Sometimes I feel like I’ve been shunned by our dogs … and nobody told me. True confession: I think Ty and Buster love Amy more than me. Yep.
I’m sure it all goes back to my childhood – always a great place to lay blame and abdicate responsibility. I never had a “real” pet when I was a kid. My mother was way too much of a neat freak to stand for pet hair in her house. (Fast forward several decades, however, and my mother now warmly welcomes all four of us into her clean house – but I digress.) Thus, I didn’t grow up with a pet. Never learned to relate or to empathize.
My first dog came into my life when I was a-set-in-my-ways 44. Amy and I got Blitzen, an 8-week-old Shar-Pei puppy over the Christmas – New Year break when Amy still worked outside the home and I worked from home. Amy did everything that week – because what the heck did I know? I vividly remember Amy leaving on the morning of January 2, the door closing, and me looking down at Blitzen saying, “Now what do I do with you?” By the way, I took Blitzen out every hour so he wouldn’t have an accident in the apartment. Does that count for anything?
I am not the primary doggie care giver in our household (such as it is when your household is an RV). As much as possible, I pull my weight when it comes to taking routine care of the boys. But … and it’s a BIG BUT, Amy does all the delicate, oooo-that-makes-me-squeamish stuff like removing the crud from Ty’s cutsie little tulip ears or extracting the blood-infused ticks from Buster’s coat. And Amy’s cleaned up more puke than I have. She’s taken Ty and Buster to the vet more times than I have – but, hey, that should count in MY favor, right? Stop feeling for Amy already! This is about me. And just for the record, Ty always comes running to me for comforting after Amy has her way with his ears.
And speaking of life in the RV, Amy and I are never apart. Ever. That’s ok because we really love each other. But in our pre-RV life, on occasion, Amy might travel for a day or two. I would use that time to spoil Ty and Buster. Giving them the “good treats” like pepperoni pizza. Letting them on the sofa and staying up after their bed times to watch scary movies. Anything to make them love me as much, if not more, than Amy. I don’t get those days anymore.
So I have some questions for the secondary care givers in my readers’ households. Do your pets love you less? Noticeably less? (Um, not that it’s noticeably less for me … I’m just asking.) How do you cope? Does bribery work, or am I barking up the wrong tree on that one?
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