As some of our readers might remember, we once had a Flickr account where we posted 1000’s of photographs of many events and activities. One of our favorite activities that we posted was grown-up—themed fantasies that we created. This magazine article is just that. 😀
We are traveling with our pet, Julie. As all pet-owners know, pets are a pleasure and a responsibility. In this article, we chronicle the training and care of Julie.
The day is just getting started, so it’s time for some chores. First things first, let’s clean the back porch.
I begin raking the leaves as my pet relaxes after a long night of sleeping and lounging about.
Julie knows this look and thinks, “He’s got something in mind for me. But is it work or play??”
I beckon my pet, and she acts catty. As in, cat-like. As in, “Yes, that’s my name, but are you really talking to me?”
With a little encouragement, Julie understands that she is supposed to rake the porch. Such a good pet!
Although I admire her enthusiasm, this will have to wait until later. Right now, she needs to clean the porch.
Now that she understands, Julie is happy to be part of our morning chores.
As Julie is raking, I remember that we have a leaf-blower.
Julie is one happy pet. But, she doesn’t really understand what the leaf-blower is for…
“No, my pet. Keep raking. The leaf-blower is not for you.”
Yup. The leaf-blower is for me. 😎
Part of the fun of having a pet is playing with your pet. Amirite?
You know how some cats REALLY like to be scratched just above their tail? I think I have found that spot on Julie.
Julie protests, but I wonder if she is just trying to get out of doing her chores. She can be crafty and sly, like a vixen.
I look away for a moment, and Julie flings away her rake. Bad pet!
I use the leaf-blower to encourage her to continue with her chores, but she resists. Sometimes pets can be that way, I guess.
I turn up the leaf-blower to the max, and still Julie persists.
I do my best to induce my pet to return to her chores, but she is in a playful mood, I guess.
Julie signals that she is done, even though she hasn’t done very much at all. Ah, the trials and tribulations of owning a pet.
I pat my knee, and Julie comes for a pet and a cuddle.
Julie is happy to please, but she’s happier when we please her. Oh, well. For a pet, she’s put in A LOT of work today.
There is a bond between a pet and her Owner and, after all, that is the real reason we have a pet! ?
The Truck Ride
Julie LOVES to go for rides and, since she’s been such a good girl, we are treating her to a ride in our truck.
There are folks who allow their pets to ride in the front seat, but that’s a bit dangerous, if you ask me. So Julie must ride in the back.
Since we are in Texas, we rented a Texas-size truck. I had not anticipated that it would not be 100% pet-friendly. Oh, well. I guess I can provide a helping hand. Or hands.
With a little maneuvering, I am able to get Julie situated in the back seat.
Julie is yelping with excitement! Since I’m not exactly sure what type of pet Julie is for this ride, I don’t know if I should expect purring, whistling, humming, or what.
Julie can barely contain herself as we back out of the driveway. I’m sure the other pets in the neighborhood are envious of her adventure!
We ride off into the sunrise to enjoy the day playing with our pet. We hope all you pet-owners are as indulgent of your pet as we are of Julie. ?
We spend part of each day working with Julie to ensure she is properly trained.
This is our first day of pet school. Our pet is eager to learn.
We start with basic commands and our pet picks up on them quickly.
In between lessons, we give praise and rewards. Our pet responds as anyone would — with affection and snuggles.
We teach our pet basic commands such as: sit, stay, wait, and pose. No need for discipline as she is an excellent student.
Since this is our first day of training, we allow our pet to walk ahead. In time, she will learn to wait for her Owners.
Phew! That was a tough lesson plan! It’s now recess and our pet is encouraged to play and relax.
Training a pet takes time and patience. It’s important to have treats available, and also to provide appropriate positive discipline when needed. Build on each lesson plan to support the good behaviors. And be sure to provide a lot of spontaneous praise and positive feedback so that they know they are doing well and pleasing their Owners. This provides for a natural positive reinforcement for your pet, which in turn builds loyalty, confidence, and joy, which in turn allows your pet to express their contentment with various forms of affection. It becomes a win-win situation. And, it takes work, effort, forethought, and did we mention patience? Lots of patience. But the pleasure of pet ownership outweighs the responsibilities of pet ownership.
We may not have mentioned yet, that our pet has a default animal: chameleon. What this means is that as her Owners, we can decide what kind of animal she is, and she responds by emulating the embodiment of said animal. This provides for a lot of options, variety, and creativity! So here we are, onto Training Day #2, with our pet Leopard.
We start each training day with cuddles, praise, purrs, and pets. It sets a positive mood for the intense lessons ahead.
Once again, Owners must show patience and allow their pets to be pets. Here we notice that the joy of ducks and fish outweigh the joy of following instructions. But it’s okay, we have plenty of time to complete our training session.
Before using any tool of discipline on a pet, one must first introduce them to said tool. It’s not nice to surprise them without warning! (Or warm up.) Here, our pet has no idea what a crop is or can be used for… so sweet!
To our delight, our pet Leopard has remembered her lessons from yesterday and is walking in the proper position to one of her Owners.
Boy, that didn’t last long! Within moments, our pet’s natural instincts kick in to be rambunctious!
As an Owner, one must use a firm voice of disapproval. “Bad girl! No!” We think all she hears is “Girl! Yay!”
When realization of her misdeeds sinks in, our Leopard turns back and remembers what “Heel” actually means.
When training a pet, it’s important to go back to the basics whenever necessary. “Come here” is responded to, and praise is given.
We are near the end of our Training Day, and our Leopard is allowed some time to be a Leopard. She notices some fish in the lake, and plays with them (not hungry enough to feed on them, yet…)
Overall, a successful day of training. We are lucky to have such an eager (albeit willful) student.
As with all creatures, learning is cumulative. So we pace ourselves with each training session so that our pet Leopard can feel confident in each lesson that she learns. We don’t want to overwhelm her with too many commands all at once, and we provide constant positive reinforcement for all of her good behaviors.
We decide to take a break from all of this rigorous training. It’s time to play… in chocolate! For this recess-time, our pet chameleon will take the form of a Monkey. A Chocolate Monkey!
The character suits her so well in this predicament…especially considering she had no idea it was coming.
But our pet Monkey takes right to the play, like a duck takes to water. Only, it’s a Chocolate Monkey taking to Chocolate!
We find it’s important to mix up the syrup so that it can be evenly distributed. Because, after all, that’s what’s important, right?
After evenly distributing the chocolate between us, Monkey Girl decides to draw some hearts on one of her Owners. It’s a sweet gesture in more than one way.
Even in play, pet Monkey remembers her Lesson: “Come here”. She obeys like a good Monkey.
Seriously, if you’ve never played in warmed chocolate syrup before, you should try it! One thing you learn right away is that the syrup goes from slippery to sticky rather quickly! The results: smiles and laughter are had by all!
Another thing that we quickly learn is that you can easily make designs on each other… like finger-painting, only backwards.
It looks like one of the Owners is birthing her pet Chocolate Monkey — but she’s not. We laugh at the absurdity and silliness around us.
Final pose, we look kind of badass. We joke that if we ever write a book together about something sexy or kinky, this will be our author’s photo on the back cover. However, we doubt a publisher will be on board with our creative licensing.
Owning a pet does take a lot of extra work, planning, finances, accommodation, and patience. In the example above, we were staying in a rented house, so we were very careful to lay down layers of drop-cloths, use our own towels to wipe up the floors, and take a hot and thorough shower afterward. That’s the responsible part. But it’s not all work… when the time comes for play, owning a pet can be magical. And you can be as fun-loving and lighthearted as your pet is!