This post is sponsored by Purina in support of the Pure Love for Pets campaign. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
In case you haven’t kept up with the many furry foibles of my household (which means you don’t follow me on Instagram), let me catch you up with the current situation.
There’s Josie, aka Toasted Marshmallow. She’s been with us since 2004, I think. Or 2005. I feel bad that I don’t remember. She was a year and a half when we got her so that makes her 13 or 14 years old. I think. Josie is a small cat with a big body. She enjoys belly rubs and eating and otherwise wants to be left alone, especially since we got Beamer and Layla.
Beamer is kitty #2 who I got as a companion for Josie. Beamer is an alpha cat in every sense of the word. He commands respect when he walks into a room and can jump distances with bionic ease. He’s cool and suave but doesn’t really care much for Josie. He’s the true ruler of the house; he just hasn’t figured out how to take the reigns away from Layla.
Layla is our shelter dog. She was supposedly a shih tzu but it became clear that she was either a super gigantic mutant of one or another breed altogether. Turns out she’s a Tibetan Terrier and she’s a great companion for Roscoe. But there’s a reason they are nicknamed Tibetan Terrors. She is full of energy, loves to chew on everything, needs to constantly be in motion, takes joy in the little things, and loves to terrorize Beamer. Even after a year and a half.
And then there’s Roscoe. I like to think of him as the featured star on a cheesy sitcom. “Also starring Roscoe as Roscoe!” If Layla is like a toddler, Roscoe is more like a cuddly newborn and lazy old man all rolled into one. He looks at you with a human expression and expects you to understand the difference between his whimpers (which, oddly enough, I do).
Sometimes I feel like our pets are more work than our son. I only feed them twice a day and take them for a few walks. They don’t ask much of me but they are always there. If I move, they move. If I wake up, they are meowing or barking. If I go to sleep, they take as much of my foot space as possible. But still, I think there’s more I could be doing.
And for that reason, I’m making a Pet Pledge for 2016, inspired by Purina. It’s simply a promise to do my best for my pets but, in fact, I want my pledge to show that I want to do better. Here are some of the ways I’m thinking I can improve.
- Get a fence. Okay, truth be told, this might make life better for me because I wouldn’t have to take my dogs on daily walks to get them to go to the bathroom. BUT… I’d like to take them on walks for fun and have the chance to run around with them in the yard without the encumbrance of a leash.
- Remodel our basement. We bought a new house with a finished basement but we’ve pretty much used it only for storage. And since then, we’ve had a water leak and need to repair walls and carpet. It’s the perfect time to make it space I want to spend time in (i.e., spend more time with the kitties).
- Kick the dogs out. I know this one sounds harsh but Beamer will come out late at night when he knows the dogs are fast asleep. I know because I have a motion sensing camera that tells me he spends time exploring our kitchen counters every night. But if, at the very least, I let the dogs spend some time on the deck, Beamer will feel safe enough to come out and take his rightful place.
- Seek out Josie. Beamer will sit at the top of the basement stairs peering out of the pet door. He feels like he’s part of the family even if he’s too scared/annoyed with Layla to come out. Josie hides except for food time. Or when I come down to coax her out and give her a good brushing or treats. She still likes to play, even! I need to make more time for that.
- Take the dogs for a hike. We’re not going to mountain climb or anything (although I think Layla would give it a try) but I’d love to take the dogs to a local park with me on a regular hike that I enjoy. They’re not labs but I think having the chance to see and smell new things would be a good adventure for them.
Five small things I’m going to try to do this year for my pets because as much as I get annoyed with cat hair and dog vomit, I love these wonderful furry creatures and I want to enjoy all the time I have with them.
And now, as loving pet owners, I’m going to ask you to do the same. Share with me below your 2016 Pet Pledge (even if you don’t have a pet but you plan on getting one this year!) and then hope over to Purina’s Pure Love for Pets site to declare your love. When you do, you’ll have the chance to instantly win an awesome prize (see below) for your cat or dog*. And you can keep playing every day until February 17th!
* Sure, these prizes won’t exactly work for a parakeet or a hamster but they still count as pets!
And don’t forget to check your Sunday papers for some awesome Purina coupons!