Closing on my practice was delayed for a week. So, I have seven extra days to think about what I am going to do that first week.

First, I am still responsible for up to ninety days for the hospital. It doesn’t mean I have to be there, it just means I have to be available for questions during the transition for the new doctor.

Second, I need to put away all the stuff that I brought home from the hospital. Most of it is small stuff that has been sitting in my office for years. I’ve already brought home the barrister bookshelf and set it up in my den with my books. Next is to go through the artwork I brought home. Labrador prints, cat prints, veterinary prints. I love artwork. I only wish I had some talent. So, instead,I appreciate what others are able to do. Some of the prints will replace artwork I have at home, some will be donated to my Labrador club for their annual raffle, others will be sold on line, and more will be shared with friends.

My desk is coming home from the office. It’s a pine desk that my father made. It’s pretty beaten up over the years. More than a couple of Labrador puppies chewed on the corners. Honestly, I’m not sure where it will end up, but I can’t bring myself to leave it behind. I figure I can use it for my pets’ records.

I know my inclination will be to do my routine chores, clean stalls, scoop litter boxes and pick up the dog yard and consider myself done. Recently, I added to my daily chores by a thorough grooming of one pet every day. Keeping my RagaMuffin cats’ and rescue cats’ coats and nails in good condition is easy if I stick to a schedule.

My Labradors, Orchid and Bling, will appreciate a schedule of walk/runs in different places. I’ve been pretty lazy about it, but realize I have to step up to the plate so they can have a good retirement too. It wouldn’t hurt me to get out for a walk regularly either.

Not initially, but, when the weather gets better, I also plan to saddle up one of the old horses for some riding on the mountain. After all, why live in such a beautiful area if you don’t get out to see it.

I’m open to suggestions on how other animal lovers have made the transition into retirement.