Cooper’s trotting around after his nighttime snack, and I feel compelled to finally write the “day in the life” entry that I thought of doing so long ago. Long enough in this blog ago, that I don’t actually remember when that was.
Pretty much every day with the Coops is the same, at least when I’m working. He’s (usually) my shadow, always with me. Liz is out and about during the day, generally speaking, doing auditions, running errands, babysitting, etc. I work from home, for those who don’t know, so the Coops and I have a pretty regular routine.
Cooper sleeps on the bed, and generally around 8am, he rouses from his slumber because his tummy grumbles tell him that breakfast is coming soon. This causes him to stand and stretch, usually on my sleeping butt, and then he snuggles back down for another half hour to an hour of sleep before I wake up. I wake up, use the restroom, and then go to put on some clothes in the closet, where Cooper joins me. See, he knows that we’re headed outside for him to use the “facilities.”
We step out into the morning air, where he pees on the North side of our building, and we then walk around the corner to the South side of the building, where he goes number 2. While he does this, I can get a sense of what they day is going to be like. Then, we go back inside, and I wipe down his recently-used privates, and with Cooper bursting with energy, we bound back to the bedroom to pick up his crate.
Taking out the blanket inside, and folding the towel covering the crate are clear signals that we’re about to take it into the living room, which is where food-time happens. Cooper is literally wiggling out of his skin at this point, though from practice, he knows he’s supposed to sit and watch me. But, as soon as I stand with the crate in-hand, he’s jumping and running into my legs and bounding ahead of me as we walk into the living room. I grab his bowl off the counter, take it around into the kitchen, and pour his food in. As soon as the food hits the bowl, Coops has taken to doing a running pounce onto my nearest leg, right where my knee is, so that it buckles slightly. Yes, he literally does it every time, and I have no idea why. Then, we walk back around to his crate, underneath the counter. I put his full food bowl into his crate, make Cooper sit and wait for a few seconds, then give him permission to go in and eat.
The eating takes maybe a minute, two tops, and he almost literally scarfs it down. Then, he exits out of his kennel, licking his chops, and finds me for a post-meal rubdown of his tummy. This is another of those routines that just sort of happened. Liz and I would feed him in his kennel and pet him after he finished so that he would have positive associations with his kennel. It worked. He freaking loves that thing. But, the snuggle time after eating became a tradition, and we do it every time he eats. He finds me, I sit on the floor, and he flops down with his head on my lap. I rub his stomach until he burps (from the scarfing so fast of his food), and then we spend another minute or two as I rub his face, his eyes to wipe away the night’s eye boogers, and his chest and legs too.
Now, it’s off for a morning walk. I listen to the Stitcher app on my iPhone, usually This American Life or Radio Lab, and Coops pees a few times and usually has another number two. The morning walk is fairly short, about six blocks, and takes 20-30 minutes, depending on the pace and if we stop to meet any other dogs. Once we get back, I wipe his paws down and his male-bits and then…I tell him to go pounce on Liz. He runs back into the bedroom, and jumps on the (usually) sleeping Ho. He usually plops right down there next to her, and gets some snuggles with her while I eat breakfast.
Once I move into the office to start work, Cooper trots over and joins me. He always starts curled up right underneath my work chair, using the wheeled spokes as bumpers to keep his body nice and tight. Then, as the hours wear on, he gets warmer and moves to the blanket that we’ve set for him a foot or so away, closer to the loveseat that we have in the office, also called “Cooper’s Clubhouse,” because he loves to go underneath it and sleep, chew on his toys, or just plain hang out.
Any time I get up to go do something outside of the office, Cooper is up and trotting for the door faster than I am. What I can gather from that is that he simply doesn’t want to be left behind. He goes where I go. And, unless Liz is home and hanging out in the living room, and often even then, he stays quiet and sleeping in the office with my all day.
Until…around 2:30/3:00 or so rolls around, and he wakes up, stretches, and starts to roam around the office. I usually take him out to go potty around or just before this time of day, but in reality, he awakens around this time because it’s almost dinner time. This is the time that if any of the doors are left open to the bathrooms, or anything paper is left anywhere, that he’ll find it and rip it to shreds. Loves paper. Loves it. If Cooper’s not asleep next to me and I can’t hear him in the other room, it’s guaranteed that he’s shredding paper.
Then, we hit dinner time, which is 4:00, give or take a half hour, and we repeat the ritual from breakfast time. The paws to my knee, the sitting waiting for permission to eat, and the snuggles and burps after finishing. And, this time we suit up for the evening walk.
Again, I put in the earbuds for some Stitcher listening time, or talking on the phone with my family. The evening walk is much longer, including some inclines, and takes around 45 minutes to and hour to complete. The day, at this shortened-hours point of the seasons, is starting to wind down, and the sun is low. It’s usually gorgeous.
Once we get home and I wipe him down, he almost immediately wants to wrestle and play some fetch. This is quite a difference from morning time, when he’s much lower energy and usually ready for snuggles and sleep. But, after nighttime walk, it’s all play. We start with fetch, and then he and I wrestle. He likes to chew on my wrists and my fingers, and I manhandle him a bit, knocking him over and throwing him around. He loves it. Then, he likes to lick my face for a few minutes once he’s had enough wrestling, and then, almost without fail, after that he goes and plays with his favorite plush: Mommy Panda 2. She’s basically as big as he is, and very early on, he decided that she was his surrogate pack-mate, and he goes and swings her around and dominates her for a little while.
After, that, I’m usually back in the office for another few hours of work, and he’s either sleeping back underneath my chair, or out in the living room on the chaise-lounge next to Mommy Panda 2 hanging with Liz. If I have to work late enough, he comes and lays down in his office bed next to my chair.
Lately, at this point in the early-ish evening, Liz has been taking him down the street to Agility or Tricks class at the Zoom Room, which is an indoor dog/owner training facility. I’ve spoken about it on here before, for sure, but it’s awesome. Literally one of the best things you can do with your dog, for their body and mind. And he LOOOVVVEESSS it. How could he not? He gets treats.
Later in the evening, once I finish all my work and come to hang out in the living room, he usually spends some time sleeping on a pillow next to me or Liz, and always ends up down on the floor in his reindeer bed, which is next to the couch. He sleeps there until Liz and I are ready to go to bed. We take him out for one last potty before bed time, and clean his ears with cotton balls and a eco/dog-friendly ear solution. Then, we take his crate back into the bedroom and put his blanket inside, and the towel back over the top.
He curls up inside, and waits there patiently, sleepily, while Liz and I brush out teeth and floss (yes, floss. Y’all should do that shit). I undress, and I’m usually done first, so I slip into bed and start writing this blog while Liz finishes in the bathroom. Once she’s done, we each give Cooper a crunchy treat, a leftover from when we were crate training him as a Puppy. We’d get him into his crate with a treat, and then another once we’d closed the door. He slept in his crate in those days, and we wanted that to be safe and comfortable, so we used treats to enforce that. These days, he just gets a bedtime treat because he loves it.
Once he’s had his treat, he jumps up on the bed, always down by our feet, and usually on Liz’s side of the bed, where he is now. And I finish writing my blog while he falls asleep, and then I lay down to read, and ultimately fall asleep, too.
Which is what I will do now.
And then, tomorrow, we do it all over again.