This summer has been packed full of fun with wedding planning, summer time activities (beach, kayaking, etc.). , and just spending time with friends and family.
This summer we had to make an adjustment in our doggies routine with the start of my summer job. I started working as the supervisor of a summer camp in another county meaning both Ian and I had an hour commute (each way) to work everyday. Add that 2 hours of driving to our 8.5 – 9 hour shifts and Lexi and Aurora were being left home alone a lot more than normal.
With a week left in my summer job, I decided to write about how we helped the pups adjust to their new routine and long hours away from their humans.
I knew my job was only for 8 weeks, but I knew it would be a long 8 weeks for my babies. My 2 main concerns were: (1) Lexi and our daily Florida summertime storms and (2) leaving Aurora in her kennel for such a long time. Luckily, My shift starts 2 hours after Ians so the dogs are alone for a smaller amount of time. But, they would still be alone for 9 to 10 hours a day.
To help Aurora adjust to being in the kennel for so long, we started leaving her in there for longer periods of time in the weeks leading up to the start of my job. We also started letting her sleep in bed with us so she wasn’t in the kennel overnight and then again for a long time while we were at work. In the mornings before work, I play with her for a good half hour to tire her out so she gets to relax and sleep in her kennel. Finally, we give her the Kong toy in her kennel with the peanut butter filling to keep her entertained and make her going in the kennel being associated as a good thing, not a punishment.
Unfortunately, helping Lexi adjust was not as easy. We started leaving the TV on all day for her to help block out noises from outside that could scare her. We also give her a treat in our room when we put Aurora in the kennel that way she is comforted by having her sister with her and she gets a treat! We give it to her in our bedroom since she sleeps in our bed while we are gone. Also, if I know it’s going to storm earlier in the day I give Lexi her anxiety drops that really help her when it storms (seriously they are amazing).
Not only did we have all these methods to help them adjust, it we have a great friend who helped us out so much these past 7 weeks. Auntie Marina would come over and take the dogs outside to use the bathroom, play with them, and give them more treats! They love their visits with Auntie Marina and Mikey. Ian and I so appreciate their help. It gives the dogs a chance to play and get a break in the middle of the day and makes this worried dog mom feel better when I hear they are doing well and I see pictures of their happy faces.
I recently read an article on how long it is safe for your dog to be alone. This article stated that the safe amount of time is 4 hours. I found this unrealistic since people have to work and shocking. But, reading this made me appreciate Marina and Mikey that much more. The article suggested having someone come in the middle of the day to give the dogs a break if they had to be alone for more than 4 hours. We are so glad we have someone to help us out and who is so great and loving with our doggies. We could not have survived this crazy summer schedule full of long days without some help.
Looking back on these past 7 weeks, it has been a crazy, exhausting time. The best part was coming home everyday and seeing how happy Lexi and Aurora were when I got home. Just 1 week and I will be home more with my furbabies and will start adjusting them to a new schedule with my new job as an adjunct college professor.