At aerobics I recently overheard a discussion about doggy day care. One woman said her mother was horrified that her dog, Louie Adolphus, went to doggy day care, and insisted people made too many concessions for dogs. Apparently, concessions for dogs is a common and overworked topic for Louie Adolphus’s grandma.
Concessions for dogs, hmmm… I can see myself standing behind a brightly decorated little booth, wearing one of those canoe shaped paper hats, handing out treats to Ivan and Dasa while calliope music plays faintly in the background. Ivan and Dasa would give this idea baroos and enthusiastic tail wiggles. However, it is my strong suspicion this interpretation would differ significantly from that of Louie Adolphus’s disgruntled grandma.
The Munchkins bring us boundless joy, so the least we can do in return is make their lives as happy, healthy, and secure as possible.
What adjustments or adaptations happen at your house as part of living with your basenjis?
My first thought was that we don’t do anything special. OK, there are baby gates in front of all the book cases; the toilet paper and trash must be secured; the counters all have an Ivan Zone around the edges that must be kept free of temptations; the backyard has no lawn or garden care that is harmful to dogs; the fence must be maintained to the exactitude required for containing geriatric felons; and there is a required minimum number of dog beds and blankies per square foot of our house. While treats must be abundantly available, they are all made and sourced in the US, and we cook for Ivan and Dasa much more faithfully than we cook for ourselves.
We automatically give edibles in such a way as to avoid snarks and snits. We arrange all day trips with the baby-sitter so the Munchkins’ routine three meals a day are not disrupted or delayed. Travel that includes nights away from home requires the baby-sitter to stay with the Munchkins and sleep in the people bed with them. I mow the grass frequently, not out of any devotion to lawn care but rather so tiny white feet are not forced to wade through tall wet grass. In the winter I shovel paths and clearings all over our back yard so the Munchkins are not overly traumatized by snow when they go out to potty.
We think of these things as simply part of our lives. And if they were considered concessions, I’m not sure I would enjoy a concession-free life. I think I would wander despondently through an unencumbered and uncomplicated life, longing for the joy and chaos our little loves bring.