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Hello From A Newbie, And Some Questions!


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Guest whiteram

Hello all! I've been lurking on GT for a few years now since the middle of college, and I have in that time been dreaming of the day when I can adopt my own retired greyhound. Now that I'm married, my husband and I have been realistically planning on getting a dog, and we think a greyhound would be great for our living situation and personalities (more like I persuaded him, haha). I'm a little hesitant, though, because I want to provide our future grey with as best a life as possible. We're looking to adopt sometime next summer, which is the summer before I start clinical rotations at vet school. Most days when I'm in clinics, the dog would be alone for up to 8 or 9 hours at the very most, but I can foresee that there would be some rare days where my husband's and my schedules can't work around each other and the dog would be alone for up to 11 hours, which is worrisome. I know that this can be doable (assuming there are no SA issues), especially with greys, but I'm a worrywart. If that can't be done, well.. having no dog would be better than having an unhappy dog, and I'd be sad but willing to postpone my dream of adopting a greyhound.

 

We're also planning on moving apartments next summer to a 1- or possibly 2-bedroom. The size of the apartment will, in part, depend on the dog's needs. Would a 1 bedroom apartment be too small for a grey, especially since we also have two cats? I'm eager to hear all opinions, and please don't hold back!

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Guest DragonflyDM

Greyhound will do well in a small apartment. My only concern would be the cats. In a place that small-- even with a cat-friendly greyhound-- that may be too little room to let the cat's have their space. My dog gets along wth the cats-- but is possessive of his dog bed (and my bed when he is on it). But I have plenty of room for the cats to retire to and walk away. A cat that is being cornered or growled at, or even dominated by dog ALL THE TIME (because of no space) may eventually become aggressive out of fear. (cat's need an escape route and escape safe place to hang.

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Guest whiteram

Oh, that's a great point. Although we can't wait to adopt a dog, our cats were our first pets, and not giving them space to defend themselves and feel safe would be unfair.

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Guest DragonflyDM

Oh, that's a great point. Although we can't wait to adopt a dog, our cats were our first pets, and not giving them space to defend themselves and feel safe would be unfair.

 

Watch that cat whisperer show on Animal Planet. I thought it was hokey at first...but I have learned a LOT about cat behavior from that show. Especially multiple cat and cat-dog intereaction.

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Guest SparrowLake

Have you considered or researched dog walking services in your area as part of your planning process? There have been several recent start-ups in my area with the going rate at $16 per half hour. This could be a solution to your long days.

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Guest whiteram

Have you considered or researched dog walking services in your area as part of your planning process? There have been several recent start-ups in my area with the going rate at $16 per half hour. This could be a solution to your long days.

 

Yes, I've considered it, and I am definitely willing, since those long days will be rare. I know of a couple who leaves their greyhound at home for 10-12 hours on the weekdays while they're at work. They say their dog is fine with it and doesn't have any SA issues. They know their dog much better than I do, of course, but the fact that the dog was alone at home for so long made me worry a bit. I just wanted to know if that was common practice with greyhounds, and if getting a dogwalker would be absolutely necessary for such long days.

 

Watch that cat whisperer show on Animal Planet. I thought it was hokey at first...but I have learned a LOT about cat behavior from that show. Especially multiple cat and cat-dog intereaction.

 

I thought it was hokey at first, too! I've seen several episodes but not any yet that have dealt with dog-cat interaction. I'll try to catch more episodes in the near future.

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Guest Wasserbuffel

Since most of your days will be the average 8-9 hours, I'd say go for it. Line up a dog walker, friend, family member, someone with the adoption group you can exchange doggy favors with, or neighbor you can count on for the occasional long days (or a couple to be safe).

