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Pet People

Monday, February 19, 2007

Working like a Dog

Like most people, I run around like madman in the morning trying to get a ton of chores done before I leave for work: feed 5 pets, fill water bowls, clean litter boxes, wash and put away dishes, listen to Mom complain over the phone all the way from Pennsylvania, clean up the yard, fill bird feeders, shower, put on the face (which gets a lot harder, takes a lot longer, and never looks as good as it used to!), — you know the basic routine. Weekends aren’t much better with more must-do tasks like laundry, shopping and cleaning.

So I’m in the middle of this mad dash, when I see an oft-seen sight: Peanut, lying on the leather couch, relaxed as can be, his head resting upon a pillow. Scooter’s sprawled out on the love seat and Zoe is snoozing on the floor. And I think about the saying, “working like a dog.” I really wish I had to “work like a dog.”

The three Muttkateers just enjoyed a healthy breakfast, several after-breakfast treats and a romp in the yard. I served their food, I cleared their plates, I opened the door for them. They’re on a 24/7 cruise and I’m the entertainment director, maid, chef and cabana boy. Yes sir, someone surely is working like a dog.

Humans who work hard say this all the time, but it’s time to come up with a new adage, because modern American dogs don’t work much.

That saying obviously originated when dogs really did work—and some still do today—with firefighters, police officers, leading the disabled, herding on farms, hunting and so on. Dogs do need a job, because a lot of the behavioral problems you see result because dogs were bred to work, yet most humans don’t give them enough exercise and stimulation. Watch an episode of “The Dog Whisperer” if you don’t believe me.

The only work my dogs do around the house is to work The Boss’s nerves raw. If I had a dollar for every time he said, “Those dogs are a pain in the a*%, you wouldn’t be reading this, and I’d be drinking a stiff one out of a glass with an umbrella on a secluded beach in 80 degree weather.

Are we truly out pets’ masters? I suspect it’s the other way around. If I truly were the master, they’d be serving me dinner, cleaning my bathroom, brushing my hair, filling the refrigerator, jumping up every five seconds to open the door for me and taking me for a walk.

So who’s the dog in your house?

posted by Sandy at 2/19/2007 06:15:00 AM


Blogger Pam said...

Sandy, you said it all! Our animals are the masters. We have to cater to thier every need but I guess when you think about it that is ok because so much of what we do they can't do for themselves but they do have us where they want us. We also do a lot for them taht they could care less about and it's really more for us than them, right? I mean like all the extra toys and etc. Speaking of, this morning I threw a little mouse across the floor for them to play with and the sqeak got stuck, that was about 8:00 and now it's 9:59. Jon threw in down to the basement and when you oped the door it's squeaking away,ha. It has some kind of little cell in it that squeaks when you toss it but it normally stops when the mouse stops moving. It's really irritating now.

Monday, February 19, 2007 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Poor Peanut, he looks dog tired for sure! Yes, these animals do know how to get us to do just about everything for them don’t they! We laugh and say they have us trained pretty well… Every night at bed time, I would rattle the treat can and the girls would come running for their bed time snack. Well, this went on for about two years then one night Cheetah did not come for her treat. Thinking something was wrong, I went hunting for her and found her with a smug look on her face and licking her chops waiting for that snack! I gave her the treats and the rest is history. Do you think those cats come for their bed time snack? Nope, mommy or daddy one will take them to where ever the girls are located at the time! Yep, they have us trained. We cater to them but they give us much more in return with unconditional love!

Pam, I think it is time to find the outside trash can for the squeaky mouse! What about the ending of the race yesterday? We are not big Nascar fans, we prefer Drag racing or our local dirt track. We watched the last 10 laps of the big one yesterday though. I am guessing that was the best part of the entire race! We were pulling for Mark Martin to win. Oh well….

