I was lying in bed last night contemplating the complexities of life while my tummy roiled like an unleashed Edinburgh wind storm and I got to thinking: what do people without dogs do with their time?!
(I told you I was having earth shattering thoughts).
I can't remember a time in my life without a dog and since being matched with Jetta in July of 2002, I've certainly had dog stuff that needed to be done.
Growing up, I had a Yellow Lab named Sasha, a great big guy who was my best friend. I did some things for him, like feeding and letting out, but me being only six when we got him, I didn't realise the commitment and time dedication having a dog really is. Now, I have three of my own and they definitely keep me busy, even when I should be lying in bed trying to get better.
Every morning Hermione wakes me up between six and seven to go out. We used to go and have my breakfast and coffee, but as of late we both go back to bed. She's the one who breaks open the bedroom door and won't get under the covers in her spot until I come back to bed too. One morning, just before I started feeling the full effects of this weird flu thing, I contemplated staying up, but Hermione made such pathetic noises that I followed her back to bed
Between nine and ten is when she wakes up again, whacking Mr. K with her paws and draping herself across his neck to give him kisses. I'm not sure why she wakes him up because I'm always the one who gets up to feed them and take them out again, but every morning, never fails, she does her "good morning Daddy" dance. After that, it's doggie breakfast and water, out again and, when I'm not feeling like my intestines are going to implode, we go for a walk or for a coffee at the cafe.
From there on, my schedule differs depending on the day and the need for homework, house cleaning or perhaps a social outing, but no matter what goes on the dogs are always taken care of first. Whether it's going for a long off leash walk to make Hermione tired so I can study or puppies safely tucked in their crates with peanut butter Kongs so we can go out, our lives definitely revolve around these little, crazy fuzz balls. I think at this particular moment more than ever because both Hermione and Otis are young and Otis needs potty training and Hermione needs potty training reinforcement.
What do non-dog owning people do when they leave the house? Just grab their keys and go? How are their mornings spent without a fuzzy companion to go walking with or play a game of fetch with? Coffee in the morning just isn't coffee in the morning without a fuzzy body of some shape and size or another resting in my lap. (Roscoe size included).
At guide dog school we are taught about keeping your dog on a schedule with regards to feeding, watering and bathroom breaks. I think this mindset has been so ingrained into my psyche that if I didn't have a dog around for a few days, I'd be completely lost. In fact, it was weird once Glacier moved out and there were only-and I use the word "only" loosely-two dogs in the house.
My coat pockets and purse are infested with pooh bags, treats and extra leashes/collars. What do non-dog people carry around with them with those gigantic purses?
Our living room is littered with Nyla bones, Kongs, some form of a squeak toy or another and so many other toys. Our cupboards have been taken over by bowls, dog food and the treats I've made. What does non-dog people's living spaces look like? Probably way less furrier than mine and their furniture is probably nicer; minus the muddy paw prints we didn't quite catch when someone ran in with wet paws.
We have harnesses and leashes hanging on the back of our front door for easy reach. I'm not sure what I'd hang there if we didn't have dogs. Coats?
Perhaps I bring dog owning/loving to a new level, I mean, I do bake them their own treats and am always on the hunt for a new healthy recipe to try, but I'm not sure I'd have it any other way. Then again, I'm not sure I'd know how to have it any other way. :)