Leaving town is always a last minute dash for me. No matter how well prepared I think I am, it’s usually an illusion. Something always pops up the day before that needs to be dealt with.

Being in business for myself doesn’t help. I make the decisions, do the work, follow up on phone calls and emails etc.

It’s all me – and I don’t mean that in an empire building, I rule the world way.

I mean that I typically have more to accomplish in any given day than one person can handle. I’ve looked into cloning myself, but with my fear of all things related to needles, I quickly rejected the notion.

Ah, the joys of being a small business.


When it comes to arranging care for our animals when we are away, we have high standards. We want to find caregivers who will be reliable, compassionate, and willing to follow the routines that we’ve established.

The good, the bad and yes, even the ugly.

Don’t we all have at least one animal care routine that we’ve started and wish we hadn’t, or at the very least, are slightly embarrassed by?

I know I can’t be the only one.

Can I?


It’s one thing to find someone to take care of Mija. While she does have a stringent set of guidelines for her caregivers, we’ve been fortunate to always find someone who loves cats and is willing to stay at our house and dole out fish flakes and cuddles. Someone who is one hundred percent trustworthy. This is important since they are staying in our home.


The horses have presented a larger challenge. This may come as a surprise, but not all horse people are as, shall we say, involved with their horses as we are. Bud and Pepper also have a routine and expectations about how their daily feeding is supposed to go.

And then, there’s the rest of the herd of oldsters.

Amigo, Red, Baby and Chickadee have been trained to expect hay cubes and other treats. Explaining that to our horse sitters has been a bit tricky.

“So you feed all of these horses?” I nod.

“Even the ones that aren’t yours?” More nodding.

“If you say so.” That’s when I get the smile. The “you must be crazy but I’ll do it” smile.


Though I must say, we’ve lucked out with the folks we’ve coerced into going to the pasture and feeding our two old sweeties. They’ve done a great job.

I always worry though.

Sharing your life with animals is a daily commitment – not one that you can ignore or only tend once in a while. They count on us to provide for them. It’s something I take very seriously.


So come on, tell us your crazy animal routines. The ones you have to explain to the pet sitter when you go away.  Don’t make me feel like the only crazy animal owner. It’s lonely out here by myself!