Frugal Hound’s 10 Tips For A Simpler, Happier, More Frugal Life

The Pterodactyl coming in for a landing

The pterodactyl coming in for a landing

Frugal Hound turned six last week! Our little greyhound is entering doggie middle age. And she couldn’t be cuter! To mark the occasion, we presented her with a pterodactyl toy we bought for $2 a year ago–oh yes, I’ve been known to buy dog toys on sale well in advance of the celebratory day.

Sweet, devoted Frugal Hound is our constant companion on this frugal journey and hasn’t complained one bit about our cost-saving measures. While I believe it’s entirely possible to care for pets frugally, there’s no doubt they’re an extra expense. All told, the Hound costs us around $900 each year.

Nothing to sneeze at, but vastly less than if we took her to a groomer, had a dog walker, and paid to board her when we travel. Although she’s a luxury in our lives, we value her presence much more than that $900.

Frugality (and life in general) is all about making value-based spending decisions and Frugal Hound is a choice we make. Sure, we’d save more money if we didn’t have a dog. But by that metric, we’d also save more money if we weren’t having a baby. For us, extreme frugality is about designing the life we want to live and then ruthlessly optimizing everything that doesn’t fall into our core mission and strategy. Suffice it to say, Frugal Hound is mission critical.

In addition to providing hound-faced adorableness, Frugal Hound teaches us quite a few daily lessons on how to live the satisfying, frugal life.

Frugal Hound’s 10 Tips For A Simpler, Happier, More Frugal Life

1) If it’s in your bowl, it’s food.

Looks like fud to me

Looks like fud to me

Frugal Hound eats the same meal (grain-free salmon and sweet potato Nature’s Domain kibble from Costco) day in and day out with great relish.

While Mr. FW and I have a bit more variety (and slightly less kibble) in our diets, we eat our leftovers until they’re gone, we’re not picky (pickiness is a sworn enemy of frugality), and we enjoy whatever’s put in front of us (well that last part is mostly about me since Mr. FW is the one putting down the food). And hey, if you need a food-pacer-ball in your dish–à la Frugal Hound–to help you not rush through your meals, go for it.

2) When in doubt, take a nap.

They washed me!

They washed me!

You’ll always wake up feeling better. Frugal Hound is a master of napping. That dog can nap anytime, anywhere, for any amount of time. Having the ability to shut out the world and enter an inner state of meditation and relaxation is pretty enviable.

Although Mr. FW and I don’t nap per se, we’re typically early-to-bed old folks. Adequate rest gives us zest for life and fortifies us for doing both what we have to (go to our jobs) and what we want to (plan for our homesteading future).

3) When you travel, stay with friends for free. 

Frugal Hound has nailed it with regard to travel hacking. Thanks to her cunning credit card strategy dog-swapping, she always sleeps for free at one of our friends’ houses when Mr. FW and I travel. Fortunately, this technique is great for hounds and humans alike. We love hosting people at our place (we don’t even make anyone sleep in a dog bed) and finding gratis lodging when we’re on the road.

4) Do all of your own grooming.

Mr. FW using the Dremel to file down Frugal Hound's talons

Mr. FW using the Dremel to file down Frugal Hound’s talons

While technically we–the humans of the house–do her grooming, Frugal Hound is a clever insourcer of hound care and maintenance.

Mr. FW and I bathe her (to comic outcomes), groom her, brush her teeth, Dremel her claws, clean her ears, and administer preventative heartworm and flea/tick medications.

We do take her to the vet every year for a check-up and any shots she needs, but beyond strictly medical care, we do it all ourselves.

5) Practice contentment with what you have.

Our esteemed hound doesn’t beg for new toys or beds or treats–she’s perfectly thrilled playing with the same toys day after day. They’re brand new to her every single morning and she pounces on her stuffed animals as if she’s never seen them before.

And each time we give her a treat, she hops around with glee. No matter that it’s the same treat she had the day before. It’s always exciting and new! That sort of joie de vivre is contagious and it makes me realize that Mr. FW and I already have everything we need.

