Category Archives: Pets

New Goal: Replace Our Flooring by January

Mrs. Pennypacker and I have two large dogs.  And these dogs have decided we need new flooring.  We currently have hardwood floors in our kitchen and dinning areas.  They looked great when we first moved in, but since then the dogs have contributed an inordinate amount of scratches, gouges, and general wear.  Our bedrooms and living areas are carpeted.  Sadly, our dogs have had a couple of nights where their bellies weren’t so cheery.  Of course, carpets and sick dog stomachs don’t really get along well.  The stains are numerous and stubborn.  We’ve gone over them several times with our carpet washer, but no luck.  Even a professional carpet cleaner fell short after two attempts.  So, new flooring it is!

This past weekend we started the shopping process.  Wow, is flooring expensive!  Especially when they’re made of the high-tech dog resistant materials we need.  We’re looking at somewhere between 5 and $7 per square foot for carpet and vinyl, including installation.  The carpet will go in all the bedrooms and the vinyl planks, or luxury vinyl tiles as they’re sometimes called, will go everywhere else (except the bathrooms).

We weren’t really planning on buying new flooring at this point, but the dogs have spoken.  So, we’ve decided to start saving up the money now and, with a little luck, we’ll have the money to buy new floors by January.  If we really focus, I think we can buy floors and still accomplish our goal of paying our mortgage down to 42% by the end of the year.

Why Can’t Our Dogs Get Jobs?

In case you don’t know, Mrs. Pennypacker and I have two dogs, Roy and Lucy.  And, while our dogs are great, we often joke about how we wish they would get jobs.  After all, they’re so expensive to keep around, the least they could do is pull their own weight.

For example, we buy them expensive food.  It’s not because we’re caught up in the new raw food diet, nor is it because we feel the need to provide them with top grade sirloin.  It’s purely for medical purposes.  Roy had an incident with his intestines a few years ago and we’ve been feeding him a fish and sweet potato blend ever since.  Lucy has ongoing kidney issues and has to eat prescription food, which I think costs three times as much as the fish and potatoes.

Besides food, there are other expenses.  It seems like we’re at the vet at least three times a year either for shots, exams, or various issues that always seem to come up.  They also need monthly flea treatments, heart-worm medication, and daily joint pills.  Oh, and Lucy takes a thyroid pill every morning, buried in a fingertip full of peanut butter.  If we go on vacation without them, we pay a dog-sitter to look after them.  They need baths every couple months, and if it’s too cold outside to just hose them off, we take them down to the local dog washing center for $10 per dog.

And if that list isn’t long enough, we also pay $20 a month to have the newspaper delivered for Roy.  Now, in this day and age we probably could save some money by cancelling the delivery and getting our news online.  But, Roy just lives to bring in the morning paper.  To us, it’s worth the money to see the joy he has as he sprints through the door, paper in mouth, proudly showing off his trophy.  He then wrestles it to the ground to show it who’s boss.  Sadly, we’re often left with at least one of the front page stories shredded beyond recognition.

Sometimes though, we forget about how much money our dogs save us.  Unlike most dogs, they don’t play with toys and they rarely chew bones.  Our tennis balls seem to last forever because neither one is an avid fetcher.  Lucy not at all and Roy?  Well, every month or so he’s good for three, maybe four rounds of fetch before he gets distracted.  Roy will however play with any one of the hundreds of free sticks he finds in the yard.  He usually lies on his back so he can juggle them in his mouth or he runs in circles around the yard like a crazy dog with a favorite stick dangling from his teeth.   And of course they both provide an endless supply of entertainment and companionship, which you can’t really put a price on.