The Rhodesian ridgeback doggie next door came by for a visit today. He is still a puppy but today I saw him hike that leg (for the first time) on one of my bushes! I told hubby that once my flower garden is planted, I will be having a talk with his human mommy and daddy. They have been working on getting the yard fenced in for him but they still have one area that needs to be secured. The fence has been an ongoing project for about a year now! Can we say procrastinators? Argggg…

Monday, February 19, 2007 3:58:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

We are on a feeding schedule at my house. I don't get home until around 7 every night so they have to wait for dinner until I get home and get settled. They usually eat at 8. By 7:40 every night Oscar will get up and lay on my feet. If I move them he moves with them. He will do this until I feed him. It's the same time every night with out fail. If I even walk by the closet where there food is, he will do this low bark growl thing at me. It was kinda cute in the begining, but now I wish he would quit. He does it whenever he wants something because he knows that I will give it to him just to keep him quiet. There is no question is our house that we are no longer incharge.

Monday, February 19, 2007 4:25:00 PM  
Blogger dragon said...

Now Sandy, I thought these dogs were your snookems pooh. Where’s the love? You’re sounding like they are a royal pain in the behind in the morning. Dogs are dogs. They are not people. You have trained them to be waited on hand and foot. You almost sound like the Boss. Could it be that you are starting to feel his pain?? I on the other hand, realize that varmints are varmints. Wifey pooh used to feed the varmints, but some how I end up doing it. I am currently working on the dog to open the refrigerator. Once he gets that mastered he will be able to fetch me my beer. He will have a purpose around here other that consuming food, and leaving land mines in the backyard. It will give him that warm fuzzy feeling for a job well done. I know that I will be attacked on this. So girls get out your swords.

Skeeter, did you ever give me an idea about cutting the cats hair??!!??. I think it will be great not to have to vacuum the cat hair everyday. The yellow one (Prince Not As Annoying) now looks like a punk rocker. If he ever comes out of hiding, I got to get his picture on the blog.

Monday, February 19, 2007 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

When we go grocery shopping, hubby is sure to mention every time we go that "we spend more for the pet food than the human food!" It's true, I know. Larry only like Kroger cat food pouches and Trouble only like fishy stuff. Scooter will eat both but he throws up a lot. The doggies get regular dog food but I make a supplement of brown rice, french-cut green beans and cream of chicken soup and add a heaping tablespoon to the canned food. I war it up so it makes the whole mess warm. We also get Diamond lamb and rice kibble for Aimee and Max and Charlie like Kibbles and Bits Homestyle beef kibble. They don't like the chicken style. The cats like the Fancy Feast Gourmet kibble. Whew... it looks more annoying to see it written down! They get Snookies for dessert and a small piece of bacon flavor treats throughout the day. When Larry is hungry and I am asleep he will park himself on my chest and bat my face until I get up to feed him. Yep, we know who the bosses are in THIS house!

Monday, February 19, 2007 7:10:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Okay, this is totally off topic, but I have to vent! I thought I would be smart and use part of my day off to get a couple of cats to the vet. I wanted to take two at one time, but couldn't get them both wrangled without Sweetie's set of hands (which were at work). So, I settled for Casper (lucky boy). The plan at the time was to take him, and then take Ranger later on in the day. NOT!

For the last couple of years, Casper has not liked going to the vet. The cats never go anywhere except for that one time a year. So, Casper has decided to completely SPAZZ OUT on me! About half way to the vet, with him mewling the whole time, this horrible smell comes from the carrier. He took a s**t in the damn thing! I know I shouldn't be mad, because I don't think it was done for spite. I think he was just stressing himself so bad. Heck, I don't know, but I do know that it stunk to high heaven. Then, naturally, there are three people (and their BIG DOGS) ahead of me at the vet, and an emergency had just come in, so two of the three vets were tied up with that. Needless to say, we waited forever! With Casper and his poop sticking up the waiting room. Let's just say this quick trip to the vet turned into almost two hours from leaving the house to getting back home. And with a stinky butt cat to top it all off! So, the vet tech graciously takes the kennel to the back somewhere and hoses it out for me, but what does Casper do??? On the way home, he s**ts again!! What a joyous day for me.