 

I don't think a one bedroom apt is necessarily too small for a grey and two cats. I know my grey and two cats could certainly live in such a space easily. Our whole family (two humans, two cats, and the dog) spend the bulk of our time in just the living room, which is little larger than a apt living room. The cats are locked out of the bedroom at night (they stomp all over us), and the dog is crated during the day, but even when she's not crated they don't have problems. She'll occasionally give a growl if a cat gets too close, but they mind and back off. The reverse is also true if she gets too close to one of the cats who is a little grumpy. A couple times an unwary cat has jumped onto the couch and landed on her face, she's never reacted in those cases.

 

It does, of course, depend on the dynamic between the animals, but it certainly can be done.

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You sound just like me! I cannot opine on the cat issue, but, like you, we were worried about leaving the dog home for 8-10 hours. But, we have arrangements with family and a dog-walker to come let him out and walk him in the middle of the day, so he never goes the full day alone. We're lucky in that we don't have any SA issues and he's ok with being an only dog.

 

I recall watching a time-lapse video another GT member posted of her dog who was left home alone all day. The video was entitled something along the lines of "I'll never feel guilty leaving my dog home for __ hours again." It was very re-assuring...and hilarious, as the dog did pretty much nothing but sleep. It really is true, that most of them have very short bursts of energy...and then they're down and out before you know it.

 

I don't think a one bedroom would be terrible, depending on the layout. Our dog would be completely fine with just our downstairs area, consisting of the living room, dining room, and kitchen. We throw toys from one end of the house to the other and he chases after them. It only take about 5 throws before he's had enough.

 

Best of luck!

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Greyhounds don't need much space .. at the track they are kept in cages which are about 30x50 (or so). The 11 hour day is probably not going to be doable, so it's best not to count on leaving a dog alone for that long. A dog might hold it but, I can't see an adoption agency being OK with adopting out to a family that will leave the dog for 11 hours. Best to line up a pet walker to come over at mid-day.

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Welcome! Can't speak to the space or car issues, but I will say that we have two hounds in a three bed apartment and they spend all of their time either on our bed or in the living room with us. We might as well have only a two room awartment. As for leaving the hound alone, it will depend on the hound. Ours aren't left alone for more than about 8 hours. They sleep. When I'mn gone for 14 hours, and my husband comes home, they don't get off the bed till I arrive home. They won't walk for him unless I really can't. So I'd say, if you can get a dog walker, go for it!

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I am a student and I live alone with not one, but two greyhounds in a very small apartment. No one complains :) Most of the time I hardly know they are there!!!

I think your situation is totally doable if you can set up someone to take the dog out in the middle of the day of your rare long days.

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Guest BlackandTan

my house is on the small side and there are 2 adults, 3 cats and 3 greyhounds in it....We just leave a pee-pee pad down during the day just in case they cant hold it.

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all this talk about dog walkers, do they really exist I thought it was just something that happened on tv. I only know one lady who has someone in to walk her dogs (it is one of her friends) and that only happens because she has an injury that makes it hard for her to walk her dogs. I really thought it was a make out job that happened only in tv land. I do know of people who come in to feed dogs when owners away as an alternative to boarding kennels but that is all. I didn't even know people put their dogs into crates either while they were out working. I guess everyone I know with pet dogs have well fenced yards to keep them in, I know it definitely isn't something commonly done in Australia. I understand in areas where/when it snows dogs couldn't be kept outside especially a grey with it's fine coat so I'm not having a go at anyone, just expressing my surprise.

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Guest whiteram

Thank you so much for your advice and kind words, everyone! Your responses have all been very encouraging. I feel much better about thinking about adopting a greyhound now; it doesn't seem like such an impossibility with the threat of a 1-bedroom apartment looming in the future. I will still definitely ask for the adoption group's advice on what they recommend, and if they can hopefully place with us a hound who would be comfortable and happy with our living situation. I will also look for dog walkers in our town when the time comes.

