Tag Archives: routine

‘My mother’s menu consisted of two choices. Take it or leave it.’ Buddy Hackett.

It’s a hard life being a dog.  Or, to clarify, it’s a hard life being a dog in my household.  My three little girls are fed, watered, washed, brushed, walked, played with, fussed over and loved to within an inch of their lives on a daily basis, and frankly (but don’t tell them this) I wouldn’t have it any other way.  But sometimes, just sometimes, I do feel they can be a tiny bit inclined to take advantage of my good nature . . .

Anyone who has ever raised a dog knows that dogs like their routines.  Routines are comforting.  Routines are safe.  Dogs like to know what to expect and when to expect it.  (An early morning walk, breakfast, mum goes to work, sleep, mum comes home, ten minutes of over-the-top silliness followed by an afternoon walk and play at the park, dinner, and then more sleep.  Perfect.)  Of course, day to day (human) life means it is not always possible (even if we wished it) to do exactly the same thing at exactly the same time every single day but even so we usually manage to rock along at a fairly steady momentum at my place.  So you would think, wouldn’t you, that my girls might allow me just a little bit of slack on the odd occasion when something goes a tiny bit awry . . .

There they were, all sitting in a row patiently awaiting their breakfast (well,okay—Molly was squeaking under her breath and stamping her feet but that’s about as patient as she gets) and I went to the freezer and . . . oh-oh . . . no chicken necks.  Sigh.  I knew right away I was in trouble.

Okay then.  Deep breath.  Smiling brightly and looking down at their eager little faces—”So girls.  Why don’t we try something different for breakfast today?  Who’d like a ‘lolly’ instead?”  (Lollies are in fact doggie-chicken-sticks and I am usually all but knocked over in the rush when I offer them as a treat.) 

I was met with blank stares.

“Come on!  You love lollies.  Here Molly, you have this one.”   (There was method in my madness.  Molly can always be relied upon to never turn down food of any description. She’s rotund, but she knows she’s fabulous so she cares not a whit.)  Sure enough she took the proffered treat and disappeared into her basket.   Two more to go . . .

“Here Maudie, you have one too.”  Maudie obediently took the lolly from me . . . and then very carefully laid it at her feet.  She gazed back up at me.

“Mabel?”  Mabel sniffed the end of her chicken stick daintily and then turned her head disdainfully away.

And then Molly reappeared, “Hey mum, that was great.  Thanks for the lolly.  Now where’s my chicken neck?”  Sigh.

Now I love my dogs dearly and fully acknowledge they run my life, but I was also not about to make an early morning, pre-work dash to supermarket to buy them chicken necks when there was a perfectly delicious alternative being offered.  I stood my ground.  (Buddy Hackett’s mom would have been proud.)  But—wow.  Those eyes.  Three sets of what-have-we-done-wrong-and-why-won’t-you feed-us eyes watched every morsel of my own breakfast disappear into my mouth.  They followed me silently into the bathroom and watched me brush my teeth and they continued to watch from the bed as I dressed for work.  Not a grumble, not a whimper, not a sigh was uttered.  Just those eyes.  You’d think after decades of owning dogs I’d be immune butnope.  I got out of the house as quickly as I could . . .

Needless to say, by the time I got home all was forgiven.  I was met at the gate by the usual over-excited onslaught and then we went to the park to play.  When it was time for dinner I had a brainwave“Hey, what say you all have chicken necks for dinner (well of course I picked some up on the way home) because you didn’t get one for breakfast?”

I swear I saw their faces fall.  Does that mean we’re not going to get our regular dinner . . .


Posted by on October 20, 2017 in Uncategorized


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‘No man needs a vacation so much as the man who just had one.’ Elbert Hubbard.

daily-routine-clipart-39291I have mentioned before how much my little family runs on routine.  We get up at the same time every day.  We go out for our early morning walk, have our breakfast and watch the morning news together.  While I shower, dress and put my face on (a la Eleanor Rigby), the girls potter around the back garden, watch the birds at the bird feeder or (in Molly’s case) sit by the food bowl in a not-so-subtle attempt to remind me to throw a few more ‘goodoes’ in there—just in case starvation sets in sometime during the day . . .

