Five cats I've dealt with before -- but five cats and a dog?
A friend of ours adopted a rescued dog a few months ago, only to discover that the dog -- a sweet, not-very-bright, large spaniel, six or seven years old -- had been neglected and was both needy and untrained. Our friend hasn't had the time or resources to train the dog to signal her when it wants to go out.
I thought this was her problem, until she had to go out of town for a week and we found ourselves with the dog. And there's simply no choice but to train it.
So, every three or four hours we take the dog out for a walk. The system is working well. The dog is happy. The house has not suffered.
As for me, I just got up at 2 a.m. to take it out in the back yard, and I have mixed feelings about this schedule.
To complicate matters, the dog is arthritic. Taking it out into the enclosed back yard means getting it up the basement stairs -- and tonight it slid all the way back down, with a terrible clatter. I have thick blankets and quilts for it in a few rooms. The dog likes to paw them into heaps before flopping down on them.
I am trying to figure out how anyone with a dog has time to do anything but walk the dog, feed the dog, and clean up what the dog has drooled on.
The dog, fortunately, barely notices the cats (four indoor, one outdoor semi-feral). The cats, for their part, seem utterly incredulous that there is a dog in the house.
I'm on the side of the cats.