Wracked with Guilt over Henry & Oliver

I don’t think I’m the only one who leaves home each morning to head for work, but could I be the only one who does so wracked with guilt thanks to my pets?

For the way Henry and Oliver act, you’d think that what I was doing was nothing short of abandonment–

“–And neglect!” chimes in Oliver, my three-year-old Maltipoo.

“You’re killing us,” adds my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who descends from royalty. Otherwise known as Henry.

Sigh. I’m guilty as charged.

Exhibit A:  This is what happens at my house Monday through Friday. First, we go on our traditional morning constitutional, mostly so that the dogs can do their, well, business. Takes about 20 minutes and then we return home, refreshed and revitalized, and two of us, relieved. Which is when guilt begins to rear it’s ugly head.

Henry and Oliver, sensing that my departure is imminent, take their positions on the couch, looking slightly peeved and out of sorts. They shoot me a look that cuts me to the core and hits me with a 2X4 of pure, unadulterated guilt. And then they cut to the quick:

“You’re missing the best moments of our lives,” whines Henry.

“I’ll never be this young and playful again,” adds Oliver, licking his wounds, er, paw.

Having no other choice, I bow my head, surrendering myself to the remorse that seems to overpower me as I make a hasty retreat.

Exhibit B:  Below is my dynamic duo as I take my leave.



How can you leave us like this?



What if something happens? What are we supposed to do without you?



Three days in a row? Are you kidding us?



Another departure? Unacceptable!



I wish to file a complaint to the Management. The Queen would never leave us this for this long, you know.

One look is worth a thousand words and then some. These fellas know how to pile it on thick. Like a kick in the shins. No matter what I do to make my absence more palatable for them.

For example, I leave music on for their enjoyment and distraction, hoping it’ll overpower the sound of any trucks passing by, so that Oliver doesn’t start barking like crazy.

I plump their pillows with their utmost comfort in mind. I freshen their water bowl. I feed them, of course, and walk them so they can do their business while enjoying the outdoors and getting some sunshine. I give them each a pat on the head and make sure they have proper air circulation throughout the day. In other words–and I’ll never admit in a court of law that I said this, but–these guys are coddled!

So why do I feel like I’m the World’s Worst Pet Owner?

On the other hand, maybe I’m reading too much into their facial expressions. Yeah. That’s the ticket! Maybe they don’t care at all and frankly, can’t wait for me to leave. Maybe I’ve gotten it all wrong and they’re actually happy I’m gone!

Or maybe not. After all, who knows what secret lives they lead when I’m not around?

So tell me, what do you do for your pets when you have to head for work?






14 thoughts on “Wracked with Guilt over Henry & Oliver

  1. Oh Monica, how could I have missed this post… I myself like Adele, er, and being royal and all I understand why Henry especially might like listening to her. I can’t wait to see ‘Secret Life of Pets’ I have often wondered if they do party after we leave for the day… I bet Henry and Oliver pretend they are at an Adele concert and are off the couch in a jif once you leave, I can almost see them dance, those mournful expressions are only to make you feel a wee bit of guilt – smart doggies aren’t they?

    • Do you think it’ll be okay if I see Secret Life of Pets without bringing along a child or is it donkey for adults to see an animated film on their own? Actually, Henry and Oliver would prefer I bring them. Wonder if they’ll have special screenings for humans and their pets? Hmm…

      • It would be fantastic if they had special screenings for humans and their pets.. What a marvelous idea. If not, I say go alone and enjoy. It’s going to be such a great film.

      • Yes, I agree. I’m going to see it on my own and then recap it for my little guys because they too are dying to know what the big secret is in the life of pets. 😉

        Btw, what are we doing up so early? Me thinks I’m going to be super tired later…

      • We are definitely going to be super tired, in fact I feel it right about the time I cook dinner. I can’t wait for school holidays Monica, this year has been particularly tedious. What about you? Are you an early riser in general?
        Aha, I bet Henry and Oliver already have some insight on that big secret.. I can’t wait to find out myself.

  2. My toy Cavoodle Pixi she always lets me know she disapproves each time I leave the house. She shows me by grabbing a toy between her teeth while growling and flicking her head left and right in a rage like display. Then later when I return home, she’s so happy that she jumps while slapping her paws and body against my front door so that it seems like the whole door is going to collapse any second now. Crazy. Otherwise, she’s as tame as a white mouse spinning in a ferris wheel.

  3. Monica, I’ve been trying to tell Dallas how blessed he is that I work from home and he doesn’t have to face eight hours of solitary confinement Monday through Friday! He’s just as coddled as your two, though, and even expects a bite of lunch because he sees me eating something. Perhaps it’s like people’s hair — those with straight hair always wish for curly and vice-versa.

    And you know, getting stuff done at home with a needy dog underfoot has challenges of its own, especially when he brings me a ball and drops it with a Thud at my feet! So tell the guys to buck up — things could be worse!

    • Dallas brings you a ball and drops it on you? Oliver does the same thing! From the moment he wakes up until bedtime, he never misses an opportunity to drop a ball on me. Sometimes I don’t even notice but then I see him sitting expectantly in front of me and then I see the tennis ball next to me. Oh bother. The adventures of life with a dog.

  4. I went away for five days to quilt camp. I’m now being guilted by the cats when I go out for the mail. If I’m sitting down, one dislodges the laptop from my lap (getting a little one-sided reaching over to the laptop resting on the chair arm), and the other makes forays at the remaining lap space.

    • Lee, You’ve got to give these little critters credit. They’re smart and know how to get to us. Have you heard of a new animated film coming this summer? It’s called The Secret Lives of Pets and I can’t wait to see it. I’m sure it’ll give me insight into Henry and Oliver. 😉

  5. Lovely post Monica.

    But next time you leave in the morning pause after locking the front door and see if you can hear the music and woofs as they celebrate a day of mischief.

    The sad looks are all a front, to make you feel guilty and bring them back treats.

    Mark my words they are both looking ready to PARTY!!!!!!

    • I’m sure you’re right, Robert. Why just the other day, I went back to the front door, afraid that I left it unlocked and no sooner did I approach, I heard Oliver barking like crazy, as if to say, “Put all the booze away! She’s coming back!” Oh, those party animals!

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