 

all this talk about dog walkers, do they really exist I thought it was just something that happened on tv. I only know one lady who has someone in to walk her dogs (it is one of her friends) and that only happens because she has an injury that makes it hard for her to walk her dogs. I really thought it was a make out job that happened only in tv land. I do know of people who come in to feed dogs when owners away as an alternative to boarding kennels but that is all. I didn't even know people put their dogs into crates either while they were out working. I guess everyone I know with pet dogs have well fenced yards to keep them in, I know it definitely isn't something commonly done in Australia. I understand in areas where/when it snows dogs couldn't be kept outside especially a grey with it's fine coat so I'm not having a go at anyone, just expressing my surprise.

 

Haha, yes, they do exist! If I search "dog walker" onto Yelp.com in my city, a list of 7 dog walking businesses pops up. I'm sure the number is many times greater in a more urban area, as I am in the suburbs. I think the prevalence is a somewhat recent phenomenon. Who knows; maybe you'll see something similar in Australia in the future...

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Haha, yes, they do exist! If I search "dog walker" onto Yelp.com in my city, a list of 7 dog walking businesses pops up. I'm sure the number is many times greater in a more urban area, as I am in the suburbs. I think the prevalence is a somewhat recent phenomenon. Who knows; maybe you'll see something similar in Australia in the future...

 

 

:hehe I just googled it and we do have dog walkers here :hehe jeez they know how to charge too, but I guess they wouldn't be getting 8 hours a day for the work. I did know they have people who come to your home when your on holidays to feed and water them who will walk them but that is a bit different to having it done on a regular basis. I'd rather walk them myself than pay someone to do it.

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all this talk about dog walkers, do they really exist I thought it was just something that happened on tv. I only know one lady who has someone in to walk her dogs (it is one of her friends) and that only happens because she has an injury that makes it hard for her to walk her dogs. I really thought it was a make out job that happened only in tv land. I do know of people who come in to feed dogs when owners away as an alternative to boarding kennels but that is all. I didn't even know people put their dogs into crates either while they were out working. I guess everyone I know with pet dogs have well fenced yards to keep them in, I know it definitely isn't something commonly done in Australia. I understand in areas where/when it snows dogs couldn't be kept outside especially a grey with it's fine coat so I'm not having a go at anyone, just expressing my surprise.

I love reading your posts because I think the difference of having greyhounds in Australia vs. Canada is SO interesting! It blows my mind to think of a place where leaving the dogs outside is feasible... summer OR winter... and I know from your posts that you do it right, with lots of shade, raised beds, kiddie pools, etc. MAN that sounds nice!

 

Anyways, to the OP, I feel like I wrote your first message. I have known since high school that greyhounds were for me and stalked the local adoption sites, greytalk, and anything I could find to get my greyhound fix... for TEN whole years. But I knew I wouldn't get one until I could be fully responsible... So I understand your dilemma.

I truly think the one bedroom thing isn't an issue if you can try and block off a bedroom with a baby gate so the cats can have access but the dog cannot. We live in a house with a backyard, but it is only a 700 sq. ft. house, with two cats and the greyhound. It really isn't an issue. I wouldn't worry too hard about space, as long as the pup exercises he can probably be happy in a one bedroom apartment.

As for dog walkers, I agree that in your situation, you would need one on hand. Our boy can hold it for 10 hours (usually when he is stressed, not when we make him do this), but still. I would not trust ANY of the dog walkers in my community with our grey. They all seem to be teenage girls that walk around talking on their phone with a dog at the end of the leash.... no care for the dog (sorry, VENT!). Anyways, you can probably trust other dog owners in your area over hiring a random dog walker, and pay the same price. Maybe if you watch and see who has dogs of similar size and walks them regularly during the day... then perhaps approach them and ask if they would be willing to stop and pick up your dog for a walk along with theirs, for a price.

Good luck. Please adopt as soon as you feel good about it... I worried about having every single detail of life into place before we adopted. But when it comes down to it... if you have love and time to give, and little space to share... it'll work out. Not every grey owner needs to have fully fenced acres, work from home, and thousands in the bank for vet bills. Is that a dreamy situation? Yes. But can you be great greyhound home without? I think also yes. Just be honest with yourself. When you feel ready, you probably are.

