Given the fact that new travel security advisories were issued for U.S. citizens around the world, it’s time to become even more aware than before.

Suddenly, I am wary of taking the dogs on walks anywhere where there aren’t loads of witnesses on the sidewalks.

I don’t mind taking them out a couple of times a day (Tom does it in the morning and at night), but I can’t vary our walking path much, and so, from a security standpoint, it’s not particularly safe. Plus, it gets a little old having to wash their feet upon our return each time (for sanitary reasons), though they don’t seem to mind, as they lean their heads into our necks for cuddles while we dunk their feet in antiseptic and soap water and then dry them on a towel.

They get plenty of fresh air on the terrace, and plenty of exercise with me chasing them down the hallways, or playing Bowling for Puppies, or running wild on the soccer field at Tom’s office on the weekends, so I think it’s okay to encourage them to become “condo dogs” for the time being.

We finally got the indoor doggy box, but I can’t convince the girls it’s okay to use the plastic grass on the patio. We shall see. They’re such good little critters that they don’t want to go “in the house.” How I hope they understand that the patio potty is allowed!

Our first several attempts to get them to use it were pretty humorous. The first morning, I sat in the room with the sliding door closed, telling them it was okay, “Go pee-pee.” They sat with the heads cocked, looking at me like, “Okay, take us out and we will.”

I kept them on the patio for an hour and a half. They were content to sit and look through the glass patio wall at the world below, and enjoy the sunshine, while I sat on a bed and read, while encouraging them. It was first thing in the morning. I knew they had to go. But they were patient with me, waiting ’til I came to my senses and took them outside.

The potty was originally off one of the bedrooms on a small balcony. Last night, I moved it to our bedroom patio, which is perfect. I mean, what a view they have while they do their business!

Last night, they were on the patio for five hours, until at nearly 1 a.m., I gave in and let them in to bed. First thing this morning, back out on the patio. By the time Sydney finally let loose, it had been 19 hours. And oh, how she loved our praise when she was done! Cricket, wanting praise of her own, promptly peed on the our bedspread on the floor, then seemed confused at our reaction. Small steps, though.

Let’s hope I can get it through their tiny craniums that I’m not insane and that they have permission to overcome their impeccable manners, just for once.