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  • Solo Animal Parenting

    I do not like being the only caretaker/person of affection for our animals. You wouldn't think that two little animals would be much of a problem, and truthfully, they aren't. It's just that I'm so used to having someone else around.

    When I come home in the evening, assuming I didn't have Mikenna with me, Aeris comes running out and dances at my feet because she's out of food or water. Mikenna, meanwhile, is desperate to give me kisses and needs to be taken outside. When I finish that round of attention, then Mikenna will start barking because her food bowl isn't full enough, and I know that Aeris needs her litter box cleaned.

    I used to be able to divide and conquer. I'd have Matt go feed Aeris while I dealt with Mikenna - or the other way around. Trying to explain patience to these two isn't really working.

    Today, Mikenna had the misfortune of stepping in poop outside. So, I had to drop her in the bathtub with the faucet running and try to fetch a spare towel, while trying to make sure that she didn't take off running with a poopy paw. In hindsight, I should have just shut her in the bathroom while I looked for the towel - but I didn't think of that. Let's just say, I ended up sprinting back and forth between dog and linen closet, and the bathroom floor ended up pretty wet.

    I really missed Matt, then. When one of these mini-crises pop up, he's the one who runs and grabs the towel for me.

    I've taken to putting Mikenna in doggy diapers because I can't guarantee that I'll be able to wake up for her in the middle of the night. It actually works out better than I'd planned, because she refuses to use the diapers, and either holds her bladder all night, or fusses at me until I wake up to take her out.

    There are some benefits to being their only caretaker right now. When there are two affectionate animals who want to be loved up, I get twice the love. It's not uncommon for me to have Mikenna curled up at my feet and Aeris snuggled up on my chest or shoulder for a little while each day.

    Yes, I know that there are people who have more animals than I do, and have cared for them alone for years. But I'm realizing how much free help I've taken for granted. Sometimes, that extra person to grab a towel is the difference between a contained westie and one who escapes to thrash around on your bed.

    For those of you who take care of your own animals every day, and even more so those who have to take care of human beings on your own - major kudos from me. I'm just relieved that I'm not responsible for making productive members of society, because I'm kinda afraid these two would just end up with a lot of therapy bills from living alone with me.