But, I must confess that I have the most wonderful husband! I told him all about it, and after he stopped laughing hysterically, he said "don't worry, I'll give him a bath when I get home". God Bless him!! And, he did. I shut the two of them up in the bathroom, and it was quite funny to listen to. Casper would mewl, and Sweetie would mewl back, and tell him to shut up, and on and on....

But now I have a fluffy good smelly cat, instead of a stinky butt cat. And a vaccinated one to boot. As you can imagine, Ranger will be another day.....

Monday, February 19, 2007 8:56:00 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Who is the boss? Birdie and Sockie are the Boss! Birdie refuses to eat wet food that doesn't look that "juicy" anymore. She wants to be brushed and petted when she feels like it AND she won't take a " No" for an answer. She is the true queen in this house. Socks demands fresh water three times a day. He also likes to lay in the laundry and will sit next to you in the bathroom without a question. Those two have us wrapped around their little pinky toes.

Monday, February 19, 2007 9:39:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Skeeter, we too were hoping Mark Martin would pull it off but alas it wasn't to be. My favorites are Jeff Gordon, he is sooo cute! Nex t of course is Dale JR. but Mark is older and the other two have many more races.
I was out all afternoon and the squeaky mouse was no longer squeaking when we got home so no problemo.
Don't feel bad baout the fence, we've been planning to refinish a room plus build abthroom in our basement now for years and still haven't gotten to it. One of these days we will.
Adrienne, remember it used to be cute and Oscar still thinks it is or at least he knows it works and that is all he cares about so keep on doing what you're doing and you'll all be happy.
Dragon, shame on you! You don't cut the cats hair for your own convienience, only if thier hair gets matted and tangled. For shame on you mean old Dragon! And good luck trainging the dog getting you beer, Jon's been trying to get the cats to do that for years, they just laugh at him and say what? Are your legs broken, we don't fetch no beer you fetch food!
Stacey, sorry about your stinky cat visit to the vet. At least now you have a good smelling feline to cuddle. Good luck with Ranger!
Birdie, you got me beat. We only have to give our girls fresh water twice a day but we do have to clean the water dishes each time first. But they aren't spoile one bit! ha.

Monday, February 19, 2007 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Oh the trials and tribulations of cat ownership! Believe me when I say, you are not the only one to have a cat poop in the car!

This will be poop story number two for me today! The last time the girls went on a trip with us was the 6 hour drive to Clarksville for Christmas a year ago. Sheba is a pretty good traveler. She does not want to stay in their cabana so we leave it open. She wants out to roam around and after about an hour of her soft meows and roaming she usually settles down in between hubby and I on a warm towel we put on the console. She lays there and wants the vent to blow on her. I find it strange for a cat to want wind blowing on her face? She is cute that way. Now Cheetah my needy baby does not travel well. She may scream a while; barf and worse yet, poop! Sheba was settled down when Cheetah decided to barf while hiding under the sheep skin padding in the cabana. I am always prepared for anything with her so out of her backpack come the paper towels, cleaning solutions, zip up baggies, fresh clean towel, etc. I am bend over the seats getting the mess all cleaned up while upsetting Sheba’s Applecart! Miss Nosey has to see what is going on and she gets into the middle of things. I no sooner have the mess all zipped up in a baggie and Sheba back to her console nice and content when this stench came upon my nose. Oh my Gosh hubby, she just took a crap on the suitcase! I am freaking out and again bent over backwards cleaning up this mess while hubby is buzzing through Spaghetti junction in Atlanta doing 75mph! Timing is everything with cats! The smell is what is bad, we could not open up the windows until we had the girls zipped up securely in their cabana. I was scooping poop, grabbing cats, gagging, cracking windows and turning up the heat and laughing all at the same time. Hubby was making lots of nasty comments but I did not scream at him until I knew we were safely north of Atlanta. As soon as I got the cats in the cabana, we opened the windows and cranked up the heat. People were looking at us as though we had lost our minds driving on the interstate with our windows open in December! Once we were through the hub of the city, we took the first exit to dispose of the barf and poop filled baggies! That was the only stop until we reached my parents home. Sheba slept on the console and Cheetah stayed in my lap while slobbering and panting. Cheetah is a big girl and believe me, my legs were happy to be rid of her weight when we got home! The return trip was not as bad. Cheetah did the barf bit within 10 minutes of the drive and all was fine the remainder of the way back to GA. After that trip, the girls stay at home and we take shorter trips and our neighbor checks in on them. They are fine without us.

