Activity Improved By Woods

My mom is a high school teacher – she’s officially on her two months of consecutive vacation from teenagers, grading papers, and jammed photocopiers.  My dad recently had a knee surgery that has left him with very little skip in his hobble, and a 12 week recovery period that takes him right through to September.  Peanut (aka middle sibling) is on a hiatus from work that I won’t be getting into.  Doodle just started back into her glamorous summer job of Maintenance Worker at Grundy Provincial Park.  Don’t feel too bad for her – any job can be improved by adding the phrase “in the woods” to the end of it.

Yuck … cleaning toilets.  Yay, cleaning toilets in the woods.  Even more improved by the addition of with a pressure washer.  Bet you wish you could have that kind of entertainment in your own house cleaning efforts.  This is why rooms should have drainage holes in the middle of them.  All rooms.

Blah… mowing the lawn.  Cool! Mowing the lawn in the woods… on a ride-on lawnmower!

Not to mention, staff-house in the woods, Picking up Garbage in the woods, Waving and being friendly to visitors in the woods, and Honking at Bears in the woods.  That last one might just stand up on its own, but it is made even more exciting by the forest aspect.

What this all means, ignoring the massive discomfort my dad is in, and Doodle’s run-ins with washroom horrors, is that my entire family has a two month vacation in the woods compared to my measly 15 days total vacation each year.  And they’re taking the dog.

Balto had to slog through snow, and could have died. All the outdoorsy fun without as much chance of being eaten or dying.

Gwynn will be having, within a few short days, a most excellent adventure the likes of which Balto would be jealous.  He will be a Dog In The Woods, far superior to his in-the-burbs and in-the-city brethren.  Without me.

So many pros and cons, but overall, the guilt of not being around to ensure feeding, watering, exercise, entertainment, training, and a showering of love and affection is overwhelming.

I’m looking forward to the chance to sleep in that extra hour before work.  Really going to miss having an overriding requirement to go for a walk in the evening, even when I’m feeling lazy.

What if he needs me?  I know, I sound like such a clingy parent, but I am the Prime Doggy Caretaker.  There is a large portion of my not-at-work day that revolves around my shaggy shadow.  A great feature of dog ownership is that a lot of your time is scheduled for you, and you stay active whether you want to or not.  What on earth am I going to do during the week?

2-3 hours of weekday, and 4+ hours of weekend-day in which I won’t need to go for a walk.

TV watching time will not include dog grooming.

Training?  What training? 2-3 hours a week

Does a vacation from your pets feel like punishment or a reward?

What would you do with the time you usually spend with pets?

Feel free to substitute “children” for pets if you don’t have any feathered, furred or finned companions.  Those of you without pet or child… seriously, do you grasp the enormity of just how much time you have?!