Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pets: A word about responsibility

Everyone napping when Fionn and Fionna were small.
When I write about our pets I usually write about the joy that they bring into our life. I've been also meaning to write about the responsibility of owning so many pets because it's really important to think about it BEFORE you venture down this road.

You may wonder if 4 dogs are 4 times the work as 1 dog and I'd have to say that they are definitely not. They go out together, they are fed twice a day together. They tend to occupy each other though be warned that 4 bored, under exercised dogs will get into 8 times the mischief as one.

What I think that anyone who is considering this many pets should do is to make a conscious effort to take any time saved by group feeding, etc. and lavish that time in attention - group and individual time.

You also need to commit to truly knowing your dogs and cats for that matter. They are individuals and you help them to thrive when you treat them as such.

For instance Reilly, is our little "Dandy." He's a gentle soul and he craves individual lap time with me. Reilly is on my lap right now happily soaking up some one on one snuggles. He knows that there are specific times each day when he'll spend time with me away from the other dogs (They're all having "chew" time right now.) Reilly loves being danced around to Celtic tunes. (Celtic doggy dancing if you will.)

Hutch is action oriented. He loves lap time - prefers Reed's lap and lives to have you throw him sticks and walk him.

Fionna is the Queen. She knows it's only a matter of time until the Kingdom is hers even though the official coronation ceremony hasn't taken place. She just doesn't quite understand that Starsky the cat is not willing to relinquish his throne. (I suspect they'll tandem rule together.) She is gentle and loves to be snuggled but only when she is in the mood to be snuggled. She'd rather spend time in the garden with you than anything else.

Fionn just makes you smile. He's this gentle "giant" of a terrier who wouldn't hurt a fly. He's also an attention hound. He wants our attention and the attention of the other pets and he generally gets it. Despite that he's not one to allow a ton of cuddling activity. He's more one to go off to his own activities but "check in" with you quite regularly.

I could actually go right down the list and describe each of our pets, their personalities and their attention needs and preferences in even more detail but time but time is short. My point is that you need to be committed to seeing them as more than a bunch of animals. If you aren't then I'm quite sure this multiple pet thing is not for you.

Because we love having multiple pets we've committed our time to them. That means that the TV is not often on - Who needs TV when you have the 24 hour "pet" channel to experience?

Vet bills will be higher but we don't spend a ton on other activities because again, we love to spend time with these guys.

Food costs are higher. We spend a lot on food because they deserve the best! It helps insure their health. We make some of their food. We have huge stainless steel bowls Reed uses to make it up and we have a small freezer devoted to their food and meaty bones.

I've actually run out of time for now. I may add to this post in the future. I'll simply finish by saying that these guys, and girl bring up an incredible amount of joy.

So I previously talked about gratitude. Today about joy. What brings you joy? Walk through your day today looking for any tidbits of joy that the Universe sends your way. Are their changes you could make to add more joy to your life?


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