Like so many people, I got a dog during the pandemic. He is so wonderful and sweet. But even dream dogs poop and need to go to the vet once in a while. There are many responsibilites and tasks that come with having a pet. So let's see what a day is like for my furry friend!
A Day in the Life of Jack
~7am: Wake up! Jack is a very effective alarm clock as he doesn't take snooze for an answer.
~7:15am: Morning potty time! "🎵 Come'on Jackie let's go potty 🎶..."; we walk around the block for Jack to conduct his business.
~7:30am: Breakfast; Jack gets a two-course meal of kibbles and wet food. After breakfast, there's a 15 minute food digestion break.
~8-9am: Morning activity time! Usually we go to one of the dog parks in the neighborhood. He runs around, socialize with other dogs, and we play kick ball.
~9am-1pm: I work while Jack does a combination of napping, watching, playing with one of his toys, and rolling on the floor.
Some time in the middle of the day: Mid-day potty time! "🎵 It's a potty in the USA 🎶..."
Early pm's: Jack resumes resting while I work, but we take a lot of play breaks. Because he is extremely pursuasive when it comes to recruiting kick ball buddies.
~6pm: Dinner time! Another two-course meal and 15 minutes of digestion time.
~7-8pm: Evening activity - Jack is quite energetic so we do two activity sessions each day. This evening we go for a walk to a park in the city. We usually meet other dogs in the neighborhood along the way, and Jack gets to catch up on the neighborhood news!
Late pm's: After all these activities, Jack still wants to play! So we play more, or Jack follows us around the house as we do chores.
~10pm: Ok Jack, time to brush your teeth. And then it's bed time!
How I use HeroMode
As you can see, there are several daily tasks I need to do for Jack. For example, feeding him twice a day, the activity sessions, and the potty breaks. However, it is actually the one thing, teeth brushing, that I really need the nudge and reminding from HeroMode every day.
This might also be the case for many pet owners: feeding Jack and going out for walks with him are already quite enjoyable. I prepare Jack's meals while making my own, and I too enjoy eating. And getting out for walks are nice breaks from sitting in front of a computer. On the other hand, teeth brushing brings no immediate joy to neither Jack nor me. He struggles; I struggle. But it's a necessity for his oral health.
Repeat Quests: Daily, Weekly, or Monthly
So I created a repeat quest for teeth brushing every day in the evening. It's still a chore, but now I get a little dose of dopamine when I can mark the quest as completed, plus getting one point for the "Jack Pack" adventure! It's like the banana flavoring added to Jack's tooth paste. That little flavoring is how Jack tolerates the daily teeth brushing exercise. So HeroMode is my banana flavor when it comes to brushing Jack's teeth every day.
Above: The "Jack Pack Inc." adventure with Jack-related Quests.
I also have another repeat quest for Jack's heartworm medicine each month. Jack started on the medication last year, before we made HeroMode. So originally, I had a recurring Gmail calendar event for heartworm medication. Ever since we added the repeat quest functionality in HeroMode, I've switched to HeroMode - because I get points!
Need a Nudge? Create a Quest!
There are other Jack-related tasks that I have organized as quests. These are the ones that I need a nudge, or a reminder to get to. Going through my quests list, here are some examples:
"Wash grass": Jack has a piece of synthetic grass in the bathroom where he can go potty. As you can imagine, this is something that needs washing frequently.
"Brush and de-shed": Jack is a shedder! He needs regular brushing to remove the extra fur.
"Buy kibbles": A very high priority item for Jack.
"Bring Jack to the vet" / "File insurance claim" / "Deposite insurance check": Each time when Jack has to go to the vet, say, for an upset stomach or runny nose, there are subsequent tasks related to his insurance. It's been quite convenient to be able to create these quests in HeroMode quickly on my phone, so I don't forget them later!
So how I use HeroMode to manage Jack-related tasks is quite flexible. If it's an activity that's already part of my daily routine, like feeding Jack, then I don't need HeroMode. Similarly for an activity that I already enjoy, like going for a walk or going to the dog park. On the other hand, HeroMode is very helpful for the tasks that I need nudging, like teeth brushing. It's also been handy for other recurring tasks of various cadences, like medication and bath.