Written by Markus and with Photos by Markus
My dog knows that it is easier to not get what you never had, then lose what you have. And this is why:
My little princess joined us about a year ago. Being a small puppy, she was named Roxy, and she owned her world.
She had the whole house to herself, but more importantly, she had us to herself. Our lives evolved around her with fixed “walk in the forest” moments, any room in the house was her room and of course, full access to playing and hugging time. It was simply a matter of walking up to one of use, wag her tail, tilt her head, and we’d be on the floor playing with her.
But things change…
Two months ago, introducing Morty to our household:
He is a now 5 month old British shorthair. He loves to cuddle and knows “a cuddle” is something he can take, he can demand it. So far, he and Roxy not really get along. Roxy wants to play and when seeing Morty, she will run towards him. Morty’s response is to run away and in turn, Roxy runs even faster, trying to catch up. It quickly turns into typical “hunter-prey” behavior, what results into sprinting around, knocking things over and hissing. So the introduction went too fast and having the two getting to know each other, will take more time. For now, seen our house has multiple floors, we’ve blocked one of the floors from the others. And this means, Roxy can only watch:
But the drama did not yet stop for my dear Roxy. Introducing Nemo, a now 2 months old British longhair girl. She gets along with both Roxy as well as Morty, just not at the same time:
So now the cats have the upper floors and Roxy has the lower floors. Once a day, Roxy can come up to sit with me when I’m working in my office. This though results in Morty hiding somewhere. This lasts a while as Morty will come out, check my office and starts taunting Roxy.
Roxy then goes after him to play, they run around, things get damaged again, and Roxy is sent to the lower floors.
So Roxy’s world changed from being the center of the household to being exiled to the lower floors of our house. But she is still my princess, so I feel very bad about it. She deserves the attention she wants, if not only due to the ability to give me the “so cute, I will melt anything”-look she has mastered so well.
I noticed that she not only had to accept the drop in attention, she also had to witness some of that attention going to the new cats. And she clearly did not like that, giving the sad yet expecting look every time we play with a cat.
So we’ve setup a schedule for her, allowing her to go out, play and run, as a dog should be able to do. Having aligned my work with what is now Roxy’s calendar as follows:
Monday is a chill day, lounging the living room, looking out of the window:
Hey, I know that dog that is walking by!
Tuesday is dog-park day, meeting friends:
We oversee it all.
Wednesday is train day, visiting a zoo or museum:
Cities pass by and I am making sure it is safe.
Thursday is “walk around in our city”, trying to find things that are interesting to her:
A bench that looks like me?
Friday is beach day:
Thank me later for removing all those noisy seagulls.
Weekend is a mash of things. Sometimes we go pick up something I bought online. Sometimes we go visit family. Sometimes we go shopping. And sometimes we just hang around the house. Wherever it is, wherever we go, Roxy is joining.
Buying things online: This lamp looked smaller on the website ….
Whatever the case, we now ensure that our dear Roxy gets at least 3 hours of running and play time, almost every day. She is now less jealous when she sees us interacting with one of the cats. I hope my little princess is once again a happy dog. And, seen I’m working from home, going out makes me feel a lot better, compared to staring at that darn TV. Without Roxy, I doubt I’d go outside much.
Having this schedule, filled up my daily calendar, aside of my work, not leaving much time for other things. But that’s okay, as the reward is great: a happy puppy that calmly interacts with the cats, what makes the cats also happier.