 steps that she has to for getting in and out of the van or at a park, but it's clearly a struggle on some days. She sleeps in our room, and yes, she would be devastated if she couldn't do that. She has to keep an eye on her sheep at all times. She even worries when we're not in the same room together. So if we bought this house, it would have to be with our willingness to do what it takes to let her be in our room. The bedrooms are on the main floor, though, so it's only going outside that's the issue, not going from living area to bedroom.
Is there a way to make a living space downstairs so you spend more time downstairs and Bella doesn't have to do the stairs? //
Is there a ground level area that could be used for her AND where the family might spend a fair bit of time?
Yes, the house is what they call a daylight ranch here. You enter from the front door and there are immediately 5 steps up and 5 steps down. The 5 up in this house go to what is basically a standard 3bed/2ba house with a huge deck off the kitchen and master bed. The 5 down go to a bonus room, laundry room, and garage door with a slider to the yard from the bonus room. So we thought we could probably set up the bonus room to be our main television watching, office, reading area. But she really prefers to follow us from room to room and we tend to be "up and down" rather than settle in, so the more I type this the more I'm talking myself out of it...
And old dogs often need out in the night, as well as needing to pee more often (in my experience), so you could be going up and down those stairs multiple times a day and night.
Right now the routine is that DH goes to bed late and takes her out before he goes to bed, and I get up very early and let her out when I get up. So she usually goes only 5 hours between yard breaks. We were wondering if you could teach an old dog new tricks and just get a patio pee spot for the deck, which is right off the master via slider.
Bella is an old, creaky dog already? How did that happen - seems like only yesterday she joined your family!
I know! Can you believe it! She's almost 15!
Thanks for the input. Sounds like it's worth considering but considering carefully. And, like I said, they still have to accept our offer and don't seem to be in any hurry to answer our questions, so it's still a long shot.