This morning I’m making the bed when Rex jumps up on the sheets, deliberately blocking my movements so that I can’t finish with him in the way. He walks to the center of the bed and stands there glaring at me. I put my hands on my hips and ask, “What do you think you’re doing, Little Man?” He continues to stare me down. Then I realize how long it has been since I paid attention to him… I mean REALLY paid attention to him. Sure, he had his morning business walk and breakfast, but apparently, what he really wanted is my time and attention.
Too Much to Do, So Little time!
From time to time, “life” gets in the way of good intentions. There is laundry to be done, meals to prepare, kids to shuffle to and fro, and oh yeah… there’s your job, church responsibilities, civic responsibilities, and so on and so on and so on! Particularly at this time of the year… time is short and we are always rushed and focused on holiday preparations. To make matters worse, Rex is an “only child”. Dogs and cats who have no furry siblings rely on us for their “entertainment” as well as their physical needs. If you have two or more pets at home, at least they can keep each other entertained, right? But that’s still no excuse for us not giving them the well-deserved attention they need.
So, I worry that Rex isn’t getting enough “quality time”. Of course, he’s getting the general care he needs… and maybe even a little pat on the head when I come through the door each evening, but in truth, he is lucky to get a good 30 minutes of “real” attention every day. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a magic formula for calculating how much time and attention your dog actually needs? Then we could plug it into our schedule and check it off our “to do” list each day, even though, we’d be missing out on the pleasure that comes from enjoying real, quality time spent with our dog.
5 Ways to Spend More Time with Your Dog
How, when and where can we fit more time into our hectic schedules for spending with our sweet little furry friend?
- When the weather permits, take him along with you when you run errands. Dropping off mail at the post office, picking up dry-cleaning, running through the bank drive-through, gassing up the car, picking up the kids from school, etc.. He will love the excitement from all the new sights and sounds, but mostly, the time spent with you.
- You know that exercise routine you’ve been wanting to start? There’s no time like the present. Your dog may be the perfect fitness partner! Now you’ve checked two things off that “to do” list… you’re getting your exercise, and your BFF is getting your time and attention.
- Does your dog like to hang out in the kitchen when you’re cooking, packing lunches, or baking Christmas cookies? Talk to him! Better yet, practice his commands with him… sits, downs, stays, and climb. Our conversation is stimulating to them, and the opportunity to please you by obeying your commands is even better.
- Take him out to the ballgame (skip the peanuts and crackerjacks). Many ball fields are pet-friendly, so while you’re enjoying your daughter’s soccer game, your dog can be by your side!
- Catching your favorite show or movie on TV? Don’t miss the opportunity to rub that belly, or pull him into your lap for some affection while the show is on TV. An hour or two of stroking and petting is heavenly. Or grab his brush and treat him to a good brushing.
Dog Daycare is a Great Option When You Can’t Be There
There are times when you absolutely cannot spend time with your dog… when you’re away on business… or you have other obligations that take you away from your home. Bring him to Doggie Daycare. It’s no substitute for your precious attention, but it will help to provide the entertainment and stimulation he needs and is most certainly a good substitute for not having a furry brother or sister.
Oh… what happened after Rex stopped me from making the bed? I scooped him up in my arms and spent a few minutes just snuggling, kissing, and talking to my little friend. Then he jumped off the bed and ran off… with an extra bounce in his steps, and I’m pretty sure, a smile on that cute little face!