6) Everyone you meet could be a friend and is deserving of a sniff compassion.

Although sometimes I wish Frugal Hound were a bit less enthusiastic to meet every single person we pass on the street (especially when we’re running late for work… ), she sees the world through an indisputably positive lens. She doesn’t pass judgement or worry what people might think about her. All she sees are potential friends.

7) Don’t dwell on your past.

Enough already! I'm taking this pterodactyl into my fangs!

Enough already! I’m taking this pterodactyl into my fangs!

Since Frugal Hound was a racing greyhound before we adopted her three years ago, she had a fairly tough first few years of life. She lived in a crate, had to run around a track, and didn’t have much in the way of affection, toys, or treats. It was a pretty spartan existence.

But she doesn’t let her rough past get her down. Sure, she made some mistakes (chiefly, being a terrible racer) and lost some money (for other people), but she worked her way to firm financial footing (by mooching off of us) and doesn’t waste time dwelling on what could have been.

Confidently looking to the future is a key ingredient in our Frugalwoods sauce–we’re all about what’s ahead of us (early retirement) and very little about what’s already come to pass (years of less-than-optimal frugality).

8) Buy used.

In the rare instances where we do need to buy something, we’re best off finding it used. Frugal Hound herself is used in a sense–we adopted her from the racetrack and thus didn’t incur the exorbitant costs of buying a puppy “new” through a breeder. In addition to saving mad dough, we gave her a loving home–just like most of our furniture, clothing, and car. Buying used is always a fraction of the new price and, it saves stuff from the landfill.

9) The best form of entertainment is a good walk.

Mr. FW and Frugal Hound walking from Cambridge to Boston

Mr. FW and Frugal Hound walking from Cambridge to Boston

When in doubt, take a walk. Strolling Cambridge with Frugal Hound in tow (or more accurately, in the lead) is a staple in our frugal, $0 entertainment budget.

Walking clears the mind, gives Mr. FW and I an opportunity to talk and connect with each other, and provides fabulous exercise for the whole family (I always imagine Babywoods in there kicking her legs around while we walk, though she’s probably just lulled to sleep by the movement). Walking is mind-clearing, free, and just feels good.

10) Live everyday exactly how you want to.

Frugal Hound is not out to impress anyone. She doesn’t care if she lolls around on her back with her tongue sticking out for hours on end. She’s not worried about buying cool new stuff to impress her pals at the dog park and she doesn’t regret a single day. Her path in life is uncomplicated, harmonious, and comprised of doing exactly what she wants to do.

Tail-End Thoughts

Celebrating Frugal Hound's bday a few years ago

Celebrating Frugal Hound’s bday a few years ago

Something I didn’t count on when we adopted Frugal Hound was just how much she would impact the way we live our lives. Having her steady, tranquil presence in our home causes Mr. FW and I to reflect on how much we delight in the simple things in life.

Every time one of us feels stressed or tense, the other will suggest it’s time to “go visit the hound.” We’ll snuggle and play with her together and our anxiety melts. Her world is so inherently peaceful that it’s contagious.

She requires so little to be happy, yet exudes such pure love and joy in return. A true minimalist and connoisseur of the good life, Frugal Hound is like our own Zen charm in dog form. Greyhounds are notoriously calm beasts and she seems to be a particularly laid-back example of the breed. Having this daily reminder that life doesn’t need to be complex, expensive, or contentious is refreshing.

What have you learned from your pets?

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69 Responses

  1. “1) If it’s in your bowl, it’s food.”

    This is the hardest thing for our household (I’m sure the pregnancy just exacerbates it). I can eat the same damn thing every day. My wife wants variety. Of course it’s a spectrum, but she literally told me she wants to have 7 different things for dinner each night! I’m more of the “cook 10 lbs of chicken on the weekend and parse it out throughout the week” kind of person. It’s frustrating but we’ll hopefully find a happy medium.

    On the other side, it’s amazing that we have so much abundance that we’re actually having to consciously pull back a bit. This world we live in is just crazy!

