Well, it appears that, while dogs can live here in the condos, they are not welcome on the condo grounds. Thus, the reason I saw the women carrying the dogs the day we arrived.

With two, I can’t carry them, but four or five times a day I do take them down the service elevator (the only one they’re allowed into), and rush them out along the curved drive (past all of the lovely grass and plantings) to wait at the gate so that we can dash through the airlock and out onto the street, where they are finally able to relieve themselves. (I always imagine them saying, “Oh, thank god…..”)

I understand why the rule, since we see so much refuse on the sidewalks from irresponsible owners who don’t clean up after their dogs, but it’s hard on the pups. Then, once we’re outside, there are no parks within walking distance, and nowhere for the dogs to run, so they’ve gotten used to only leash time, and walking on crowded sidewalks. Fortunately, they’re not barkers and their comportment is flawless. I walk them over by the Mambo grocery store so that they can relax on a small patch of grass, and greet the folks who get off any of the numerous buses at the stop behind which we sit.

However, now that Tom has a loaner car, we’ll likely drive to the Consulate on the weekends and let them run loose on the grounds there. Tom doesn’t think anyone will mind, since we’ll clean up after them. They need to run. Once we let them off the leash, they gambol and cavort like the puppies they are. There is apparently a large off-leash dog area at Ibirapuera Park two miles away, but parking is almost impossible, and walking is not an option, due to traffic, so the Consulate grounds will be our likely destination.

I run them in the condo, on the wooden floors, but I think that’s more fun for me than it is for them. I get a kick out of them sliding into walls as they try to take corners in pursuit of a rubber bone or ball. Some days, Sydney just won’t play with me, though Cricket is always up for a game of puppy bowling.

During the day, they like to lay out on the terrace, moving as the sun moves. Funny thing, their skin is getting dark in the sun, which gives them almost a blue tinge in some lighting.

Given the restrictions against the dogs, and the spectre of taking them outside four or five times a day for the next 912 or so days (4,560 trips outside, give or take), I’ve ordered a condo dog litter box, complete with living sod (initially) and synthetic sod, and a drain. We’ll put this in the little bathroom off the laundry room, so that the dogs can take care of business as the need arises. I’ll have to rinse it, of course, and clean up after them, but at least I’ll be able to leave for six hours or more at a time and not have to worry about them exploding. Let’s hope it works as well as the reviews said it does.

Meanwhile, the pups take a little bit of work, such as sanitizing their feet when we come back in (since they are always on us and the furniture), but I’m so glad to have them in my daily life! They are companions and great sources of amusement (wrestling on the couch next to me as I type this). Well worth whatever extra effort is required to keep them healthy and happy.