I know my animals like routine. I can set my watch by Martin's appearance at the gate, waiting for his treats and hay every evening. Charley's tummy-clock goes off reliably at 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM. And even Isaac has already learned that he and I get some quiet time together after dinner as I sip my evening coffee sitting side-by-side with him on the grass, watching the sky change colour and the sun dip behind the hills beyond my pasture.
And when I don't honour their routines, they let me know. Carol and I went out for dinner tonight, so I fed the dogs a bit early and then put them in their respective rooms instead of letting them "help" me with my dinner and watch the evening news. Martin (the alpaca) hadn't yet come to the gate, so I figured I'd feed him when I returned.
Well, the sun was already gone when we got home, and Martin, who had obviously been hanging around wondering where the heck I was, had just started to wander back down the path through the pasture to his bed. When I took his food out, he galloped toward me at full speed......and then stopped just short, turned his back, tossed his head, and stomped his feet. I swear I heard him say "You can just leave the food on the ground for me - I'm not talking to you, and if you think I'm gonna eat out of your hand tonight when you are TWO HOURS late with my dinner, forget it!" I did as he said, put the food on the ground, and backed off. He ate, but not before giving me another no-nonsense shake of the head and another little stomp of the foot.
Isaac, pissed at not getting our little quiet time together, is now sitting beside me as I type, with his head buried in my lap...."don'tcha love me? I thought we had a deal......I LOVE my evening time with you.....I wanted to watch the sun set....what did I do to make you forsake me?????"
Charley is voicing his objections by refusing to come into the house and practicing his annoying little barks to see how long I will hold out before coming out with the leash to bring him back in.
As for Allie the cat - I haven't seen her. She expresses disappointment in me by hiding until the middle of the night when she will decide to show her forgiveness by jumping vigorously on my chest to make sure I wake up and know she is there.
If only I could communicate as clearly to my animals as they communicate to me!
The one think the animals in our home get used to is there is no routine/schedule. They adjusts themselves to mine and Sheila's no routine lives and are pleasantly surprised when something actually happens.