Zoe is a herding dog, an Australian Shepherd mix probably with a Border Collie and/or Golden Retriever. I got to see her pack when she was five weeks old and they looked like Aussies. She thrives on routines. First permit me to say that she is an indoor dog who loves frozen raw food and dried food for travel, that she is lifted up to our bed to sleep at night and goes out 4-6 times per day. She is now 88 in people years.

We’ve also our routines, my husband and I, that have changed. Zoe and I were out at 5:30 this fine Saturday morning and husband is sleeping and snoring before nine. I’m wondering what to make for breakfast.

He’s gone during the week so we make do and I eat fruit and yogurt and perhaps some fish (he’s deathly allergic) and Zoe’s routine is similar but she knows Daddy’s gone so goes to extra lengths to protect me. When we’re both at home she just lies where we can’t get away and no-one can get into the front door without her knowing about it and making some noise.

I used to make bacon and eggs and toast with jam, and tea and OJ for breakfast for my husband, not me. Not anymore. My routine took about ten minutes, including the tea. He used to bring me flowers.

Now I use one vase (asters and accents/fillers last week) and clean it and buy him flowers every week. Friday, half price Friday, but at another spot I found him some wonderful tulips, cut them down and arranged them. For much of our lives together he’s bought me flowers. Now, as he arrives home late Friday night I get them for him. The routine has changed and everyone who rings me up sales-wise compliments me not just on my choices, but the fact that I buy flowers for my husband. I’m guessing most women don’t do that.

So, there is routine and breaking routine. I like both. Our Zoe loves routine. My husband gets to change it at will, sleeping ’til noon and when I’ve a full normal breakfast for him arranged will ask for oatmeal with milk and fruit. I roll with the punches. Over the past year this non-cook has asked to learn how to make pancakes and fresh pasta. He must be looking for a new wife!

Yesterday I ran into a neighbor with a gorgeous dog we’ve taken care of for a few weeks. Our dogs get along great together (another change in routine). There’s a four month-old pup of that wonderful breed available that makes me salivate but Zoe is the only dog in my life for now except when L moves in for a week or two. They’re two peas in a pod.

She’s sending me a link to the pup. I can’t do this. It’s against routine. Dee


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