Once again, the pets rule our days!

Perhaps it isn’t fair to place so much emphasis on the demands of our pets. I suppose they’re not worrying about tomorrow.

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I, on the other hand, worry enough for everyone. I often struggle with the idea that my animals only require “creature comfort” and are not in need of a great deal more than security and safety. I feel a slight pang of guilt when I leave Zena at home and no one will be with her all day. We go to great lengths to make the pets happy.

Despite the family eye-rolling, I can’t help myself. And often enough something will occur to reinforce my concern. We doubled Zena’s anti-anxiety medication and applied animal approved essential oils to calm her over the Fourth of July.

But upon coming home a week or so after the 4th I found her in absolute panic, and chewing at the door again! Off in the distance, sure enough, I could hear fireworks!

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All this damage isn’t new. I am not investing in repair and a new door until…well, let’s just say there aren’t any plans while Miss Zena still has teeth.

And then there’s Pinky. I recently shared with you our concern about coyotes.  Jay has cooperated with my fear reasonable sense of responsibility and has each night brought her into safety. This often requires wrestling with a rabbit, twisting and coming close to hurting himself in the struggle.

We needed to make a change. Fortunately, alongside my hyper-vigilant approach to animal care comes adaptability and creative problem solving. I should also give a strong head nod of approval to a husband who cooperates with my planning and does ALL the hard work. I am a very competent supervisor, however, sharing my gift of encouragement.

We have repurposed an area in the side yard that was formerly used for the trash cans.

Quite a bit of work went into making these changes, but Pinky is now behind a closed gate at night, high enough above ground to feel safe if Zena decides to have a freakout and in general, we can still see her during the day to monitor her needs. This old “condo” has some limitations. I have my eye on a new bunny luxury suite. Soon, I hope.

And then there’s Darwin. I really wish I’d taken photos during the first phase of this most recent project.  The digging and outdoor destruction has been more than challenging. He weighs as much as the dog at this point and is getting larger all the time.

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You can’t believe the degree to which he digs.

His needs are expanding along with his size. So we made the decision to give him most of the space we previously used for our greenhouse-turned-potting shed and we cleared accompanying space that will be turned into a Sulcata’s paradise.

This is a work in progress, but I have big plans. If we are going to give up prime real estate to this pushy guy, then I’m going to have some fun with it.

All of these changes and pet-related upgrades have kept us busy and we are in need of a vacation. So tomorrow we are headed to the beach for a few days and our house sitters can keep Zena calm and assured. They also won’t need to worry that Darwin is going to disappear in one of his epic tunnels, and no need to worry about the Pinky-coyote problem.

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And after a few sunsets over the ocean, we’ll come home refreshed and ready for the next round.

And here’s the surprise ending…

I have three days of work left in July, and then I’m retiring. Jay can’t have all the fun without me!

And besides, the animals need me–or so I tell myself!