You can learn a lot from a dog.
1. Dogs Know The Routine
Every morning, after we say goodbye to 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 her bed where she stays for the first two hours of the day, at least. On mornings when 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 more toys, barks more, does more leg tunnels, or just stares at Adam until she sees him getting closer to leaving, as if to say, “Don’t you have some place to be? You’re throwing my schedule off.”
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. On cold or rainy days, a short walk is still doable (and particularly refreshing – that cold blast of air really gets all the senses going!).
3. We Get By With A Little Help From Our 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 – mixes of Dido, Alexi Murdoch, The Beatles, and if we’re feeling jaunty, the Glee cast or Hootie and The Blowfish.
4. You Need To Eat And They Will Try To Share
I like to snack while I work. I eat my way through the day with quick grabs of yogourt, fresh fruit, cut veggies, juices, water, tea, etc. Some snacks Juno has gotten used to and has no interest in. Others, she vehemently 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, Ziploc bags or any other crinkly-sound packaging. I don’t give in, and she still tries every day.
5. The Mail Man Is Here To See The Dog
Any time the front porch thumps, the world as we know it ends, and all living beings are summoned to the front door. 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” company at the front door are treated equally), so it’s best to latch the glass screen door!
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) and stare at me from across the room or chase her tail, all in a bid for my attention. This dog is a one-woman sideshow; honestly, I could charge admission. Solid leg nudges also work, as do borrowing shoes or dishtowels and proudly marching around with them, head held high. Juno’s dinner time is around 4:30PM and Adam comes home about an hour later in time for the “big walk”, so I schedule my day to end by 4PM. It’s easier for everyone!
What about you? Are you a dog owner who works from home? Do you manage certain parts of your day differently because your dog is with you?