I am just curious to know how long people leave their dogs alone for and how owners manage with work committments and days out etc. I know there will be mixed views and each dog is different etc but it is something that I worry about and want to do right by Reuben.
4hrs max. Tilly tends to just sleep and has never chewed or caused any damage. Days out, well we take her with us or again only out a few hours she stays at home if we can't take her. If we decided to go out for a long day I would put her in our local kennels, as they are really great with her and she enjoys it. This is the things we have to do when we make the decision to take a dog into our life.
Thanks Denise, 4hrs is what I have built up to (as Reuben still young) though has been 5 sometimes. We are lucky that my inlaws are not too far away so Reuben has stayed overnight with them when we have gone away or out on a day trip. Also I start college 3 days a week in September and will be walking Reuben in the early morn, then a dog walker will be coming at lunchtime to take him out for an hour and then I will be home at 5pm (maybe earlier 1 of those days). It is just creating a good balance between being fair to Reuben but also taking my 5 yr old out places where dogs cant go esp in the summer holidays. We waited a long time to be in the position to own a dog and he is a lovely family addition but I do sometimes tend to over worry about things!
Yes, four hours maximum is what we do. Gina and Anton are 21months. We taillored our life according to these two, including work. We never leave them on New Year's Day or any other holiday. We only go on pet friendly holidays. We don't have good kennels (Denise, you are lucky).
For a planned excursion we have always been never more than about 3.5 - 4 hours, if I know I am going to be longer I rope in my parents for doggy-day care which isn't very often as they live an hour and a half away. That said she has been left for well over 5 hours on one occassion! I had a VERY bad day. A quick nip out to the supermarket at 8.00am turned into a disaster of my own making. I was using my husband's diesel Landrover and in a flash of non-concentration on my part I put unleaded petrol in it (my Lexus is unleaded.... and I blame him.... who swaps cars with their wife and gives them the empty one?) Fortunately I realised at the pump so I didn't turn over the engine however it took the RAC 2.5hrs to get to me, they then took me an hour to Enfield as it was the nearest place that could deal with contaminated fuel, it took 45 mins to empty and clean, and then because of traffic nearly 2 hours to get home (it was on a Friday). Fortunately I had left Bella with the run of the hallway where her pen is so she had plenty of room to stretch her legs, lots of water, and a few biccies. She behaved really well, there were no pees or poos, and the only thing she had chewed was an old piece of carpet that's hers for lying on and has very tempting rubber tape over the cut edges (well it did..... not anymore). As she was only 6 months at the time I thought she behaved well and all I got was a good telling off with lots of woo-woos, she had my undivided attention all afternoon and I think I was forgiven in about 5 minutes. I couldn't even SOS my parents who have an emergency key as they were away for a long weekend themselves.
The thing that I have found in my limited experience with Bella is that she actually seems to appreciate routine and I therefore tend to make all my appointments for the afternoon and she is used to me going out for an hour or two without her a couple of times a week, to be honest I think she just sleeps as generally her toys are exactly where I left them. It simply isn't realistic to take your dog everywhere with you and I would rather leave her at home than in the car. I have been renovating a house in Tring for my mother-in-law to move in to shortly which has involved lots of too-ing and fro-ing to kitchen designers, bathroom designers, carpets, curtains, tiles, builders, plumbers etc etc.... it couldn't have been timed worse with the arrival of Bella but circumstances dictated it and we have muddled through. She seems a well balanced dog and doesn't display any seperation issues at this point. The great thing with my M-I-L's move to Tring is that I will have a local Bella B&B when it is needed.
We have just had our first week away in the USA and Bella went to my parents for the week, by all accounts she had a brilliant time and missed us not a jot. Of course I am delighted with this..... well 99% of me is, the other 1% thinks "thanks very much Bella, I love you too!".
By the sounds of things you are doing great with Reuben and are worrying about his best interests, which makes you a good owner. You have put in place systems to let you enjoy your dog and do the other things necessary in the rest of your life, stop fretting, I don't think Reuben will be calling the RSPCA!
Like you say Elizabeth, I also think they get use to the routine and know what is expected of them when you leave them at home. I tend to do all my work in the morning.
Our holidays will all be dog friendly ones from now on. Just been to Isle of Wight for a week and put Tilly in the kennels, but we all missed her so much that we came home early...!!! We are now hoping to get a touring caravan.
Louise Im sure Reuben will be fine and will give you the biggest kisses when you get home to him !
Finn i am with you on the subject. My joy comes from watching my dog do his birding. While awards would be so cool I am sure, I was overjoyed that Cash wound up to be a hunting dog afterall. He lights up in the field and everyone comments on his birdiness. He just rolled in something so foul I won't say what! Now after his bath his hair is going every which way and while not wavy, it sure isn't a show dog look at all. I will have to spray it down with the coat conditioner and brush him into a half way decent look because he is a mess right now.
Cash is suppose to be neutered on Friday morning. I am already stressed about leaving him there for just a day. It's the fact he can't eat his breakfast which is his favorite meal. And then keeping him settled and not running for a week! The family is taking bets he is out running within two days. How do you keep them quiet when they don't even know that anything happened to them? Inside quiet games will last about 15 minutes a day.
Sue, I also second Finn's comments. You have been one of the most reassuring voices of calm and experience that I have needed whilst getting to grips with our gorgeous bundle of trouble. From all the stories I've read and the advice you have given, I am sure you have a very happy troupe of dogs. I consider myself fortunate that I get to hang out with Bella all day, though some days I don't when she has the devil in her, but I know full well that isn't the case for every dog owner and I would never seek to judge.... no shots being fired from the Ball household.
i think there are many of us working full time - and yes, I envy all those people who can be at home all day/half a day with their dogs... sometimes i work from home but it is just not possible every day and yes, i am away for long hours. no, i do not like it but i also know Danka is fine and sleeping on the couch.
and yes, i consider myself as a good doggie-mum!
I only work part time and my husband starts work later a couple days a week so Cash is never crated more than 3 hours and that might be twice a month! Now that school is out in a week, my son is always home sleeping when I work in the mornings so Cash is left free and generally sleeps while I am gone. I envy those who work full time and own dogs. I am so stressed out leaving him, that I have the separation anxiety not my dog! I long for the days soon when he can be left out of a crate even those couple hours. I think he would be fine but the summer is more of his transitional period because my son is in his own world as a teenager and Cash will be free in that sense and this was how we transitioned Dublin to freedom as well. I think having more than one dog would be ideal if they are left home all day, they have each other for comfort. It's really nice. I am sure things will go smoothly for you Louise and bravo for going back to school.
Thanku all for your comments and it is very interesting to see and what everyone does with their dogs and general work arrangements etc.
Sue , I certainly would not shoot you down as you made me feel so much better and at ease with it all. I have been feeling a bit unsure about going to college and felt a little trapped about ever being able to get on with my life again! Reuben is very loved and important but also has to fit in around our life and not the other way round. I have spent months getting him use to not having my attention all day and going out frequently for longer periods etc.
Elizabeth, your stories always make me laugh and I will stop fretting now, promise!
Susan, good luck to cash on Friday and yes I am either a nutter or brave going back to college but I want to go to uni to study paramedic science next year as wanted to do that job for years but children needed me. So now it's my time...
Fran and Finn , ditto to everything you have said.