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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Home Alone

Despite what many may think, based on the amount of time I spend on this forum, I work full time. Therefore, my dogs are home alone for 10 hrs, M-F. I continually fight the guilt (maybe similar to what working moms experience?) that I'm not home with them.
- I know the common belief is that a Hav can't spend that much time alone.
- I know there are a number of people on the forum who work full time.
- I know quite a few people have pretty strong opinions about this topic.
- I know some dogs, based on their personalities (Havs & non-Havs alike), would be miserable being home alone that long.

I'm sure my dogs would love it if I was home more (at least most of the time) but I try to convince myself that they really don't suffer any adverse affects from our lifestyle.

From things I've read, I know others who work, suffer from the same doubts so I'll put myself out there (admittedly with some trepidation) and open the topic up for discussion.

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 03:31 PM
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Jill, I know how you feel. I do take comfort in the fact, however, that my dogs LOVE to play with each other, so I know that they keep each other company while I'm gone. AND they get sooo much attention when we get home.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Jill, I know how you feel. I do take comfort in the fact, however, that my dogs LOVE to play with each other, so I know that they keep each other company while I'm gone. AND they get sooo much attention when we get home.
Yep....one of the rationalizations I use is the amount of time I spend with them, focused on them, when I am home (the old quantity vs quality argument?).

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 04:15 PM
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I know...always the guilt trip we feel.

We have a walker come in for Havee mid day on the 3 days that I work. They walk him, play in the yard, etc. Every time they come they write a paragraph about what they did with Havee that day. I can only hope that he enjoys them as much as they seem to enjoy him! He's an independent dog, not like velcro. And that's a good thing since we do leave him. He gets a treat ball when we leave, and he doesn't even know we've gone since he's too busy with it. He's well adjusted and never seemed to suffer with separation anxiety. I do tend to stay home more though on my off days!


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 04:26 PM
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i think the fact they have company (each other) makes a huge difference. it would be a different story if he was alone with no other dogs. i struggle with it as well and i work from home!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 04:57 PM
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I think you are right about quality v. quantity but I think a lot of people miss out on that fact. I dont think mine would do well for too long. While they interact they are people dogs. My DH used to always be the one who was home more but now I am. I remember at first I was shocked how much they really slept and didn't do much when I was home. I think the problem is a lot of people who get these dogs work and have a life (no offense cause I will tell you when I was working 40plus hours a week, they were what I did when I was home each night and 3/5 nights we did a training class!) But I know a woman who got a hav/bichon mix. She worked full time and started taking classes and was wondering why the dog started chewing, quit using his pad, etc. Well not only was he home 9 hours while she worked but then she was there a little bit and left again almost every night. So basically the dog was alone all the time during the week and she only interacted with him on weekends. To me since they were bred for companionship, that is what their job was meant to be. It is like getting a border collie and wondering why he acts out when he doesn't have a job... make sense? That is just my opinion on these pups and I am not trying to say anyone who works shouldn't have a companion dog but I think you really have to think about how much time you can devote to them.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 05:41 PM
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I am loving this thread. (guilt loves company) I am lucky enough to usually work from home 2 days a week. But on the other three days the boys are alone, except for a 1/2 hour visit/walk from our dog sitter on 2 of the 3 days. They are alone for 8-10 hours on Mondays-- figuring they have had their fill of us on the weekend. But as Amanda said, they are our lives when we are home.

That being said, both my boys are incredibly independent... so, are they the unusual havs or is it because we leave them alone that they are comfortable being alone?

On the days I am home at the computer...they only seek me out around 2pm. I walk them or let them out...we play a bit. but then they retreat to their room. sometimes one or the other will lie down where they can keep an eye on me...but once they know I am settled in at the computer they go to their own chairs.

I wouldn't feel guilty Jill, you give Tess and Cody and incredible, wonderful life. And I can just tell that they are happy from your pictures and stories. And besides you need to work keep them in flossies and toys.




Missy, Jasper & Cash
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 05:42 PM
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Jill,
I have the same problem as you. I feel so guilty when I leave my guys. I work freelance, so my work days and hours vary. I can work a couple hours a day, up to 16-20 hrs! Most of my days being under 10 hours. I try to walk my guys in the morning, if I can. Then I have a dog sitter come in for an hour, 5 hrs after I leave. If I work an extra long day, I have her come again to feed them dinner. I have 3 and I still worry. My guys have run of the house, food & water, TV and a dog door. I feel pretty good about this set up. When I come home, they stretch and yawn, so I know they were sleeping.
When we are at my boyfriends house, it is very different. They don't have a dog door,so I don't leave them for more than a few hrs at his house.





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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 07:25 PM
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When I first got my Havs, I had my own business and was only working 4-5 hrs a day. It was perfect and I was going to look into the possibility of getting a third and showing. Well, life throws us curves (as I am sure we all know). We lost our business and I am now working up to 45 hrs a week. It's a long story, but when I took my current job I told them I would have to take a one hour break each day to go home to my dogs. And I do. I spend a 1/2 hr with them almost every day. If I don't get my break, I just leave an hour early. But I am totally guilt ridden.

It's even worse now that I have a new grandbaby. I hadn't seen him for two days, so we stopped by today after work. I told DH I wanted to stop home and get the dogs first, but we didn't. He told me he was surprised that I didn't go get them first and that they are now second in line. I reminded him that he was the one who didn't want to go home first.

I try to spend as much time as possible witht them on my days off. And if I can't more guilt sets in. But, they seem to be handling the changes very well.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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That being said, both my boys are incredibly independent... so, are they the unusual havs or is it because we leave them alone that they are comfortable being alone?

Missy, I think you've hit on the crux of the issue for me. Is it the dogs who feel bad that we're aren't home full time or is it us who feel bad because we aren't home with them?

I'm not sure about how independent my dogs are. When I'm home Tess isn't more than a few feet away - all of the time. And Cody is a huge cuddler. For him there isn't anything better than being in somebody's lap - he's not particular about whose, as long as they'll love on him. But with that said, neither seems to be bothered by being home alone.

Do those who's dogs have someone with them most of the time believe their dogs couldn't have it any other way because they haven't been put in that situation? And do those who leave their dogs home alone believe their dogs are okay because they have no choice?

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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