    • Marcia says:

      This is so true. I started a blog post on this subject (didn’t finish it yet!) Variety is a frugality killer.

      When I was a kid, my mom cooked “American” food with a heavy German influence.

      But now? I want pizza! Chinese! Mexican! Thai! Indian! Sushi!

      • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

        Marcia–you’re so right. Variety really can be a frugality killer! We’ve found that just generally not being picky saves us a ton!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      We’re also in the “cook 10 lbs of chicken and eat it for weeks” camp. We do indeed do that–I guess neither of us minds eating the same thing multiple days in a row. Honestly, we’ve been doing that for so long now we don’t even think about it anymore. I know some folks have good luck with freezing portions and eating them over time, but somehow it works best for us to just eat it when it’s fresh. My feeling is, we already paid for it and went through the trouble to cook it, so we’re darn well going to eat it all! But, I totally get the pregnancy cravings/aversions thing–I was off some foods for weeks.

    • Caroline says:

      We also try very hard to live / cook frugally and undoubtedly cooking in bulk is economically more sensible. How we get around the ”no… not chicken AGAIN” thing is to cook (say) that 10lbs of chicken ”part way” so parboil it (reserve the stock, freeze and label), and then divvy it up into portions, maybe making some of it into specific meals. Then do something similar for ground beef or whatever… then again for another item. Then you have 3 meal bases, and can vary / switch them around to get variety AND have cooked or mostly cooked about 2 weeks worth of meal bases on 1 day (or morning, if you are at expert level hehe).

  2. bev says:

    Chris, I couldn’t agree more with your comment about having so much abundance. If I just stop and look at everything I personally have, it’s unconscionable that I could ever be grumpy or complain. Mrs. FW, I also like your comment about not dwelling on the past. Having come from a difficult past, that’s been a tough one for me, but I work on it every single day and remind myself how good life has turned out once I changed my own attitude. The same with finances…..there really is nothing to complain or worry about. Once I learned to allocate my funds appropriately, things just seemed to fall into place. Thanks for this post.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Sounds like you have a wonderful attitude about enjoying the good life now. And, you’re so right, we live in such a fortunate country and point in history–we really do feel lucky every day.

  3. Tarynkay says:

    Regarding the shots- my father in law lives way out in the country with six dogs (people know he’s a softie and drop off unwanted dogs.) Anyhow, he buys all of their shots through a vet somehow and administers them himself. This apparently saves him money? Just something you may or may not want to look into, especially when you move out to the homestead and acquire a fleet of greyhounds.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      “Fleet of greyhounds”–haha, that’s definitely Mr. FW’s vision ;). Good to know re. the shots. I hadn’t heard of doing that, but totally makes sense!

  4. I love your adoption story! I wish every unloved dog out there got an ending as wonderful as this.

  5. “Go visit the Hound” … Love that. Frugal hound is very wise.

  6. Norm says:

    Maeby agrees with all of those, especially the napping part. I swear, sometimes you’d think that dog was dead for the amount of time she spends lying perfectly still. Her rules also include, “If it’s on the floor, it’s food.” Today Marge dropped a chip of ice and Maeby snatched it up. Also glad to hear FrugalHound was a terrible racer. Maeby lasted two races. Came in middle of the pack in one and last in the other.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Frugal Hound is the same way with sleeping–sometimes I worry about her when I notice she hasn’t changed positions in hours… but then again, she’s just a greyhound doing her greyhound thing :). That’s funny about the food on the floor–FH is the opposite. We had the hardest time getting her to eat treats out of our hands and she definitely won’t eat off the floor. To her, the bowl is the only place where food lives :). It’s pretty funny (and handy) unless you’re trying to train her using treats…

  7. Lovely post! It actually brought tears to my eyes. My daughter has a rescue dog who was most probably abused, but like Frugal Hound, this dog hit the jackpot with her adopted family. Happy birthday, Frugal Hound. May you have many more happy years with your wonderful family.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Awww, so sweet! Glad to hear that your daughter’s dog found a loving home with her :). There are so many dogs out there who need good homes that I do love it when people consider adopting.