Good luck.

siggie_zpse3afb243.jpg

 

Bri and Mike with Boo Radley (Williejohnwalker), Bubba (Carlos Danger), and the feline friends foes, Loois and Amir

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all this talk about dog walkers, do they really exist I thought it was just something that happened on tv. I only know one lady who has someone in to walk her dogs (it is one of her friends) and that only happens because she has an injury that makes it hard for her to walk her dogs. I really thought it was a make out job that happened only in tv land. I do know of people who come in to feed dogs when owners away as an alternative to boarding kennels but that is all. I didn't even know people put their dogs into crates either while they were out working. I guess everyone I know with pet dogs have well fenced yards to keep them in, I know it definitely isn't something commonly done in Australia. I understand in areas where/when it snows dogs couldn't be kept outside especially a grey with it's fine coat so I'm not having a go at anyone, just expressing my surprise.

I love reading your posts because I think the difference of having greyhounds in Australia vs. Canada is SO interesting! It blows my mind to think of a place where leaving the dogs outside is feasible... summer OR winter... and I know from your posts that you do it right, with lots of shade, raised beds, kiddie pools, etc. MAN that sounds nice!

 

Anyways, to the OP, I feel like I wrote your first message. I have known since high school that greyhounds were for me and stalked the local adoption sites, greytalk, and anything I could find to get my greyhound fix... for TEN whole years. But I knew I wouldn't get one until I could be fully responsible... So I understand your dilemma.

I truly think the one bedroom thing isn't an issue if you can try and block off a bedroom with a baby gate so the cats can have access but the dog cannot. We live in a house with a backyard, but it is only a 700 sq. ft. house, with two cats and the greyhound. It really isn't an issue. I wouldn't worry too hard about space, as long as the pup exercises he can probably be happy in a one bedroom apartment.

As for dog walkers, I agree that in your situation, you would need one on hand. Our boy can hold it for 10 hours (usually when he is stressed, not when we make him do this), but still. I would not trust ANY of the dog walkers in my community with our grey. They all seem to be teenage girls that walk around talking on their phone with a dog at the end of the leash.... no care for the dog (sorry, VENT!). Anyways, you can probably trust other dog owners in your area over hiring a random dog walker, and pay the same price. Maybe if you watch and see who has dogs of similar size and walks them regularly during the day... then perhaps approach them and ask if they would be willing to stop and pick up your dog for a walk along with theirs, for a price.

Good luck. Please adopt as soon as you feel good about it... I worried about having every single detail of life into place before we adopted. But when it comes down to it... if you have love and time to give, and little space to share... it'll work out. Not every grey owner needs to have fully fenced acres, work from home, and thousands in the bank for vet bills. Is that a dreamy situation? Yes. But can you be great greyhound home without? I think also yes. Just be honest with yourself. When you feel ready, you probably are.

Good luck.

 

 

I already have a greyhound had him 4 months today, I also have a Merle Koolie who is about the size of a border collie. I take them out for walks 5 times a week. We have a reasonable sized back yard in fact a lot of homes around the area we live in have been demolished and two homes put onto the block so the dogs have a reasonable running area.

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I got Summit when I was in my third year of vet school. He was alone on average 9 hours a day and other days even longer. He was 5.5 years old when we got him so he was pretty mellow already. Our foster was 3 and was also fine with my long days. I probably wouldn't recommend a 2 year old though.

 

If you can wait until after vet school it might be worth it, simply because you're thinking of starting out in your final year. Third year was a lot of work adding in a new dog but it would have been way worse starting out in fourth year. Do you know for sure that most of your days will only be 8-9 hours? On certain rotations I literally had to demand to be allowed to go home for an hour in order to eat dinner and (more importantly to me) take the dog out and feed him. Many days I was at school from 6:30 AM until 9 PM and only able to go home from about 6-7 PM. So glad those days are over. :)

 

It's definitely do-able, just don't underestimate the kind of hell that is final year vet school!

