Jul 28, 2010

Big Changes Ahead for Bandit

I had a job interview last Wednesday and found out just this past Monday that I got the job.  Exciting, yes, but this news also comes with a little bit of apprehension since I've been home with Bandit 24 hours a day since we brought him home.  I had a home-based job which allowed me ample time to play anytime and take him for walks anytime, and he could lay beside me while I worked.  I quit that job in May to focus on finishing up school, so I have had even more time to devote to Bandit since I wasn't a slave to the computer any longer.  Life will change significantly from our normal routine beginning August 9, my first day on the job.

We'll be easing Bandit into this routine a little bit as I got tapped for jury duty a couple of weeks after I finished my school work and graduated, and jury duty starts tomorrow at the downtown courthouse in Seattle.  My new job will be in downtown Seattle as well.

If anyone has any hints or great advice regarding these big changes for Bandit and their effect on what he's been used to, please pass them along! 


Kerry said...

I am looking forward to seeing what people say on this too- I'll be subbing starting in mid September-October, and it will be a huge change for Kirby! I'll be thinking of you guys! I hope he adapts quickly! :)

Sharper said...

I read about how separation anxiety can come from a complete schedule change, like what will be happening. The first step is not to make a big deal of when you leave and when you get back home. Don't say your goodbyes with cuddles and smooches. Then he'll think it's a big deal that you are going away forever. If you come home and make a big deal about seeing him again, like it's a huge reunion, it can trigger separation anxiety every time you leave then. If you don't make it a big deal, he won't think it's a big deal. The book I read said to ignore the dog for the first couple of minutes after you get home. Get home, go change clothes, take off your shoes, whatever. Then sit down and then give him attention.

Also, start by leaving the house for an hour or two at a time. Go shopping, go to a friends house, whatever. That way Bandit can get used to you not being there in small doses and work it up to bigger doses.

Use tons of mental stimulation. A lot of treat dispenser puzzles. I got Reuben this big orange ball that has a ton of craters in it. The trick is only one of those craters is a hole that you put kibble in. He has to roll it all over the floor to find the treats. This keeps him busy for a long time. Stuffed kongs is another good one. Just things to keep his mind off that you are away. Plus if he's getting the most awesome goodies while you aren't there, then it won't be such a bad trade off.

I also heard that you can leave the tv or radio on. The constant chatter on the TV creates a comforting white noise.

Hope this helps!! Congrats on the job!

Bandit's Pack said...

Wow, Sharper! Thanks for all the good advice! You make some good points about not making things a big huge ordeal when I'm leaving the house and returning - good tips!

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Khongrats to all -

BTW, Mom is doing a transport this Saturday that will be her furst Aussie Shep Fella!

He's a Blue Merle and oh boy, what a handsome one from the pikh she's received!

He's going from SC to Ottawa ONT!


Bella/Dodger/Izzie said...

N.....What Sharper said is so true and I have read that same advice in several articles. I don't make a big deal when I leave in the morning nor when I get home. They know the schedule and are totally cool with it. It was funny when I left this morning because I had cleaned and rearranged things in the garage yesterday. I moved their oversized chair they sleep on to a different spot. They all trotted down to the garage this morning and went right to where the chair used to be and looked around totally confused. I had to physically pick them up and put them on the chair. Once I had done that they were happy.

Charlie said...

Congrats on the job! Charlie actually LOVES Animal Planet.. it sounds weird but when I put him in his crate to go to work I turn it on and within a few seconds of hearing something bark growl or pur he is staring at the TV intently! Neighborhood kids are also a great asset (dog walkers!!)

George the Lad said...

Congrats on the job, I was just going to type a long comment out then I read Sharper's that's good info and have used this on George, I do also leave the radio on low so there's some back ground noise, the sooner you start doing this the better it will also put your mind a rest, before you start the new job.
Let us know how you get on.
Best wishes Jan xxx

George the Lad said...

The other thing which I forgot to say, get into a routine, a good walk with him before you go to work even if it means you have to get up earlier, will also help.
All the Best Jan

Josie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog a couple of months ago. Sorry I took so long to stop by...I took some time off...I just started blogging again...congrats on the new job, but I understand your concerns for beautiful Bandit. Love him...he's so handsome. I could just eat him up!!! I can't wait to catch up on all his adventures. I guess lots of toys are in his future. Maybe a dogwalker too, to ease some of the stress of being alone.
Much Love, MB, Josie and Blues

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Oh little beautiful Bandit...you will be just fine! Mommie will agonize over being away from you, but you will be just fine. Mommie will rush home as fast as she can from her new job, but you will be just fine. Honestly!

I am retired now but three of my shelties have had to be alone for a number of hours each day when I was working full-time. Yet, they were just fine. I was a basket-case at first but then I, too, WAS JUST FINE! Good luck on the new job and give that cute fur kid a kiss for me!