  8. Frugal Hound is very wise! It’s amazing how much love and joy a pet brings into you life. We were without a dog for 8 months, and our home felt very different. We are so glad we found Mushu!

  9. This is lovely! Many lessons to learn from the Frugal Hound. 🙂 My fiance and I would love a dog in the future (currently we are renting and the landlords will not allow pets). I love how brought up that snuggling with her melts the anxiety. Whenever we are out and about in public and an owner allows me to pet their puppy/dog – I never pass up the opportunity do so for that reason, it’s therapeutic!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Totally therapeutic! We were in your position for many years (renting and no dogs allowed), so don’t loose hope :). It gave us a long time to research and plan for the breed of dog we wanted to adopt, and we’re glad we did do all that research! I’m sure you’ll add a loving pup to your family someday 🙂

  10. Edifi says:

    #7 corollary: Have a thick skin but not too thick.
    If someone/life accidentally bumps you around, stay positive and not take it personally. Have a thick skin for life’s bumps. However, don’t be so thick-skinned that you can’t stop and enjoy a nice belly rub!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Well said! It’s definitely helpful to have that attitude! Frugal Hound absolutely knows how to enjoy a belly rub, so she’d be right there with you on that.

  11. Happy Birthday Frugal Hound. Your baby friends also wish you the happiest of days!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thank you, Cat :)! Frugal Hound wishes the beans would come visit again so she could lick some peanut butter off of them… yum. Little does she know how much her life will change in 5 months… 😉

  12. Great post Mrs. FW. I think dogs can actually teach us a lot about life, and apparently frugality too. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thank you! Dogs definitely know how to live the good life. I try to take my cues from them whenever possible 😉

  13. Great tips. I have to admit that our family follows almost all of these (with the exception of staying with friends when traveling – we often use “free” hotel points from credit card hacking though). Being appreciate and mindful of all that you do have is a superb way to not constantly lust for more more more.

    And loving the walking suggestion. It’s a favorite pastime of mine and usually leads to an interesting day. And if not, at least I get some fresh air, exercise, and often complete an errand or two while I’m out.

    Speaking from the proverbial end zone of FI, these ten tips will get you there sooner rather than later. It all boils down to squeezing out all the superfluous costs and enjoying the luxurious life that’s available for nearly free.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      We do hotel points a lot too, but I couldn’t quite work that into the theme ;). Totally agree with your sentiments on walking and on eliminating superfluous costs. We’ve found that it’s truly rewarding to only spend on what’s meaningful and economize the rest. Makes for a happy, simple life 🙂

  14. Mrs. Budgets says:

    Napping is often a forgotten free form of entertainment, thanks Frugal Hound for the reminder!

  15. Happy belated birthday FH. Our pets bring us so much joy, don’t they. My little dude seems to love me unconditionally, and he’s a cat so that’s saying something. I would say pets don’t judge, but that’s probably just dogs and not cats. lol!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Hahah, I think cats are totally judgmental–especially the cats I grew up with. Queens of shooting dirty looks at the humans. The Hound, on the other hand, is too easy going to care. But Pepe seems like a great cat, despite his horrible track record as an administrative assistant ;).

  16. MandalayVA says:

    Happy birthday, Frugal Hound! One of my cats, Neo, is also my Zen talisman. There’s nothing like watching a 25-pound white cat peacefully snoozing next to me to calm myself. He’ll also come to me for cuddles when I feel sad. Pets are so worth it.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Love it! Pets are definitely worth it. Glad to hear your cat is in the Zen camp too :). Also, 25 lbs is a big cat :)!

  17. Mjbaker88 says:

    Great list! We practiced a fun frugal tip yesterday during our road trip to Nebraska. Stopped for a picnic dinner at McDonalds – they were kind enough to let us use their fine outdoor picnic tables while we enjoyed pre-packed sandwiches. The kids loved watching the big rigs come and go.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Perfect idea! We’re big fans of packing food for trips–saves a ton and you get to be creative with your dining locales. Good call on using the outdoor picnic tables!

