Apparently the first full week of the month of May is set aside as Be Kind to Animals week.
Don't tell Polly or she'll want even more....
Polly's day runs on a strict schedule. Now that she's an only dog, she is not as insistent as she used to be, but she does expect us to understand what she wants at all times.
It used to be she woke me up in the morning when she was ready for breakfast. She doesn't do that any more. She lets me sleep as long as I want but the minute I start sitting up, she gives me a "yip" to let me know she's ready to eat. But she also knows that I go to the bathroom first so she stands at the door of the kitchen, silently, and then barks again a couple of times as I come out the door--just in case I've forgotten that she hasn't had her breakfast yet.
If I don't then open the door to the yard while she's eating, she stand there at the door, looking at me to remind me.
She is pretty much on her own during the day, but if her water bowl is empty, she knocks it around bumping it into things so I can hear. If I sit down to eat something, she sit at my feet, staring at me, demanding her cut when I'm finished.
Sometimes she comes in here to my office and puts her front paws on my knee. I haven't quite understood what that means. Usually she has been fed, the door is open she has water, and it's too early for dinner, so I think that she just wants to be petted, but sometimes I realize that she wants a blanket put on the floor for her.
If Walt walks through the family room, she always lets out a "yip" to let him know that he needs to pet her on the head (I love their relationship).
Starting at around 4 p.m., she comes into my office periodically reminding me it's almost dinner time. I'll say "It's too early; wait 15 minutes" or "not now - wait 30 minutes." I know it's just coincidence, but in 15 or 30 minutes she will be back.
When we sit down to eat our dinner she sits right by my side, waiting for me to finish my dinner so she can lick my plate. (If Carolyn or Ashley is reading this they are cringing by now, I'm sure).
Once she--and we--finish dinner, she settles down for the night until Walt gets the mini ice cream bars we have for dessert. She knows she will get a treat when we have finished the bars and he has taken the wrappers to the garbage. She is very antsy until we finish--and if Walt finishes first, she may bark at him and he tells her she has to wait until I've finished.
Once he puts the rappers in the garbage can, he gives her a teeny tiny treat...about 1/2" of a beef jerky and he's amazed at how excited she gets for such a tiny treat. But that treat is her signal that the day is over and she settles down for the night.
Walt usually goes upstairs for awhile and then comes down to tell me good night. If he forgets to tell HER goodnight too, she gives him a bark and then looks up while he pets her, then goes back to sleep.
It's amazing that this is our daily routine, and that it is all pretty much dictated by our being kind to Polly.
Her reliance on routine actually works for us. Should she get out the front door (which she almost never does) and runs down the street, all I have to do is close the door, loudly, and she realizes she is locked out and comes running back instantly. Sure is a lot easier than trying to chase her which I used to do years ago.
What I'm wondering is how this years-long routine is going to change come the fall, when Ned, Marta and dog Bouncer are going to move in here!