Getting back in touch

This morning, as I was playing with Nora on the floor, I looked over to see that Mina (our 10-pound Miniature Pinscher/Pomeranian mix) was finishing off my coffee. Instead of reacting - getting angry or laughing or anything - I just sighed and said "whatever" and went on with things. Maybe she needed the coffee for the long day of business meetings she had planned, I don't know. Poor Mina used to be kind of a superstar.

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She'd often brighten our day with her antics, which were as hilarious as they were maddening. Like the time she ate her weight in taco meat. Or how she'd hide a bunch of granola bars in the laundry basket in case of a global emergency or something. Sometimes my love for her bordered on abusive, like when I'd dress her up in a purple velour track suit, but my love was, no doubt, strong and steady.

Since the baby, Mina's been relegated to less than royal status, understandably. I knew that once Nora was born, the dogs would take a hit, although only a small one, as they will always be an important part of our lives. But over a year later I'm sad to say that I think their quality of life has decreased more than I wanted. It's not that I'm worried about them. They're healthy, have routine medical care, eat well and sleep on soft dog beds. They chase squirrels and go for walks by the water. It's just that I know they need a little more. They need a few more walks and a lot more pats on the head.

Cecilia (our 75-pound pit bull mix) has taken well to Nora's arrival, treating her as she would anybody, as in the dog cannot possibly shower our child with enough affection. Ceece's love runs so deep that I think, if she could, she'd read Nora stories and put her to bed at night. Since she can't, she licks her from head to toe when we're not looking.

Here's Cecilia with her favorite Labradoodle:

Labradoodle and Pit Bull, BFF

Mina, however, consistently looks at me as though to ask, "This baby is fine, I guess, but when the hell is this charade over?" Her spirit has been slightly squashed and needs reviving.

So I thought I'd pose the question to you, my readers, and ask how you, those with children and without, have fun with your pets. I need a little kickstart to our dog renaissance, and I need a little prodding to take Nora and the dogs on walks together again, despite the circus, and stream of expletives, that ensues. Comments please!