My dog Cooper is accustomed to constant company. When he was just a few months old, Coop would spend the day with Michael’s mom – his MaeMae – while the two of us worked insanely long hours for almost no money. I was working in downtown Seattle and taking a night class to get certified in phlebotomy, so I was often gone for 14 hours a day. Michael was working full-time and going to school full-time, so we rarely saw each other. Why did we think that this would be the perfect time to get a dog? Because if Michael hadn’t chosen that day to get a dog, then we wouldn’t have Cooper, we’d have some dog that is not nearly as awesome or good looking as our pup.
Now that Cooper is almost two years old, we’ve started leaving him at home alone more and more often. Luckily, he has rewarded us by not chewing up everything in sight; in turn, we’ve rewarded him with lots and lots of bones! One time we left him for six hours, but it was in the evening after a long day of play and I am willing to go a whole month without fro-yo if you can prove to me that he didn’t sleep the entire time.
Some days, though, things don’t work out as neatly as we want them to. MaeMae sometimes has to do trainings out of town, and Michael and I both have to work full days. Poor Cooper will be alone all day, either at our house at MaeMae’s. You might be wondering why he would still be at MaeMae’s even if she’s not there; we always try to leave him at our house when we can, but sometimes Michael works close enough to MaeMae’s house that he’s able to take Coop there in the morning and is still able to stop by during his lunch break to let the pup out for a walk.
Since Michael has two jobs, and one of them is less than ten minutes from MaeMae’s, he’s usually (read: 99.99% of the time) the one to drop the pup off in the morning, but today I was the one leading the Cooper Carpool.
I am the queen of the snooze button (more on this in another post), and so I was a little late getting out of bed this morning. After getting my clothes on, my contacts in and my teeth brushed I had forgotten that the dog still needed to be roused and put in the car. Let me be the first person to say this: Cooper is a lazy sloth when it comes to getting up. It is almost impossible to move him from the couch to the bed in the evening, or from his bed to real life in the morning. None of the usual treats (cheese, peanut butter, Morning Glory doggie biscotti from Mud Bay) are powerful enough to get his big bum in gear, so unfortunately it usually leads to Michael or me physically lifting him. Yep. This morning, I had absolutely no spare time to wait for little Cooper to be awakened gently. I coaxed him out of bed, lifting him by his collar until he was standing. Once he was on his feet we were fine and I was able to scoot out the door and to MaeMae’s house just in time to let him take a morning potty break and then kennel him before rushing to work.
I realize now what a huge commitment Michael makes every morning when he leaves early to take the dog to MaeMae’s, just so that he wouldn’t be left alone and I want to acknowledge the time he’s taking to do that almost every weekday morning over the past year. Michael driving Cooper every morning was definitely something that I took for granted, and I will definitely try to take care of the Cooper Carpool whenever I can and whenever it makes sense. (Ok, if I work a block from home and Michael works a block from MaeMae’s I’m not taking him. I said it!)
Is there anything that you’ve recently realized that you take for granted?