  18. Frugalhound is the queen of frugality. Great tips! I’ll make sure to give everyone a sniff.

  19. Bonnie says:

    I love that even with your frugality you have prioritized having a pet. My pets are honestly one of the best things in my life. So glad you rescued. That or shelter adoption are the only way to go IMO.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Pets are truly such a fabulous part of life. Glad to hear you love yours :)! Even though Frugal Hound costs us money, she’s well worth the expense. And, I agree with you, adopting or rescuing are wonderful ways to bring a pet into your family. There are so many adult dogs that need loving homes!

  20. That is a great analogy using the dog’s perspective on how to live a better, simpler life for more happiness. I just read a book that stated children in developing worlds that don’t have a lot of stuff, use the world as their playground and tend to be happier and excited to experience every day, even though they live in huts with dirt floors. Whereas, children in the U.S. tend to get raised with the belief that you need to accumulate more ‘stuff’ and are given so many toys that they don’t develop the creativity on their own and therefore aren’t ever really ever satisfied. That develops the ‘picky’ factor you mentioned. This could be the cause of temper tantrums and then carries into adulthood. Most adults, who aren’t intrinsically happy with the simple things in life, will spend money to try to buy happiness. It is a shame.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Very interesting! That makes sense to me. Being content with what we already have doesn’t seem to be a very popular sentiment in our country. So, I can absolutely see how that mentality would be translated to children and then continue on into adulthood. What book was it, by the way? Sounds right up my alley.

      • The book is called “A Reasonable Life”, by Ferenc Mate. I do think you would like it. It is right up your alley with the slower paced life such as homesteading. I personally am a city gal and Iove to be mobile and I hate owning a car, so that life wouldn’t work for me in the long term, but I can see where for many people it would be the best life. It is also the kind of book that you don’t need to read straight through. You can jump around chapters. Also, I should clarify that while these poor children may be happy, my heart goes out to them for what they lack. We all deserve a safe shelter, healthy food, clean water, reasonable clothing and some form of education, which they don’t always have. My point was basically that beyond those basic needs, much of what makes us happy is

        • My computer hit send too fast… 🙂 Basically what makes us happy beyond our needs being met is usually no or low cost and comes in the form of people, time, experiences and creativity.

          • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

            Thank you for book name! I’ll have to put it on hold at our library. I completely agree with the sentiment on what creates happiness. Beyond basic needs, it’s not about stuff at all.

  21. Devan says:

    Aww, Happy Birthday Frugal Hound! We feel the exact same way about our dog Hazel. She is a rescued stray and has a disposition very much like Frugal Hound – extremely quiet, very sweet and mellow, and very Zen 🙂 She is a wonderful source of stress relief in our lives and a constant reminder to slow down and enjoy each moment. (As far a Hazel is concerned, there is no issue that can’t be resolved by a few belly rubs!) And I agree that pets are an extra expense that is totally worth it for the value they add to our lives. We have also fostered several rescue dogs over the last few years, which is definitely not that frugal, but is SO fulfilling. We’ve learned so much by bringing these various dogs, each with their own personality and challenges, into our life. And the experience of connecting a dog who probably had no future at all with a loving forever family is such a rush! As you said, it’s all about spending based on your values, and pets (and rescue volunteering) are definitely “mission critical” for our home.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Loved reading this comment! Sounds like Hazel is one lucky girl (and she has an awesome name to boot). That’s wonderful that you’ve fostered dogs–we are forever grateful to the family who fostered Frugal Hound and they still babysit her for us when we travel. Its been so nice to keep up that connection since FH loves them. Pets are absolutely mission critical 😉

