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Do You Know What Your Dog is Up to When You Are Away?

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Jessie, the well-behaved dog, knowledge of many things, expert on few:  It happens every day.  You humans leave your homes and keep us behind, left to take care of ourselves for a bit and find some way to relieve the boredom until you return later in the day.  It’s a ritual for us.  We are used to it, but do you ever wonder about what we REALLY do once you back out of the driveway?

My Wheaten Terrier buddy, Naismith, would like to convince his humans that he immediately races to the couch, grabs the remote, flips to “E” Entertainment Television, and commands the younger dog, Bolt, to pop some corn in the microwave.  After all, on some days, it would appear that the dogs have had  a great time in their owner’s absence.  The owner will come home and find a few things  not quite the way she left them.  For the most part, however, Naismith and his partner in crime usually just retreat to their own special corners of the home office and snooze until someone walks in the door.  On occasion, they might sneak up on the comfy couch and let the sun beaming in from the windows warm up their bodies, but they usually tend to just snore away the time.  Once that garage door goes up, however, they enthusiastically bark as if to suggest, “We’ve been good! We’ve been good!  We barked at every person who walked by the house and scared them away!  Got any treats for us?”

Most dogs will do what these two dogs do when left home alone:  sleep.  They may sniff around for  a bit at first, but, they usually just do a brief assessment of the situation, realize you have left, and plop down on the floor to await your return, chasing cats and cars in only their dreams.

There are some dogs, however, that do not handle being alone very well.  They may have excess energy or just a tad bit more enthusiasm than your average dog.  You may come home after a couple of hours and find some chewed up carpet, shoes, or furniture edges.  Someone’s been busy while you’ve been away, and they are letting you know they aren’t too happy with your absence.  Boredom is not their thing.

In such cases, it might be wise to invest in a pet sitter or doggie day care if you are going to be away for several hours. A reliable pet sitter, like those from Joy of Living in Kansas City, can stop by your home a couple of times each day and provide some fun and entertainment for your special dog.

In Naismith’s case, in his earlier days, his human used to put him in a small room with toys, food, and water if she was going to be away for a couple of hours.  As Naismith grew accustomed to the solitude, his boundaries within the home broadened.  He pretty much rules the roost now when his human is away. Admittedly, he will get up on the “forbidden” couch, but if that is the least of what he does, then his owner is not too upset.  Maybe one of these days she will plop down on his doggie bed and see what he thinks of that!

(Thanks to for insight on this fun topic!)


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