Life Stories and Beyond

Our Bodies. Our Families. Our Lives. We all have stories we should share. We're more alike than we know.

28 comments

Fluttering In and Out of the Empty Nest: This Time With Grand Pets

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman

It’s Empty Nest time again. Time to either cry or celebrate, depending upon your point of view. It’s a little different for us this year because we’re sending five family members back to college instead of the usual three. Each of our twenty-year-old triplets came home for the summer, two of them with baby animals. Yep, we needed a kitten and a puppy to add to our six-animal menagerie of cats, dogs, and horses.

IMG_2229

It would be so easy to scare those two. Which one should I jump on?

 

I must admit, I was less than thrilled about the new puppy knowing all the time required for housebreaking and training. Kitties, I think, are a little easier. Anyone who’s ever raised a puppy understands that it’s a full time job. Even with extreme vigilance and hourly trips outside to potty, messes happen. Our hardwood floors have never been spot cleaned as much as they have this summer and we should invest money in pet stain and odor spray products.

.

IMG_5986 (1)

What do you mean I’m all fixed?

Our daughter Sarah’s puppy, Tucker, is a “mess.” That’s sometimes southern for a “bunch of vegetables or fish” but in this case it means “a real handful.” He’s a typical teething puppy that chews almost anything including the other dogs’ ears and feet causing squeals and growls. Chair legs, rug corners, wicker baskets or whatever is nearby will do. He’s a master at chewing up dog leashes, remote controls, and mail tossed where he can stand on hind feet and snatch it. Unfortunately he can’t tell the difference between real mail and junk mail.

IMG_3065 (1)

I needed the tape to wrap a present for you.

He removed the handles off my five-pound weights, chewed up my laptop charger, and destroyed a new roll of Scotch tape. I heard him munching the plastic tape dispenser from the far end of the house. On a shag rug, that broken plastic is sharp. Only the bathroom scale survived his teeth. I found the metal scale flipped upside down on my bathroom floor looking like it had begged for mercy.

IMG_3033

I thought it was a giant marshmallow.

Having four children, I know that much too often silence means someone is up to no good. I’ve usually anticipated the need to take a picture or video as proof of all the children’s mischief. The same goes for our animals. For example, as soon as I pried a new roll of toilet paper from Tucker’s mouth and headed toward the bathroom to put it away, he rushed back in ahead of me, then pranced like a show dog into my bedroom holding the toilet bowl brush in his mouth like a prized extra long bone. He was so darn cute, I had to laugh and take a picture before telling him, “No” and “Drop.” We played keep-away around the bed until I retrieved the toilet brush and closed off the bathroom.

IMG_3062 (1)

What toilet brush?

IMG_3051

Now young’un, you need to stop attacking Miss Daisy, now, ya hear? The wisdom of Mandy.

We’ve closed quite a few doors this summer; the trio’s bedroom doors are closed due to our son, Joe’s new kitten, Zhor, named for his moustache and goateed look-alike, Zoro. Zhor bullied our big old black cat, Daisy Mae. That tiny critter thought he was a huge beast and made endless sneak attacks on Daisy Mae, who had zero interest in playing “Wide World Wrestling.” Daisy went along with some playful boxing but the full-on vampire-neck biting, growling, and fur pulling was not her “thing.”

IMG_2978

Looks can be deceiving. Daisy isn’t blocking Zhor, he’s terrorizing her at her nap time.

In order to show her displeasure about the two intruders in the house, she did it up right by marking her territory on the bed of each triplet. I guess she couldn’t decide who brought the two annoyances into her house so she punished all three coeds; even our innocent son, Sam, who didn’t even bring home an animal.

IMG_2275

The calm before the storm. Daisy and Zhor pretending to be innocent.

Sam, my husband, and I suffered collateral damage. But, I’ve got a strategy for protecting the kids’ beds once they and the new pets are gone and we re-open their rooms. I bought cheap, clear shower curtains to cover their beds just in case Daisy Mae should decide to mark her territory again. She’ll get a surprise when her feet get wet.

IMG_3026

Sarah and Tucker doing their morning yoga.

We’re pretty impressed with the new pet parents tending their critters and cleaning up after them even though at times when both kids were at their summer jobs, whoever was home pitched in with pet sitting and all that came with it. That included washing all that cat-marked bedding. With four kids and a husband who enjoys dirty outside work, we’re used to tons of laundry and our washer and dryer purring like background music all through the day but those smelly sheets and comforters tested the appliances’ endurance. They had to be treated and rewashed about three times each. Wow. Daisy sure knew how to make her point.

IMG_3041

I love our picnics together, Miss Sadie.

Summer break is almost over and I’m pretty sure we’ve all fallen for those little big-eyed critters. That means, not only will our comfy nest lose three students to college, but it will also lose two adorable fur babies. We may not miss the cat-fighting, the housebreaking and the chewed up belongings, but we sure will miss those funny sweet faces and watching our young adult kids practice responsible parenting, even if their kids are furry. Looking on the bright side, getting into an improved habit of safely putting away our belongings, we’re on our way to childproofing the house for future grandchildren or for when the kids and critters come home again.

