Working and a dog? So what!
To be a professional and have dogs. Is that even possible? A question that many people in my environment ask themselves. I am also often confronted with this question on social media channels. Often there is a lack of imagination to bring your job and your (future) dog under one roof. Therefore I would like to tell you in this article how I bring my job and my three dogs into harmony and how I do not miss out on this myself.
My job is to order print media – primarily books – tailored to a specific target group. To maintain the current stock and to take old books out of the stock. Any idea what my job is called? Three times a week I sit in a large building together with various media and advise customers. “I am looking for books on the subject of dog training”, are not uncommon for me. Did I hear the doorbell? Yes. I work in a public library as a librarian.
Thanks to this blog, and especially thanks to you and my readers, I’m able to work part-time. The dogs are alone for 6 hours 4 days a week. Every two weeks there is a Monday when they are alone for 4 hours. For the dogs this is completely within the limits. They literally oversleep my working hours. This shows me every day anew our dog camera. Thanks to an app on my smartphone I can see if the furry kids are doing well and if there is something, I would be home in 20 minutes.
With all the stress that many dog owners are putting on their dogs these days, and whether they are doing them any justice at all, when they cannot be there for them 24 hours a day, one thing is often forgotten: dogs need sleep. A lot of sleep. 12 hours at least and that is actually already too little. Therefore it is not bad at all when people go to work. It is not an outrage. I have the feeling that working dog owners are equated with felons and must have a bad conscience when they work. Our faithful companions are happy if they have a warm place to sleep, (at least) one two-legged friend to love and get food and water daily. They don’t need a tight schedule of hours to be happy.
But this does not mean that dogs are the same as decoration in their own four walls: Nice to look at, but in the end you don’t do anything with them anyway. Which brings us to the next aspect:
What’s our everyday life like?
In the library I work in shifts. Sometimes early, sometimes late. That’s actually the basis for the whole day’s planning. If I work late, I plan the big round early in the morning. It’s the other way around if I’m on early. It helps a lot to bring structure to the daily routine. That way I make sure that the dogs don’t get a raw deal. This is immensely important to me, because I am responsible for my dogs. For me, the daily walk is part of keeping dogs in a species-appropriate way. The Verpinscht-Family goes outside three times a day. In the morning the dogs are not really awake. They only go out for a short time and quickly back into the warm dog bed. Until the morning or afternoon (depending on the shift of dog mom) they sleep. Then the big doggy dog is lining up. It always varies in length and intensity. I can’t tell you how much exercise my dogs get per day. I always make this dependent on different factors: The weather, the working hours and the season, the dogs and me. If it is winter, the weather is stupid and it is getting dark anyway, then 40-60 minutes are completely ok. If the weather is nice, I still don’t feel like it, but the dogs have a lot of bumblebees in their butts, we agree on a good hour. If the weather is fine and the whole pack wants to make a good round, we pack our seven things and go for a long walk. That can then quickly become 3-4 hours.
The big dog round is not bound to a certain place or time. Sometimes I have treats for exercises with, sometimes I have a ball with and sometimes also a dummy for search games. But sometimes I have nothing at all with me. Then we just let our souls dangle. There is no fixed program with us. We do whatever we feel like doing. That has two advantages: First, it’s never boring and monotonous for both dog and owner. Secondly – very important to me – the dogs do not demand. There are certain things they cannot demand if they do not see a fixed pattern. I don’t mind if there are dog owners who say: Every Tuesday I go cycling with my dog and every Thursday there is the ball.
Since my shift schedule is always changing and I don’t have fixed working hours, I couldn’t create a fixed “work schedule” for our day without having dogs sitting at home at the end of it, wondering now that nothing is happening and then I’d have the salad: restless dogs alone at home’. Every dog owner knows what near-death experience furniture and doors have at this moment 😉 To cut a long story short: I always build a solid doggy dog into the day without filling it with content. The content comes spontaneously and brazenly.
After the big gas round we laze together and I have time for myself. I can put my head in a book and cuddle with the dogs or watch a movie. Sometimes I don’t get half of the film because I watch the dogs sleeping. Hard to believe, but sleeping dogs can be very fascinating. Sometimes the dogs play a round among themselves (the big advantage of having more than one dog) while I paint my nails or do the household. To finish the day, the pack goes to the door before going to bed to loosen up. The next day we start all over again – in familiar sections and new, shared fun.
Dogs have needs that you as a dog owner have to take care of. But these needs are not as complex as it is always presented today. It is the simple things that make our four-legged friends happy: Spending time together, as a pack. If you take time for your dog every day, feed and groom him and give him the peace and quiet he needs, he is already happy. Sometimes less is more – also in dog keeping.
Working and a dog – it works.