 

ETA: When we go Summit we lived in a 2 bedroom apartment, though as far as the dog was concerned it might as well have been a bachelor because he basically spent all his time in our bedroom. Sometimes he came out into the living room, but he never went in our second bedroom and barely set foot in the kitchen. He absolutely refused to go down the hall to our bathroom (but all our animals did, I'm not sure what the problem was but they all seemed to have issues with the footing). We recently moved into a bungalow and have almost twice the amount of space. He does go into every room but he still spends about 90% of his time in one bedroom!

Edited by krissy

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest whiteram

I got Summit when I was in my third year of vet school. He was alone on average 9 hours a day and other days even longer. He was 5.5 years old when we got him so he was pretty mellow already. Our foster was 3 and was also fine with my long days. I probably wouldn't recommend a 2 year old though.

 

If you can wait until after vet school it might be worth it, simply because you're thinking of starting out in your final year. Third year was a lot of work adding in a new dog but it would have been way worse starting out in fourth year. Do you know for sure that most of your days will only be 8-9 hours? On certain rotations I literally had to demand to be allowed to go home for an hour in order to eat dinner and (more importantly to me) take the dog out and feed him. Many days I was at school from 6:30 AM until 9 PM and only able to go home from about 6-7 PM. So glad those days are over. :)

 

It's definitely do-able, just don't underestimate the kind of hell that is final year vet school!

 

ETA: When we go Summit we lived in a 2 bedroom apartment, though as far as the dog was concerned it might as well have been a bachelor because he basically spent all his time in our bedroom. Sometimes he came out into the living room, but he never went in our second bedroom and barely set foot in the kitchen. He absolutely refused to go down the hall to our bathroom (but all our animals did, I'm not sure what the problem was but they all seemed to have issues with the footing). We recently moved into a bungalow and have almost twice the amount of space. He does go into every room but he still spends about 90% of his time in one bedroom!

 

Oh my god, thanks so much for your advice! I have very little concept of what fourth year will be like, but I know clinics will be a LOT of long hours. Handover of responsibilities is definitely something I have to discuss with my husband before the dog comes. Actually, next summer (when we're tentatively planning to adopt) will be the summer before my third year. At my school, we start clinics in the second semester of third year, and clinics continue through the summer of third year and onto fourth year. I'll still take classes during the first semester of my third year, so I know the hours will be shorter then, and hopefully that'll leave me enough time to work with a new dog. Was Summit okay with being left along for 9 hours from the get-go, or did you have to ease him into it? How much exercise did he need? Do you crate him?

 

I know my days (even in third year) will actually be more than 8-9 hours, but 8-9 hours is the probably the max amount of time the hound would be completely alone. My husband is a student, too, but he only has a couple of classes and is usually home for much more time than I am, so we'll be able to take turns taking the dog out. When I'm gone on externships my husband would solely be responsible for the dog.

 

If you don't mind me asking, what were your longest rotations? I'm guessing they'd probably be small animal, large animal, and ER?

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Oh my god, thanks so much for your advice! I have very little concept of what fourth year will be like, but I know clinics will be a LOT of long hours. Handover of responsibilities is definitely something I have to discuss with my husband before the dog comes. Actually, next summer (when we're tentatively planning to adopt) will be the summer before my third year. At my school, we start clinics in the second semester of third year, and clinics continue through the summer of third year and onto fourth year. I'll still take classes during the first semester of my third year, so I know the hours will be shorter then, and hopefully that'll leave me enough time to work with a new dog. Was Summit okay with being left along for 9 hours from the get-go, or did you have to ease him into it? How much exercise did he need? Do you crate him?

