Winter is Coming, Part 1

My house is on a slab. That is, there is no basement. Combine this with some 30-year-old windows, a pretty strong breeze coming out the bottom of the gas fireplace poorly installed into the wood fireplace, and a lack of insulation in the walls (evident by the cold breeze blowing out any outlet of which I removed the cover to apply outlet insulation). My house is just plain hard to heat in the winter. I had found this out the previous year when I would sit on couch shivering under an electric blanket just to watch TV. This year I had vowed to move the TV to the upstairs when we got to the cold months. It was now October and Ayla had, to this point, never been upstairs. I had bought her some discount sweaters from TJMAX and would leave her in one of those during the day if I thought she might be chilly. I also bought her a sweet, self-warming Aspen bed for her crate. I initially bought it for her smaller upstairs crate, which I was planning to relocated Ayla to for winter bedtimes. But the Aspen bed was too big for that crate. So I ended up using it in the larger crate downstairs, which actually worked out better. Ayla loved it and frequently wasn’t even inclined to leave it in the morning to go for a walk.
ayla tucked into her aspen self warming bed
“You want me to walk? But the sun isn’t even up yet!”
Meanwhile, I kept looking for a good bed for the 28×38″ crate. The problem was that Ayla likes to nest, but most pillow beds were too puffy in height for her to fit in the crate with the bed at the same time. I bought and returned several from Amazon before I finally found something sort of what I was looking for at Marshalls. The only problem with the cheap one was there wasn’t much to it. I felt bad because she loved the Aspen bed. So I bought a K&H self-warming crate pad and threw it in on top, figuring that might make up the difference.
ayla giving me a look while sleeping in her upstairs crate
“You know…some people might find it creepy the number of photos you take of them sleeping.”
Usually I found it bunched up in the corner of the crate, so it wasn’t exactly a success in the way I intended. However, I ended up replacing the cheap Marshalls bed with a Petsmart Grreat Choice Pillow Bed, when after two washes, the Marshalls one became a lumpy mess. Then when I actually used the K&H pad as a mat with the pillow bed on top, it worked out much better.
Eventually, when the downstairs began to get legit cold during the night, I opened the floodgates and introduced Ayla to the wonderful world of carpeting. She freaking loved it. She lost her mind for two weeks straight and every evening we went upstairs she’d do zoomies.

She loved it so much that whenever I would do food prep in the kitchen, she’d sit on the stairs, and sigh/whine pathetically because we were not hanging out in her preferred room of the house. Initially, when I introduced her to the stairs though, she couldn’t figure out how to go down them, which¬†was hilarious, since she was a pro on concrete, but apparently that didn’t carry over to carpeting. She definitely fell on her face at least once.

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