Picking up my handbag and keys is a sign for the girls to immediately retire to their favourite sleepytime places (Mabel on one end of the couch, Molly on the other, and Maudie in amongst the pillows on my bed) and to have one last cuddle each before I head off for work.

dog-tv1(There appears to be no such thing as ‘separation anxiety’ in my house.  My leaving for the day doesn’t seem to bother the girls at all.  In fact, I am pretty sure they quite look forward to seeing me out the door so they can have the rest of the day to themselves to do whatever it is they do all day—after seeing ‘The Secret Life of Pets‘ I think I prefer not to know . . .)  

Weekends and holidays are different of course.  Everyday routines are inevitably disrupted and for some reason the girls feel the need to keep a more watchful eye on me at these times than they would during a normal working week.  Basically they stalk me . . .

dog-spyWhen I am reading they will all settle happily with me and soon be fast asleep, but if I need to go to another room I will get up (ever so quietly so as not to disturb them) turn around . . . and find they have all, as if by magic, resettled to that room. On returning to the living room, sure enough, they are all right back where they were before.  If I get up to make a cup of tea they will all follow me into the kitchen (although that’s not so very special—they would follow anyone into the kitchen.)  I will barely step out of the back door before they have found themselves several sunny vantage points in the garden from which to track my every move.

For three little dogs who usually seem to spend most of their time napping, it must be absolutely exhausting.

And last week of course, not only was I not well and housebound for most of my ‘holiday’, but we were also ‘puppy minding’ a four month old Cavoodle named Cinder.  If my girls thought having me home all day for a week was exhausting, having Cinder thrown into the mix just about finished them off.

Cinder was adorable, sweet, gentle and hilarious (as all puppies are) and I thoroughly enjoyed having her come to stay, but it is a long time now (6 years) since we have had a puppy in the house and you forget how much time, energy and space a puppy can take up.

puppyIn between (over)dosing myself up on various cough, cold and flu medications I seemed to spend most of the week constantly searching for one of my slippers (always the left one) which mysteriously kept going missing, checking that whatever Cinder was chewing on now was actually a doggie chew-stick and not just some random object she had found lying around the house, or cajoling Molly to come out from under a bush in the garden which she had decided was her new home.

And poor Mabel and Maude.  How could they be expected to keep up their ever-protective surveillance of me whilst also constantly looking over their shoulders in anticipation of one of Cinder’s playful (and unrelenting) ‘blitz-bombs’?  They were both starting to look somewhat frayed around the edges, to say the least.

But, you know, it’s all good.  As I explained to the girls yesterday, sometimes being jolted out of our routine every now and again is a good thing as it makes us realise just how happy, calm and easy a life we normally lead.  (The girls listened carefully but their unblinking stares made me think perhaps they needed a just little while longer to process this point of view . . . )

backtoworkAnyway, Cinder was delivered back to her mum earlier this week, happy, cheerful and, thankfully, undamaged.  The girls have dropped straight back into their usual routine almost as if the last week never happened (they barely looked up from their beds as I left this morning) and I am (at least I hope I am) over the worst of my cold, and back at work again.  Although I am perhaps not as relaxed and rested as I hoped I would be before the start of a new term, I am consoling myself with the fact that it is not all that long until the next term break and my next ‘holiday’ (11 weeks, 4 days, 5 hours . . .)  

Hopefully we will all have recovered enough from this holiday to enjoy the next . . .


Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Uncategorized


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‘The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.’ Mike Murdock.

Well I am not sure what that quote says about my future . . .

routineI admit I like my routines.  I always have.  And I’m pretty sure the dogs like them too.  We all know where we are meant to be, what we are meant to be doing, and when. We can handle the odd disruption of course, life tends to get in the way sometimes, but generally the girls and I are creatures of habit, and our routines are kind of comforting. Well, they were . . .

I have had a three day-mini-break this week.  Three days off work to get some jobs done at home that needed doing, to do some writing, some sketching, (some shopping—ssssshhhh—don’t tell anyone), and, hopefully, some relaxing before the new school term kicks in.

Sounds great, except that today is Friday already (how did that happen?) and I haven’t done any writing, or sketching . . . (okay I did do a bit of shopping) . . . I still have those jobs to get done . . . the nasty head cold that I have been fighting off for the last week has again kicked in with a vengeance and . . . oh yes . . . the girls and I are currently playing host to a 4 month old (absolutely adorable) Cavoodle pup called ‘Cinder’ . . .

So routine? I don’t think so.  Not this week . . .




Posted by on September 30, 2016 in Uncategorized


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