We’re all creatures of habit, don’t you think?
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m sure some unique souls out there don’t have routines, but I don’t know of any. Do you? I do, however, know myself and my animals. I can predict what they’ll do even before they do it because, well, it’s habit.
I’m no exception with routines. For instance, in the shower I first wash my hair, then my body. Wouldn’t occur to me to do it in reverse. Without fail, I put on my left sock before my right. I floss my upper teeth before my lower. It’s a habit for me to forget my bags when I grocery shop. Every. Single. Time.
Then there’s my animal menagerie. If people think pets don’t have their own routines, they’re most likely petless or extremely unobservant. Anyway, all eight of mine have patterns from which they rarely vary. Take Nellie…
As you know, my Greyhound’s habits include searching the backyard for poop to eat — a scavenger hunt for feces. Another example is at bedtime when I say, “Okay, let’s go night-night.” The dogs immediately jump up and head outside for one last pee. All except Nellie. She continues to feign sleep on the sofa until I’m heading upstairs. Only then does she begrudgingly get up, go to the door and wait for me to let her out. Every. Single. Night.
Callie is a contradiction in terms; she’s the protector but also the most fearful of my mutts. She gives the mistaken impression she’ll take down anyone within spitting distance, yet she literally shakes with fear upon hearing a noise outside. Callie’s habit is to constantly seek comfort by my side. When I’m in my easy chair, she eventually weasels her way onto my lap. And as you can see, she’s no lap dog.
Callie always licks clean the other dogs’ bowls when they’ve finished eating and invariably waits outside the shower door for me to emerge. She shadows my every move. Every. Single. Day.
Then there’s Skip. He goes out the dog door but won’t come back through it. Every morning he drops his blankie off the end of the bed (usually at 7 a.m.) to alert me he’s ready to start the day. (Never mind I’m not ready.) He sucks on the blankie while I’m preparing his breakfast but never while I get his dinner. Skip also uses it to settle himself before he falls asleep. Every. Single. Night. And each morning, he plays tug-of-war with Wally over that same damn blanket.
Wally has many habits, none of which are good. The biggie is his struggle with house training. Maybe this isn’t so much a habit as it is a learning disability. He constantly barks at people passing by the house. Perhaps it’s just a character flaw. And Wally’s always first to scarf down his meals. Habit? Probably just gluttonous. So let’s skip Wally and his non-habits.
Then there’s my 4 cats and their routines. But I’ll spare you and save that for another time. You’re welcome. I’m afraid I have to go now and fix their dinner. As usual, Callie is sitting 2 feet away, giving me the stink eye because I’m writing and she clearly thinks I should stop and address her culinary needs.
Oh wait…Jackie, sound asleep on top of the sofa, just rolled off. He flopped onto the cushion, woke himself up, and isn’t too happy about it. Nothing new to report there. It’s just what Jackie does. Every. Single. Night.