I am very fortunate to be able to work from home on most days, as is my wife, Kim. Our dogs are always with us during the day and night. If I leave the house to go to an appointment or to run an errand, they stay with Kim. On an average day, we’ll all go to Starbucks, run to the store, or pick up something to eat. The dogs love to go for rides and they enjoy being with us everywhere we go.
We are very fortunate to be with our pups all the time. However, it made me wonder what you do when you have to go to work or school. Does anyone watch your dogs while they are at work or come over to let them out during the day?
In our early years, Kim and I both worked outside the home. We had our Pomeranian, Neecie, back in those days. We set up a special area for her in the laundry room, with a baby gate at the doorway so she could see the rest of the house. She had a nice window for sunshine and her favorite doggy bed, a bowl of fresh water, and a few toys.
I didn’t work too far away and was able to come home for lunch, so I would let her out to go potty, give her some treats, play with her toys with her and always give her some belly rubs and hugs. Neecie was probably only left alone for four or five hours during the day, but I always felt bad leaving her that long between potty breaks. Pet sitters were really not the norm back in those days. We also were newlyweds and had to count every penny. However, if pet sitters were available then, I would have figured out how to get the money for someone to at least visit Neecie once a day.
Later in life, we had our Schnauzers, Buzz and Woody. They were crate-trained, but we never left them for more than four hours. By then, we were working from home full-time. I traveled often, but Kim was there to take care of them. The crates were only in use when we had an event to attend or when we went to church on Sunday. As they got older and their health started to deteriorate, we never left them alone. They either went with us or we simply stayed home.
By the time Buzz and Woody came into our lives, pet sitters were readily available, but finding one who met our high standards of care of our pets was sometimes a challenge. We would use a pet sitter only when we absolutely had to, such as when we went on vacation. However, after they both became diabetic and were challenged with Cushing’s disease, finding a sitter who knew how to give insulin injections was somewhat of a challenge. The two injections per day and medication were demanding enough for us to keep up with, let alone a sitter. Besides, no one could take care of them like we could. So we put vacations away from home on hold in order to take care of our precious pups.
When I discussed this topic with some friends, their answers were all over the place. Some let their dogs have free rein of the house and expect their dogs to not go potty until they return home. Some crate their dogs for eight hours or more. Some have doggy doors with fenced backyards so their dogs come in and out at their leisure.
Those with small dogs place piddle pads around their house, and taught their dogs to use the pads when the humans are away. Then there were others who hired a dog walker to visit once a day to let their dogs outside to potty and walk them around the block a time or two.
We are very blessed to be able to work from home. It’s a good thing, too, since my pups have gotten used to going outside every couple of hours. They’ll always potty when they go outside. However, sometimes it’s more about just exploring the yard and chewing on sticks. Oh well, I need to get away from the computer for a stretch every couple of hours anyway. It’s a win-win for all of us!
Does anyone watch your dog while you are at work? Share your stories and pictures in the comments.
About Tim Link: All-American guy who loves to rock out to Queen while consuming pizza and Pinot Noir and prefers to associate with open-minded people who love all critters. Considers himself to be the literal voice for all animals. Author, writer, radio host, Reiki Master, Animal Communicator and consultant at Wagging Tales.
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