My wife and I woke up around 6:30 a.m. to the sound of our two pug puppies Angus (7 months) and Olive (4 months) stirring in their crates outside our bedroom. Olive and Angus are making it through the night now without having accidents but by 6:30 in the morning, they are primed to go out to do their business. The fact that it was Sunday morning really didn’t matter to two young puppies. We don’t have kids who come bounding into the room wanting pancakes for breakfast, but these two definitely have their own wants and needs! Since Angus is the oldest, he knew the routine and started circling as we picked up their bowls to fill with kibble. As we headed to the pantry, he started barking wildly, and Olive immediately started prancing around and jumping with excitement. They both ran to their feeding area in the kitchen and waited impatiently as their food bowls were placed in front of them. The noises that emanated from them was a mixture of feeding hogs, a vacuum cleaner, sounds from a horror film, and the frenzy of sharks feeding! They quickly snarfed up their food and immediately began their day laying in sunbeams, sleeping and playing. My wife and I set out for our day of yard work. The morning was shaping up to be beautiful. The sun was out, the birds were singing, and the weather forecasters promised a 70 degree day. After weeks of cold weather, snow and rain, the spring-like weather was a welcome sight! My wife happily headed to the front yard to plant her bulbs, and I started raking the leaves that had littered the yard for weeks. Throughout the day, we went inside the house to check on the pups. They were usually wrestling or yapping wildly at each other because one of the stole each other’s toy. Each time I went in the house they were playing, running, and chasing after each other. It was amazing to watch their energy and complete innocence. Olive and Angus share the same father, so that may be a reason for their closeness and their brother/sister “I want what you have” mentality. It’s really very interesting to watch the similarities between these two puppies and how human siblings interact. Late in the afternoon, I went into the house to drink some water and take some sinus medicine as the dust from raking the leaves was beginning to give me a sinus headache. I checked in on Olive and Angus, and they were both in the dining room laying in a beautiful sunbeam. Olive’s head was on Angus’ back. Their eyes shut tightly. Such a different scene from an hour or so before when they were running through the house chasing each other! Since my head was beginning to pound, I decided to take a short break from raking the leaves. I crept into the dining room and laid on the floor next to my beautiful pups. They immediately woke up and as if someone turned their ON switch on, they were both on me within a second! I had to cover my head to keep them both from licking my scalp and face. Angus climbed on my back and began nibbling my neck and ears, while Olive continued licking my hands and face. I began giggling and squealing like a kid as the two of them were all over me, licking, nibbling, and yapping. I got up from the floor with my headache gone and a smile on my face. My puppies literally licked my headache away. I left them in the dining room to continue to play. They didn’t even notice I had left, but I walked away knowing they gave me some much needed love and attention. I’m pretty sure they enjoyed our play time, but I'm pretty certain their puppy kisses were just what the doctor ordered to cure my headache!
The weather forecasters were calling for a massive snow storm to move through our area. In preparation, road crews salted the roads, Durhamites rushed the grocery stores for the essentials, and finding a snow shovel or salt for home walkways and driveways was pretty much non-existent. In short, the day was shaping up to be one of those days you'd much rather stay home in front of the fire and cuddle up with the wife and the pups. I hopped in the car and began to drive about 20 minutes north of our home. The car thermometer showed a crisp 26 degrees outside, but I was bundled up in my Air Force issued cold weather parka, a hoodie, thermals, and various other layers. My wife said I looked like Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" as I left the house. I laughed as I closed the door, knowing that I'd be sweating from all the thermal layers. My solace was knowing that I'd soon be walking my favorite client Ellie through the snow and the cold. A few minutes later I arrived at my client's house, already baking from the layers upon layers of cold weather gear. As I approached the back door of my client's home, I heard the deep, foreboding bark of Ellie, a 2-year old German Shepard. Though Ellie sounded viscous, she's actually a sweetheart and is always ready for a good walk. She's young, healthy, alert, and a joy to be around. I clipped the leash on Ellie and we started our 30-minute walk around the property. Usually when I walk Ellie, I think about my to-do lists or what needs to take place in the business. As the snow fell, however, I was consumed by thoughts of how I love my life and what I do. The temperature dipped below freezing, yet, I was happy to walk next to this magnificent animal who is so in-tune with her surroundings that she noticed the birds flying, cars passing, and the neighbor pulling into his driveway. She's was with me, enjoying the walk and taking in all the sights and sounds. She knew I was there to care for her and to provide the praise and treats she desired. She never takes me for granted...she walks because it feels good to her and because it pleases me. As we walked, I forgot about the freezing cold and snow that was falling. My thoughts went to the past jobs I've held and how the jobs left me unfulfilled. As we walked together, I thought about how good it felt to be with Ellie as she walked and lived her day. I thought about how calming it was to be with a being that is so attentive and non-judgmental. I also realized how important it is be happy with what a person does for a living. I make a living spending time with animals who crave human attention. The fact that the temperature was below freezing and it was snowing was irrelevant. What is relevant is that being with such amazing animals makes me happy no matter what the temperature, weather, conditions, or circumstances. I'm a pet sitter, dog walker, and business owner...caring for animals is what I do. Today affirmed that business and life are good!
Welcome to the Paws On Durham blog! The blog will be used to provide short updates, interesting stories, pet-care trends and products, and great information about the wonderful pets we care for. Don't worry, we're not going to bombard you with post after post...rather, we're going to provide weekly or bi-weekly posts that should be short and interesting. Please help us to improve our blogs by providing feedback, comments, ideas, or thoughts of your own. We'd love to hear from you! With that, this is the first of many blog posts. We look forward to getting to know you! Paws On Durham, LLC