Today began like every other...give or take a few tasks. Coffee. Take fur-kids out. A little desk work. Spend time with fur-kids. Swizzle a few dozen biscuits. Make labels for our biscuit bags. Make sure napping fur-kids are covered with their favorite blankets. Give 'em kisses. Check email and social media. Package biscuits. Get shipping boxes ready. Address labels. Take fur-kids out for laps around the yard.
I had 20 minutes to spare before Lisa arrived home from work. She gathered boxes to bring to the Post Office for shipping, the list of biscuit stuff needed, scooped Lobo up and headed out the door.
It was too early to start dinner prep. I decided to get a little housework out of the way. Dust. Mop floor. Clean bathroom. Then, another quick check on work stuff. An email needed my immediate attention. Twenty minutes later, back to the kitchen. Before dinner prep, I took a peek in the bedroom. That's when I saw this.
Shit. I had forgotten to put the toilet paper back on the shelf after cleaning the bathroom.
Our Coco bug loves to steal rolls of toilet paper to shred with his claws. He's always done it. It's one of his many silly quirks. Most times, it's a challenge to get the roll of toilet paper away from him. It usually requires a biscuit bribe or a few pieces of roasted chicken. This time around I had caught him before the shred session. There he was...giving me that look. I giggled and tiptoed to grab my camera hoping he wouldn't move before I could snap a photo.
It's moments like this I'm reminded of how our lives have changed with fur-kids. I'm not talking about the most obvious. Frequent trips outdoors. Dog hair becoming a permanent part of our wardrobe. Dog toys everywhere. Our bed covered in chew bones, toys, doggy throw blankets and biscuit crumbs. Etc.
I'm referring to the itty bitty things...
1. Toilet Paper. Need I say more?
2. Constant floor scans. Sophie and Lobo are right there if food falls to the floor. Coco, not as much. Most of the ingredients I cook and bake with are fur-kid friendly, however, some are not. I have spent 20 minutes on my hands and knees many times searching for a chocolate chip that escaped out of the bag.
3. All gum kept in drawers. Chewed gum gets wrapped and thrown in kitchen trash only. Sugar-free gum is all we chew. Select brands contain Xylitol...a sugar alcohol used in some candy, chewing gum, chewable vitamins and lozenges. It is extremely harmful and can be fatal to dogs.
4. Altering some of the ingredients I use to cook or bake with. Our fur-kids do not eat store-bought dog food. We make them fresh meals twice a day that includes roasted chicken or turkey, rice, steamed or roasted veggies, rice, fruit and Greek Yogurt. A lot of times their menu is based on what we are eating for dinner. When making our meals, anything that's going to be included in theirs, I leave out ingredients or spices that are not dog-friendly.
5. Greek Yogurt choices. When shopping for Greek Yogurt, the big question isn't, "Do you like this flavor?" It's always, "Can dogs have (insert name of fruit or specific ingredient)?"
6. Ice Cream too. On occasion we splurge. All of our fur-kids can eat dairy without any issues. When we indulge in a little ice cream, so do the fur-kids. Our choice of ice-cream flavors must be dog-friendly. Goodbye chocolate ice-cream!
7. Hungry? Well, have a snack before dinner. Gone are the days when I could put the final touches on dinner, plate up and sit down to eat a hot meal. Now, I put the finishing touches on dinner, make the fur-kids their dinner, put the pet pillow on the kitchen floor with toys and bones for lil' Lobo (the linoleum floor is uncomfortable for him), plate up Lisa's meal and make sure she's all set, take out a fur-kid or two to poop if needed and then...I sit down to a lukewarm dinner.
8. Up with the garbage baskets. Any small trash basket, aside from the ones in our kitchen, are put up and out of reach. If we forget to do this...well. You know.
9. No dirty laundry on the bathroom floor. Someway, somehow, it all gets distributed throughout the house. We won't mention any names.
10. No food left on the end tables. When it was just Coco bug, we could leave a plate or bowl of food on the end table. Now, no. A few weeks ago, Lisa brought home a bakery fresh bagel with cream cheese. A neighbor knocked on the door and she left the bagel on the end table. Five minutes later, when she returned to the living room, Sophie had the bagel on the sofa, separated, and was licking the cream cheese. She looked up, face covered in cream cheese. Lisa and I both giggled.
11. Stop, drop and..."get us a snack, Mom!" Our fur-kids get their breakfast early. By noon, they're hungry for a snack. It doesn't matter if I'm baking biscuits, in the middle of a column, or sitting on the toilet. They come a runnin' and let me know it's time for snack. Coco will let off a few barks. Sophie makes this adorable whining noise...like she hasn't eaten in weeks. And Lobo sounds as if he's playing a low key air horn. Snack time. Now.
12. Or...stop, drop and "let us sniff you" down. Most of our excursions involve visiting an animal shelter or home with lots of pups. When we arrive home, before we unload bags and go about our business, we stand there. At times, I'll get on the floor. Our fur-kids sniff every inch of us. Only when they are done are we allowed to carry on...
And you? We'd love to hear how your fur-kids have changed your life in those itty bitty ways...