 

I know my days (even in third year) will actually be more than 8-9 hours, but 8-9 hours is the probably the max amount of time the hound would be completely alone. My husband is a student, too, but he only has a couple of classes and is usually home for much more time than I am, so we'll be able to take turns taking the dog out. When I'm gone on externships my husband would solely be responsible for the dog.

 

If you don't mind me asking, what were your longest rotations? I'm guessing they'd probably be small animal, large animal, and ER?

 

We had a foster before we got Summit. Sunny was straight off the track and we had him for 3 weeks until he was vetted and ready to go to his new home. He was crated the entire time he was with us. Less than a week later we went and picked up Summit. He was a bounce. He'd been in a home for 2.5 years already and was no longer being crated. However, we rented so we put him back in a crate and he didn't really mind. He was in the crate 8-9 hours during the day and then again overnight. A few months later we started leaving the crate door open at night. And after about 3-4 months he started to balk at being crated during the day. He was still good in his crate and he'd still go in but he had that little bit of hesitation. Since he'd never given us any reason to doubt him we started leaving him loose in the bedroom (baby gated) on short outings or when I had a short day at school. But we basically just threw him into our routine and he adapted. With the foster I would come home at lunch or if I had a spare hour just to let him out since he was still learning about housetraining.

 

I took Summit with me to my externship and to my external rotation at OSU. He goes everywhere with me since I am his main caretaker. My boyfriend would sometimes get home a few hours before me and when I got home he still hadn't walked the dog. Which was no biggie and honestly I was often disappointed when I got home from school and BF had walked Summit. Because it meant I had no excuse not to just sit down and start studying even though I really needed a break first.

 

Worst rotations: Internal Medicine (Large animal and small animal... but small by FAR the worst rotation EVER), Surgery (both large animal and small animal, but again small animal was worse), ICU (mostly because it was shift work and I have trouble sleeping), neurology (but only because we were on a cutting week).

 

Those weeks I couldn't make it to the gym, I barely walked the dog, I hardly slept. It was just hell and I was SO glad I had a mellow greyhound who could sleep 21 hours a day instead of something needing exercise.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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I think it totally depends on the dog. Our Cherry was left at home for up to 10-11 hours a day while we worked. She was able to do this until 13.5 year old, then we had to get a dog walker at noon time. She had never had any SA and as far as we could tell, almost never got off the couch the whole time. When we would come home, she would trot to the door for some good loving, get a big drink of water, and then wait to be taken on her walk. It seemed with Cherry that she self regulated her water intake until she knew a walk was coming soon. She was a very smart cookie and very easy to leave extended periods at home. Again, I think it all depends on the dog. You might want to foster for awhile to see how the individual dog would work for you if that is an option.

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I already have a greyhound had him 4 months today, I also have a Merle Koolie who is about the size of a border collie. I take them out for walks 5 times a week. We have a reasonable sized back yard in fact a lot of homes around the area we live in have been demolished and two homes put onto the block so the dogs have a reasonable running area.

 

Yes, my first part of the post was directed at you. Where it says 'Anyways, to the OP', I was actually speaking to the OP, Whiteram. Sorry for the confusion.

siggie_zpse3afb243.jpg

 

Bri and Mike with Boo Radley (Williejohnwalker), Bubba (Carlos Danger), and the feline friends foes, Loois and Amir

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Guest whiteram

I think it totally depends on the dog. Our Cherry was left at home for up to 10-11 hours a day while we worked. She was able to do this until 13.5 year old, then we had to get a dog walker at noon time. She had never had any SA and as far as we could tell, almost never got off the couch the whole time. When we would come home, she would trot to the door for some good loving, get a big drink of water, and then wait to be taken on her walk. It seemed with Cherry that she self regulated her water intake until she knew a walk was coming soon. She was a very smart cookie and very easy to leave extended periods at home. Again, I think it all depends on the dog. You might want to foster for awhile to see how the individual dog would work for you if that is an option.

 

Thank you! Cherry sounds like she was such a lovely dog. Fostering may be an option and I am definitely up for it.

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