  22. I love posts from Frugal Hound!
    Random question: I’ve noticed in several pictures you have some type of cloth along the wall behind Frugal Hound’s bed. How is it attached? My Hannah has a terrible habit of wiping her face/nose all over the wall. Luckily she’s a Pekingese, so she can’t reach very high. But still, it’s gross! We just repainted, a lighter color that she’s already made a mess of, so I’d love to have some type of barrier to protect the walls!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Haha, great question! Frugal Hound, ahem, licked a hole in the wall behind her bed right after we painted the room. That plus the fact that she scrabbles on the wall with her claws when she’s sleeping made us realize the wall there was a lost cause ;). So, I took an old cloth shower curtain, folded it over, ironed it, and nailed it up on the wall to create a “hound-proof corner.” I talk a little bit more about the project in this post: Master Bedroom Makeover: Frugal Finishing Touches. Good luck to you with your Hannah!

  23. Vicki says:

    There is a thought provoking article on Surviving and Thriving this week on the cost of pets.
    I made a comment there about the very little cost of our pet and the benefits of her in our life. One thing I do with our dog to keep her healthy ( which costs something but can be cheap if you look around) is I squeeze a fish oil tablet on our pups food once a day. I think those tabs cost me $10 for 300 and I use one a day. Her coat looks amazing and the fish oil is great for joints and bones which for greyhounds with long, legs and brittle bones will work wonders. As for hoarding things like toys until it is time is right wait until you have kids…..I am constantly putting things away until it is a birthday or time to pull it out. Have a great weekend 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thanks for sharing that article, I’ll have to check it out! And, I completely agree that pets are well worth the cost–they bring such joy into our lives :). Good idea on the fish oil–thanks for the tip!

  24. Zandria says:

    I haven’t learned anything from my pets (I don’t have any), but I have learned a lot from you guys in the past week. I don’t remember how I discovered your blog but once I read a few articles, I knew I had to read them all (since you only had posts going back about 14 months, it was doable). I skimmed some of the early stuff about home DIY, but most of your posts had me rapt. What an inspiration!

    I consider myself a minimalist, and my husband and I religiously track our spending and have a goal to retire early. We don’t have a specific timeframe because we’re still building up our savings/investments, but knowing the goal is there and attainable definitely helps make it through the boring days at work. (Like you, we’re 100% debt-free apart from our mortgage and own just one vehicle – in our case, a 2002 Honda Civic.)

    Anyway, just wanted to say that I love your work, and I love your mission! Thank you for spreading the benefits of frugality and showing how it’s done. How wonderful it is to show people that frugality isn’t about a LACK; it’s about ADDING stuff to your life (happiness, joy, and a sense of accomplishment — plus attaining life goals that are more fulfilling than buying new clothes or a new car).

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thanks so much for reading! Delighted to have you here :)! Frugality for us is definitely about more than just not spending money–it makes us happier, more at peace, and more in tune with what we want to do with our lives. That’s awesome that you and your husband are working towards early retirement! I wish you all the very best!

  25. Mrs SSC says:

    I’ve learned that a good hug…or pet can cure any bad mood. I mean, really…. What else matters but what your loved ones think of you? Anyways…I picked up a good tip from you about the dremel tool… That will save us some dough, now that we’ve got our new hound!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      You’ve got the hound??? Yay! Congrats! Can’t wait to see photos :). The Dremel works great for FH’s nails and I highly recommend the kind that plugs in (not the battery operated). We had a battery operated Dremel that bit the dust and we’re much happier with the slightly more expensive electric one (I think I sent you the link to the one we have? Let me know if you need it).

