Hello pals, happy Blursday! Today, I’m taking over the blog to ask a pretty simple question: how are your pets doing? Well, two questions, I guess. How are your pets doing and can you help me convince Emily to get a dog?
These are pretty broad topics though, so let me get a little more specific: if you’re home 24/7 now, has your relationship with your pet changed at all? If you’re an essential worker, do you feel yourself relying on your pet more? Have you discovered any weird quirks? Are there any products, toys, beds, or other general animal ephemera that you’d recommend to other pet parents? If you recently adopted or if you’re fostering a new furry (or scaly, or feathered, I guess) friend, how’s it going?
Side note I think talking/asking questions about pets might be my new niche since I’ve already talked about litter boxes…
Please feel free to include many anecdotes about how much joy your dog has brought you, your family, and your children over the past two months. Team EHD is very close to convincing Emily to add a pup to the family (yes, you will read her feelings on this below and yes, we are all this weirdly involved in each other’s lives) but we could use a little extra help in expediting the process. I will bring your comments to our next Zoom call and read them all out loud, one by one. “Look, the readers have spoken!” I’ll say. “Ok, I will get a dog,” Emily will respond. (Hopefully. But it is more nuanced and I am a little less cavalier, so please read on.)
And if you’re reading this faux dialogue and now thinking, “Hey, I don’t really want to answer any of these questions and you seem like a real big weirdo,” then I’d counter your thought process with, “Hey, I have been alone for 9 consecutive weeks — this is the only card I have to play — please comment on my posts and talk to me about your pets because I am genuinely interested and this is basically all of my social interaction now!!!”
Anyway, I asked a few other members on team EHD the same questions. Here are some updates on our pets, complete with some VERY CUTE PHOTOS of cats, dogs, and bunnies. We’re starting off with me because this is MY POST and I would like to talk some more about the only living thing I have really seen for the past 1,536 hours. (I did the math and that is the real number.)
Meet my STAGE FIVE CLINGER, Buffalo (maiden name: Aristocat, Muffin, a few others that I can’t remember) who is apparently thrilled that I am now working from home permanently.
I adopted this cat about 7 years ago by accident — not because I super love cats, or because it was love at first sight, or because I was in desperate need of a pet — but because I went to the shelter with a friend and saw that this lil lady was about to get put down. She had been adopted and returned 2 times and I was like, “uhhhh….you’re gonna euthanize her? Right now?? Why don’t I take her???” I had no idea what I was getting into.
Because turns out, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this cat. WHAT A WIN! Who gave her up? TWICE?! I guess she sheds a lot, but guys, she doesn’t tear things up, she’s quiet, she doesn’t pee in weird places (my childhood cats are old, senile, and very flexible with their definition of a bathroom) — her only flaw is that she is TOO. DARN. CUDDLY. And honestly, that is pretty great right now. She is also coziest with her arms extended straight out, which is simultaneously cute and hilarious. (I thought cats were supposed to like, loaf up on top of their legs? NOT THIS ONE.)
But a question for you: does anyone have any experience with pet beds like these? Lil Buff Buff here normally eschews any sort of formal bed in favor of my linen closet, or my laundry, or just…anywhere on my general human form (she’s laying across my leg as I write this), but I think that this shape can kinda mimic a lap, yeah? I want to try one out but would appreciate a recommendation!
My dog and I are thrilled to be spending so much time together which will come as a surprise to absolutely no one. I am so in love with him and I am happy to announce that he is even more obsessed with me now that we are spending 24 hours together. He follows me everywhere and it is my absolute dream.
He is not without faults though, which my less forgiving boyfriend will attest to. He is AN ABSOLUTE MESS and not the best walker and I’ll admit, very needy. In his defense, we rescued him when he was six so I can only imagine the abandonment issues he has after being fostered by who knows how many families for years. How no one wanted to adopt him I will never understand. But anyway, pre-quarantine Gus was way more of a problem child and I get why. Dogs (especially this one) need a lot of love and attention and leaving him to go to work every day never got easier. He would tilt his head and stare at me with those big bulbous eyes and I’d die a little inside. I could tell he wasn’t the happiest when we’d leave and why would he be? In his brain, he is a human (seriously- he is the most human dog I’ve ever met) and doesn’t understand why he can’t come with us everywhere. AHHH just thinking about it makes me so sad. But working from home is a blessing and I swear it has changed this dog’s behavior. Before, he would not be considered a ~ chill ~ guy. Like, not at all. He has a lot of energy and will absolutely jump on you if you come within two feet of him. But now that we are spending so much time together, he is way less anxious, way less needy, and DEFINITELY better on walks. He doesn’t pull me around like a Raggedy Anne doll and only barks at other dogs 50% of the time. He is improving.
