I bet if I took a poll among my friends and co-workers, I would be the one who takes the longest to get ready for work. I get up sometime around 5:30am and leave for work around 8:45am. First on the agenda is taking Oz for a walk. He is my 8 year-old Rottweiler. Before we can leave, I have to find a weather-appropriate outfit, chop chicken for my treat pouch, check for poop bags, find my cell phone, glasses and keys. All while drinking a cup of coffee. The cell phone is just for emergencies. I never used to worry about that (even though my husband always told me to bring it) but one morning Oz threw himself on the grass and rolled and rolled. He does that all the time, but this time he kept it up so long I was beginning to worry that he was having a seizure. We were a few blocks from home and he weighs 115 pounds. I didn’t have my cell phone and did not have a clue what I would do if he was taken ill. (Since he was fine, I did not have to figure it out and I still don’t know what I would do. So, if you have any tips, please share them here.)
When we get back (40 minutes or so later), I spend some time with McGee (our Rottweiler puppy). He is in the crate with a Kong while I am walking Ozzie. My husband Chuy takes the first shift with McGee. He is not a morning dog. Chuy wakes him up around 5:15am and he stretches (while still laying down) and takes close to 5 minutes inching out of the crate, eventually spilling out onto the floor. Chuy walks him and makes his first Kong (thank you!). Sometimes I train McGee and sometimes we just hang out. A while back I decided we needed more bonding time so I brought him into the bathroom, supplied with chew toys, to just be near me while I got ready. He climbed into the shower with me. Twice. The next day he did it again. The third day I put him in his crate and got him out AFTER my shower. But of course, I still have to put the waste basket and toilet brush on top of the cabinet and remove the toilet paper. He still climbs into the shower, too.
Hair, make-up, clothes and jewelry done, it’s time to walk McGee again before I leave. He walks as slowly as he inches out of his crate. It has taken a half hour to get to the corner and back. One morning he scooped up a dead pigeon before I could see what he was doing (don’t let his lazy act fool you – he can move lightning fast when he wants to). We had not practiced “drop it” well enough for that one. I brought him into our back yard and went into the house to get plastic gloves, a garbage bag and slices of ham. McGee was under the patio table. I threw pieces of ham close to get his attention but then far enough away so that he had to go get them. Then I swooped in with the garbage bag. No kisses from McGee that day!
And I prepare Ozzie’s “tasty little liver cake.” That is his glucosamine pill that he will not eat unless I top it with cream cheese (like frosting) or canned dog food and a sliver of chicken. Finally, Leo, the turtle starts banging against the glass to remind me that it is time for his fish. He is supposed to eat turtle food and fruit and vegetables. I do not remember how it happened but he conned me into feeding him fish instead. So every morning I chop frozen salmon, tilapia, scallops or flounder. If its shrimp day, I feed it to him whole. Leo likes me. A lot.
I did not start out to write a blog about New Year’s Resolutions but it sure looks like I could come up a few that would make my mornings easier. I could arrange my dog-walking outfit the night before, as well as prepare Kongs and fish delicacies. I could also put my glasses and keys and cell phone together in one place. But that wouldn’t make near as good of a story.