  26. Happy birthday Frugal Hound! You bring up such great points in this post! Rescue dogs are the best, and although my boy Max’s past is a complete mystery, he doesn’t seem to let it affect him! Like Frugal Hound, Max has changed my perspective on life. He is just such a happy dog and is SO happy when you come in the door, whether you’ve been gone 5 hours or 5 minutes. Shouldn’t we all have such joy? Going to free pet events, the dog park, and taking walks has pushed me to get outdoors more, get a little more physical activity, and add more frugal hobbies to my life! When I got Maxm it changed my daily routine. I wasn’t used to coming home right after work to let the dog out and I was worried about how I’d adapt to it. I actually like that it causes me to slow down a little and be more present in the moment instead of always rushing from one thing to the next. And it’s a great excuse when you need to get out of plans or leave early. 😉

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Awww, sounds like Max was a wonderful addition to your home :). And, pets really do help us to live in the moment–they are all about the present, which is so refreshing! You’re so right about free pet events too–it’s a great way to get exercise and meet people, all for free 🙂

  27. Kristen says:

    My pets are the centre of my universe and probably the biggest barrier to me living truly frugal, however, I am working on less is more. They are as happy on the value village comforters as the fancy dog beds.

    I have learned more than I ever thought from the 4 dogs (we currently have 2) and 2 cats (our one remaining will be 20 next week) then I thought possible. I have learned patience, pure joy, grief and unconditional love. While our current 3 cost us more than $900 a year (our annual vet bill is over $500 alone) I would give up most of everything else before them.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Pets truly are a wonderful gift and such a joyful part of a home :). It’s so true that they teach us patience, joy, grief, and unconditional love–that’s a perfect way of articulating it. We say that Frugal Hound is our first child and it’s so true!

  28. Kirsten says:

    Pets are also an introduction into unconditional love, something our selfish society doesn’t grasp easily. But dogs are happy to see you, even if you yelled at them two hours ago. They’ll snuggle up to you when you are sad, though they don’t understand why. And they’ll growl at strangers because they want to make sure YOU are OK. It’s just so awesome, it catches my breath.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      So true! My favorite example is how Frugal Hound will come ask for scratches just a few short minutes after we brush her teeth (easily her most hated weekly routine). She can’t help it–she loves us!

  29. Christeen says:

    Hi Yep Frugal Hound is a very lucky girl. Over the last few months, here in Australia, some terrible animal abuses have come to light in the Greyhound racing industry. Especially around live baiting training and how many dogs are ‘lost’ if they are not financially viable or injured. Its been sickening to hear from a industry that is suppose to be regulated. Hopefully things will change. Give Frugal Hound an extra hug from me.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh that’s so sad so hear! I hope that people are adopting the “unwanted” racing hounds–we’ve been so impressed with how active the adoption groups are with the tracks here. It’s really heartening to see the hounds go to good homes. We’re always on a mission to spread the news about what great pets greyhounds make since they’re not a terribly common pet breed here.

  30. My geriatric cats have definitely taught me to go with the flow more, especially Tony, who has a chronic illness. I used to get all worked up and insist to my husband that he (Tony, the cat) was dying, every time his illness flared up, and then promptly take him to the vet, who would diagnose yet-another flare-up. I slowly learned that his illness ebbs and flows, to accept that, and to not always assume the absolute worst. (Have I mentioned that I’m an extreme hypochondriac??)

    I’ve also become more confident in my ability to manage situations. I’ve been giving Tony pills for years, and now know how to adjust his various medications, as needed. Although I’d don’t love doing it, I also learned how to give him fluids and medication subcutaneously, which saves Tony the stress of a trip to the vet, and me the expense of a trip to the vet.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Sounds like Tony really lucked out in getting you for a family! You are so kind to care for him in such a loving manner. And, that’s wonderful that you’ve taken away lessons from him too. I’m always amazed at how much pets can teach us about enjoying life, simplifying, and slowing down. I’m sometimes guilty of assuming the worst too–so that sounds like a valuable take-away!

  31. Kim from Philadelphia says:

    Happy Belated birthday to sweet Frugal Hound! Sending you a belly scratch!
    I think she hit the doggie jackpot when she was adopted by you both. A rough start in life, however now she has love and a wonderful hound life!

  32. Hannah says:

    Wet greyhounds are hilarious. How’s Frugal Hound like the water? Also, I spotted a greyhound on instagram that likes to swim! you’d think their skinny arms wouldn’t be able to handle it, but they do. Ride very low in the water though. (I cant figure out how to post pics of my pooches)


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