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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Greenhouses and Dog Bunk Beds

Tuesday the boys had an extra day off school and, not thinking, I accepted a meeting request that morning.  Thankfully, my mother-in-law was available to spend some time with the rascals while I did boring Mommy work.  My MIL had just purchased a mini-greenhouse kit that needed to be built.  So, while I was discussing support groups and IEP trainings, Asher was in jumbo tinker-toy heaven as he, almost single handedly put together the greenhouse for Yaya.  I was pretty impressed.  That boy has an engineer’s mind and he LOVES to follow diagram instructions to build lego sets or any other type of buildable set.  He will often create his own diagram instructions before embarking on a unique creation.

Anyway…I arrived to pick him up and he was in the middle of building the thing.  I quickly saw there was no way I could tear him away from the task, plus it was a big help to Laura.  He got it all put together and we ported it outside to the right spot where he put on the finishing touches.

That afternoon at home, I mentioned that I wanted to build a raised dog bed for the…dogs (of course!).  I have a portable kennel for Bagel which Ozzy has decided is fun to chew on.  I also noticed he kept knocking it over on its side, making it impossible to get inside.  I finally figured out why—he likes to lay on top of it.  I had been noticing that Ozzy really likes height—he wants to be up on anything raised.  So I figured some doggy bunk beds would replace the destroyed kennel for Bagel and gift Ozzy the lift he was looking for.  Of course, Asher was ecstatic for another opportunity to BUILD!

I had a few pallets I collected last summer with grand hopes to build something out of them.  Two were smaller sized and I thought they were the perfect size to frame the bed, so we went to work breaking one down for lumber.  We used the other one, minus a few support boards, as the base of the top bunk.  The hardest part was breaking down the pallets but once we had all our materials together, it didn’t take too long to assemble.  Thankfully, my grandpa has a scrap wood pile where a found a small section of 2x4 (I only had three from the pallet) so I could have four legs on the bunk and some great slats the help enclose the sides.

 The finished product came out much better than I expected.  It weighed a metric ton! But, I wanted it heavy so Ozzy won’t push it around and use it to get on stuff he shouldn’t.  After strong-arming the thing into the backyard and porch where the dogs sleep, I introduced the new bed.  Ozzy was immediately on top.  

 As it turns out…both the dogs like the top bunk and Bagel is on it more often than Ozzy.  Sometimes I find Ozzy sleeping below while Bagel’s stretched out above.  Oh well…I’m still very stoked that we built it, that it came out so good and that the dogs like it.  Asher was a super helper and it was great bonding time for us.  He desperately loves learning how things work, are built and function.  PLUS, he needs the heavy work for his proprioceptive sensory issues. 

It was a good day.

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