Monday, June 27, 2011

Working With A Dog At Home

If you're like me, and work from home with a 4-legged friend in your midst, then you can likely identify with a few of the following "truths" about working with a dog at home:

1.  Dogs crave routine
Every morning, after we say goodbye to Mr. Adam, Juno stays at the front door, enjoying a full glass door view, watching the neighbourhood kids go to school, the commuters walk to the bus stop, and, on Fridays, the garbage and recycling trucks making their way along our street.  She then moves to the couch where she stays for the first two hours of the day, at least.  On mornings when Mr. Adam is running early and has a few minutes to spare before he leaves for the day, we notice that Juno notices.  She fishes for toys more, barks more, does more leg tunnels, or just stares at Mr. Adam until she sees him getting closer to leaving.

2.  Breaks do wonders
Five minutes is all it takes.  A bathroom trip and a good yard sniff do wonders for Juno.  I enjoy the fresh air and brief changes of scenery.  My brain comes up with new ideas, or relaxes for a few short, quiet minutes in the yard.  Now that it's summer, this is all it takes.  On cooler or rainy days, a short walk is nice.

3.  I get by with a little help from my background music 
Background music helps.  It drowns out traffic noise, kids playing, construction, even talking - and that stealthy cat across the street that Juno hears, or smells, or just senses somehow.  It helps to mask the noises that alert her to the door.  We have our favourites around here - a mix of Dido, Alexi Murdoch, and if we're feeling jaunty, Hootie & The Blowfish.

4.  You need to eat and they know it
I like to snack while I work.  I maintain a consistent blood sugar level with quick grabs of yogourt, fresh fruit, cut veggies, juices, water, tea, etc. during the day.  Some snacks Juno has gotten used to and has no interest in.  Others, she tries to share with me.  Favourites right now are cheese - she hears the packaging, bananas - she hears that first snap of the peel, and any leftovers or baking we've covered in plastic wrap, foil, or stored in Ziploc bags.  I don't give in.  She still tries every day.

5.  The mail man is here to see her
Any time the front porch thumps, the world as we know it ends, and all are summoned to front door, stat.  Clearly, the mail man is here to see her, as is every delivery person, service technician, neighbourhood child selling chocolate bars, canvaser, salesperson...  This can happen a handful of times during the day (real and "perceived" arrivals are treated equally), so it's best to latch the door.  It's been quiet for a couple of weeks during the Canada Post strike, but we'll be seeing our mail man again soon.  

6.  There is a witching hour
Dogs have built-in alarm clocks.  Juno's end-of-day alarm clock is a force of nature.  If we've ever made it all the way to 4:15PM, Juno will work through her repertoire of noises (huffing, groaning, squeak-yawning, sneezing, bumscooting), then stare at me from across the room or chase her tail, in a bid to get my attention.  This dog is a one-woman sideshow.  Honestly, I could charge admission.  Solid leg nudges also work, as does stealing a flip flop or a dishtowel hanging in the kitchen and dropping them 10 feet away from me so I need to get up if I want to "retrieve" them.  Dinner time is at 4:30, and Mr. Adam comes home 15 minutes later.  I schedule my day to end by 4PM.  It's easier for everyone.

What about you?  Does your dog do this too?  Anything I missed?  How do you get through?

1 comment:

  1. They love to lay right on your feel/under your chair and generally as close to you as they can get.