I miss my Skeeter with traveling because he was a good traveler. But his last flight on a plane was bad when we moved to GA from Germany. We always took the direct flights and made his time in the kennel as little as possible. He was 14 years old and I was really worried about this trip. He was the only pet in the plane so I worried like crazy about him until I saw him at baggage pick up in the air port. Oh boy did I smell the smell… He had pooped in his kennel. As we were checking out of the international section, they wanted me to put the cat kennel in the X-Ray machine. Mind you, this was before 9-11 and all the tight air port security. So I was arguing with the guy about putting my cat through an X-Ray machine. I told him he had pooped in the kennel and it was just a dam cat for goodness sakes. You would think they had never had an animal carrier in the air port before this day the way they were acting. (looking back they may have had more reason to X-Ray) He told me and hubby that we were not leaving with that cage unless it went through the X-Ray machine. I said fine! I told hubby to get Skeeter out of that kennel and to hold him with all his might, then we would put the pooped filled kennel in the machine for them to X-Ray the dam thing. I am being nice with my choice of words here… The guys put the thing in sideways, Duh, thus getting the kennel stuck in the machine. Oh I was laughing at them having to stick their heads in the machine with that poop in the kennel… Hubby and I were just standing there waiting for them to finish with their sniff job. They finally got the thing through and never said a word to us as we took the kennel cage from them. We put Skeeter back in and I took him into the first bathroom I could find. I flushed the poop down the drain and threw out the old sheet we had in the bottom of the kennel. We were sure happy once in the hotel that night. I still get mad at those people for insisting we put our cat through a dam X-Ray machine! But hey, I am glad I do not have to fly today with pets as I am sure the process is much harder due to terrorism…

Okay, no more poop stories today from me!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Sheeter, thank you so much for a even better story than Lobo's. I have sat here and laughed so much! That story is just a movie ready to happen! I can see Steve Martin,Chevy Chase or Adam Sandler in the starring role. From the ride through Atlanta to the international airport, too funny and I for one would pay to see it!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 2:53:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

The mental picture I have has me laughing so hard my eyes are watering! That is great! Any discomfort they had served them right!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 3:26:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy Britt said...

Oh, MY! LOL. I don't think I could ever travel with pets--not that I couldn't put up with the problems, but I couldn't put up with THE BOSS because he'd be bitching and moaning about it the whole time! LOL. We did take Tramp to PA once, but we had a truck with a cab then and I laid in the back with Tramp on blankets while The Boss drove. He hates my backseat driving and I hate his complaining. We are not good together in cars AT ALL. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 6:15:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy Britt said...

Birdie, I am so glad to hear that Birdie is doing well! She was one of my favorites as I took pictures at Cats Are Us, so I was thrilled to see the person who adopted her posting here! I wanted "coo-coo bird" for myself, but The Boss got his one for ONCE. She looks alot like my Catfish and I thought they'd make a good pair, but I took Tarzan in and now they are best of buds!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 6:17:00 PM  
Blogger dragon said...

I got the picture of the yellow cat with Punk Rock hair cut. I will send it to Sandy when I get a chance. He will be OK. I will put a coat on him if he goes outside.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 8:36:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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