So as the only dog owner on the EHD team, I will say this to Emily and her family: Dogs are a lot of work. They require a lot of love and attention and if they don’t get what they need they can be a problem. Gus’ bad behavior has made me cry and scream many times, but adopting him is the best thing I have ever done and he makes my life and heart so full. It’s impossible for me to not be sappy about it, so I AM SORRY, but it is true. So my vote is Yes, Emily. Get a dog. Your family will love him or her and you will be a great dog mom. I promise.
At first, both my cats were psyched we were home. It was like a long weekend of cuddling and extra snacks. But by day number 5 they were suspicious. And by the start of the second week, they were positively revolting. Jumping when the saw us around corners, attacking each other without mercy, refusing to eat the expensive cat food we buy them, grumpy, agitated, and honestly acting as if we were torturing them. It was as if they were saying “listen, we like it when you visit each night, and the weekend stays are tolerable. But, now this is starting to get out of hand. With all due respect, GO THE F AWAY.” I do truly believe that before all this, our cats were under the impression that this was their house, and we just functioned as meal providers and space heaters. They, like me, just need their alone time. I GET IT.
Well, now that we’re on week ___ (honestly, what is time anymore), they’ve adjusted. They don’t seem to hate us as much, and in fact Lady, our eldest daughter, I mean cat, has decided that while we’re here 24/7 we might as well be useful, and demands attention every second that isn’t spent vomiting on our vintage rugs, looking disappointingly at her food bowl, or waiting for her sister to warm up the cat bed before forcing her out of it for an afternoon nap. Bean, our youngest, still very much needs her alone time, but has decided that it’s not so bad having me home because I leave the bedroom window open all day, and she likes to perch there while I work.
During all of this, we’re still feeding a group of about 6 stray cats, all of which we really love. There’s “Scabs,” “Thumbs,” “Sad Eyes,” “White Kitty,” “Brown Cat,” and two other orange cats that look almost exactly the same. They hang out in our yard, and love to taunt Bean from outside the windows. We’ve also just “adopted” a bunny! It technically belongs to the house across the street, but they let it run around free during the day. It comes into our front yard and sleeps under our bushes, and eats veggie scraps that I bring it. I’m terrified of rabbits, so this is a bit of exposure therapy. I’ve progressed to petting the bunny and feeding it (long) vegetables by hand. But I don’t think I’ll ever get to the “cuddling” stage. We’ve thought about keeping it when our neighbors offered, but it seems to be doing ok for now living its little free bunny life. It comes over almost every day around 1 pm, hangs out until it starts getting cool, the stray cats don’t seem to mind it, and then it goes back to whatever little bunny hole it has for itself across the street.
We’ve been “petless” for almost 2 years, RIP Bearcat and Mimi. The kids have been begging for a dog for I don’t know how long. Last year I caught Charlie praying to God for a puppy for Christmas when I told him that Santa knows it’s not the right time for our family. I guess we were both worried to A. take on the work and B. what if it adds stress? What if we get the problem dog that is super hyper, barks at everyone, needs a ton of medical attention or ruins our house with hair, claw prints, slobber, etc? My biggest fear was what if I can’t fall in love with him/her because I’m too busy taking care of kids and work? I’m not sure it’s possible to NOT fall in love with a dog, but that is worst-case scenario – having another thing to take care of, another obligation, and not loving it.
In case you don’t know this about me I have historically loved dogs so much that I was a dog walker in New York for a year — one of those people who had 5 at a time. So it’s in me, I know it. And now that the world has slowed down and we are up in the mountains every single day, Brian and I are whispering, “I think we are ready for a dog,” or “we need a dog” or ” how great would it be to have a dog right now.” But I’m nervous that we are making a permanent decision in a temporary situation. I do NOT want to regret a living thing, nothing sounds more stressful. So we are trying to be really smart about this decision, not doing it because it would be fun right now. We have to know that long term we are willing to make the sacrifices needed to have a loving pet…I’m scared (but excited).
HELLO, IT IS CAITLIN AGAIN. It is hard to follow up a very earnest and thoughtful commentary from your boss with “let’s get her, guys!!! TELL HER TO GET A DOG!!!” So I now open up the floor to you — what do you think? Did you have any of these reservations before adding a pup to your family?
And as I wrote at great length up there, please let me know how your pet is doing. Drop their Instagram handle. Tell me their favorite toy or your favorite hack to keep your house fur-free (ours is this roller, which we all swear by). IT’S THURSDAY AND I WOULD LIKE TO CHAT WITH YOU. See ya in the comments. 🙂
Opening Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp| From: Target’s New See It In Your Space Feature ( + 50 New Favorites)