IMG_1951

Sadie hiding from Tucker who keeps biting her long ears. Tucker also stole the mates to these shoes.

Save

Save

28 thoughts on “Fluttering In and Out of the Empty Nest: This Time With Grand Pets

  1. I like the descriptions under the pics. Good job with the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being a huge animal lover myself I love this post! I kept laughing out loud while reading it. It reminded me of when my oldest arrived home for summer with a dog he had not told me about that he adopted from the shelter. Our dog was delighted of course and then the two bonded so much we had to go and adopt another rog when my son left. Our dogs was so depressed!

    Two of the ways we prevent havoc, are adopting the practice that “a good dog is a tired dog!” Wear them out at the dog park off leash and then having large bones is helpful with the chewing issue.

    Love how your cat was so clear about her displeasure and tgat you deal with it all so matter of factly!

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great photos and captions, Lisa. The holidays will be here before you know it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow I can’t imagine what our house would be like if our college kids brought pets home for the summer! Lots of action at your house and your puppy guest sure gets into some mischief!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was reminded of so many antics of our own and our daughter’s dogs reading this. One of ours insisted on attacking the mail which USED TO come through a slot in the side of the house right into the dining room. We had to buy a real mailbox, since she was convinced our house was under attack six days a week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is too funny. We would have had confetti all over with a mail slot. This little bundle of energy has had a farm to run on and is leaving for apartment living with my daughter today. I’d like to be a fly on that wall. Should be an interesting transition. Oh gosh. I can’t imagine how a mail slot would freak out our Sheltie, Remy. He barks at every creak in this old house. He would go berserk.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So funny, you have had quite a summer! I particularly love the picture of the puppy chewing a toilet roll while the other dog just snoozes away in the background.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He is one funny puppy. We’re driving him to his new apartment in the mountains with our daughter. She went on ahead of us and left him to ride with us and our load of her belongings so she could arrive before us do her business stuff without Tucker in tow. I get to walk hi. Around in his leash while my husband and she move her in.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Enjoyed this immensely! What chaotic joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This made my day! I like the empty nest description… “how you look at it” That is how I started blogging! Because I had an empty nest. Now I kind of enjoy it and though I love when my daughter visits, I also have grown used to having my own space. LOL. She brings her two bunnies and her little new puppy with a gimp foot that she paid over $600 for as a RESCUE!!! That I truly have to say I love. But are a little smaller than your grand dogs! LOL. Mine could fit into a tote if needed. Her bunnies I tolerate (her room still smells like hay etc!) But don’t let her know I am not head over heels in love with them!
    This was the best I’ve read in a long time!
    I do like the idea of a shower curtain! The pics and expressions and quotes are epic! LOL!
    Thanks for making my day!
    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Goodness you sure know how to make a blogger’s day. I’ve always wanted a bunny but never told my kids as they would have made it happen asap. They’ve always wanted goats and lamas but we held our ground on that one. Our house is so so quiet now with the kids and grand pets gone. Our three old dogs and one old cat are at my feet everywhere I go and just recline and sleep. Peaceful easy feeling. Whew. Such a difference. What I do enjoy is waking up to a clean kitchen and knowing wherever I left something it should still be there. I get that 600$ rescue. Our oldest got a rescue kitty for five dollars and it immediately developed an infected paw and almost died. It took 1000$ to get that little girl healthy. Good thing they had a vet across the street. I wonder what our giant hound dog would like tote travel. Ha. Thanks again for the kind words. I greatly enjoy reading your posts also. 😉

      Like

  9. This made my day! I like the empty nest description… “how you look at it” That is how I started blogging! Because I had an empty nest. Now I kind of enjoy it and though I love when my daughter visits, I also have grown used to having my own space. LOL. She brings her two bunnies and her little new puppy with a gimp foot that she paid over $600 for as a RESCUE!!! That I truly have to say I love. But is a little smaller than your grand dogs! LOL. Mine could fit into a tote if needed. Her bunnies I tolerate (her room still smells like hay etc!) But don’t let her know I am not head over heels in love with them!
    This was the best I’ve read in a long time!
    I do like the idea of a shower curtain! The pics and expressions and quotes are epic! LOL!
    Thanks for making my day!
    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the photo of Tucker with the toilet brush!

    Liked by 1 person

    • He is a mess. A cute mess. Thanks. My daughter called from school tonight and said he’s stealing the toilet brush in her apartment also. And her agenda, class schedule, Birkenstock shoe. He used those for chew toys. Funny. Our house is so calm now. Ha

      Liked by 1 person

      • He looks very much like Daisy, a dog I used to have. Her favorite thing to steal was the TV remote, but she could and would steal just about anything! Our trainer said she probably had a strong hunting instinct and stealing things was how she acted on it, since she had no access to small critters (fortunately.)
        Hope your daughter can get a new agenda and class schedule!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, Lisa, I don’t envy you … puppy training. Many people do not realize what a full time job that really is! And as you’ve been telling your new young `uns, and I’ve often told my critters when they’ve been naughty, “It’s a good thing you’re so darned cute!” Great post and captions.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: