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With 10 pets, getting ready for a vacation is a full-time job

With 10 pets, preparing for vacation is a full-time job.

My husband and I are preparing to go on a week’s vacation. Normally, a term I use loosely, because normal never pertains to me, I have a lot to do to prepare for our trips but with 10 pets normal is out the window and ridiculous takes its place.

Then again, according to my husband, perhaps I make it that way. I used to make little bios for each pet (for the benefit of the pet sitter) and typed out an entire page of instructions, as well.

Now that we have my sister-in-law, Kat, taking the reigns, things are a bit more subdued. She has the routine down pat and has her own routine on top of ours that the pets are accustomed to.

We’re extremely fortunate to have her care for our pets while we’re away, especially since we have a few special needs pets and several that require daily medication. Mabel takes seizure meds and arthritis meds, Hope takes meds for her Cushing’s Syndrome and Chase and Rio take meds for skin allergies.

In addition to packing our own bags for the trip (which is in itself a work of art since my husband packs individual bags for each portion of our trip), we have to ensure that we have enough dog food (wet and dry), cat food (wet and dry), cat litter, dog and cat treats, medications and peanut butter for dispensing medications.

Yes, I try to float a loan prior to vacation to ensure we have all the necessary supplies at the house for the pets so Kat doesn’t face running low or out of anything.

Then I worry.

I worry that water and food bowls are filled even though Kat is probably more particular than me with such chores.

I worry about Katie and Krusher, our oldest cats, who reside upstairs away from our overbearing downstairs cats.

I worry that our whole routine with the pets will be on hold for a week while we’re away, much to my chagrin.

Funny thing is, when we come home, the most well-adjusted creatures are our pets. They’ve been living the life, taking advantage of Aunt Kat and we’re the ones who come home missing the pets.

The pets all look at us like, “Hey, you’re back.” That’s about the extent of the reaction we get. Again, we’re so blessed to have a relative who will house/pet sit for us so the pet routines can stay intact.

I also leave every phone number I can possibly think of — including our vet’s information “just in case” and pray that it is not needed.

Kat is sweet enough to send me daily updates via text and send me pictures of the pets doing what they do best — lounging on the furniture.

We spend the week missing the pets and wondering what they’re doing. They spend the week living their lives according to their set schedule, enjoying life, none the worse for wear.

I just know that when I get back from vacation, I am ready for a vacation from my vacation and all that it entailed to get ready for it!

Amy is the author of the new children’s book, “Oakley’s Great Cape Escape,” as well as, “Have Dog Will Blog,” editor of the Central PA Pets magazine, and director of the Central PA Pet Expo. She can be contacted at ahanna

@altoonamirror.com or by mail: Paws and Reflect, c/o Amy J. Hanna-Eckenrode, Altoona Mirror, 301 Cayuga Ave., Altoona, PA 16602.

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