Home Alone Pets
My husband and I are dealing with an issue we've never really had to think about before. I was recently hired full time at an office that requires me to work ten hour work shifts four days a week. When I was offered the job, I was ecstatic to finally bring in some real paycheques since I've been spending the last few months sitting on my backside at home. My husband's response was less enthusiastic: "But what about Bella?"
I have always had part time jobs so if I had to, I would leave Bella locked up in her cage for no more than nine hours at a time. With my new job, Bella will have to get used to being alone for closer to eleven hours at a time. My husband is out of the house for twelve hours at a time and neither of us have the time to run home and let her out at lunch. Would it be cruel to keep her locked in her cage for such a long time?
We would be less concerned about her wellbeing if we could just stick her in our back garden. A dog belongs outside, no? Well, not in Bella's case. Bella despises being outdoors. I'm not sure if it's because she legitimately hates the smell of fresh air or if she just runs back indoors immediately after doing her business because she would rather be with me. Anyway, leaving her outside is out of the question since the first (and last) time we did that she managed to rip off the bottom of the fence and get out. We came home to her walking nonchalantly across the street in front of our car. I was very disappointed that she did not look both ways before crossing the road. I am not risking her escape again.
Bella also has severe separation anxiety which leads her to tear apart anything in sight that has the potential to carry food. This includes all dustbins, any bag of any sort and her treat bins. We've come home to find rubbish all over our kitchen floor and even a half eaten toothbrush. I suppose she enjoys the taste of toothpaste. Bella has even jumped out of an open window before, tearing apart the window screen. She never attempts any of these things while we are home. This terror only exposes herself when she is alone and angry at us for leaving her behind which is why we lock her up.
My husband and I would feel more comfortable leaving her behind if she could just sleep on the couch soundly instead of behind bars. We know that we can dog proof the house and close all the doors but can we expect her to not have any accidents over such a long time? She sleeps through the night just fine and reluctantly walks outside to do her business in the mornings. We know that she can wait eleven hours to pee but will she have such control during the day when we are away?
Our little family decided to test out for a few weeks to see if Bella could be home alone without any accidents before we found another alternative. If it doesn't go smoothly, we'll hire someone to come in and let her out in the middle of the day. Friends and business really don't go well together though so Bella, please behave yourself!
I know there are plenty of working families out there with pets. What do you do when you go to work? Do you hire a dog walker or house sitter? Do you drop your dog off at a family member's house or at doggy day care? Are you ever overwhelmed with immense guilt for leaving your pet