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Old 11-23-2012, 11:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Poodle/Life Balance

I hope this doesn't sound silly. But how do you achieve a good Poodle/life balance. Meaning, how do you own a Poodle and still have a life of your own? Ralph is at home during the day while we are at work. If I have something to do in the evening on a work day I always make sure the husband is home to keep Ralph company. WHen my husband is out of town I cancel my evening commitment (usually a yoga class or something) by saying "sorry, i can't come tonight, I have to stay home with my Poodle". I sure do get some strange looks. I mean, I feel terrible, he's alone all day, he shouldnt be alone in the evening. BUT, I also need to get out and do things sometimes and it is not possible to have a Poodle sitter for him. For example, would it be WRONG of me to jump out for an hour or so two nights a week? Is that cruel? I would like to add that Ralph is FAR from neglected. He gets TWO walks EVERY day. We go to classes with him 1 to 2 times/week, dog park twice/week, doggy daycare etc etc. On the evenings I would be leaving him for a bit, I would come home, walk, feed, play etc for about 3-4 hours before I had to duck back out. Is this reasonable? I miss having a life outside of Poodle entertaining! How do you guys do it? Suggestions?
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When you figure it out, please let me know!
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Very hard to do, short of getting a poodle for the poodle or a work-at-home job!
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Your dog is very lucky! For us, we're going on 15 months of poodle ownership. One of us gets up at 6am for a 45 min walk with our poodle. I race home at lunch to give the dog a walk everyday, so I bow out of office activities (but not evening things!). Someone walks him while the other person makes dinner or someone runs with him (1 hour, couple times/week). We've done obedience for a few sessions while the other person is home with the kids. If I go out for the evening, I make sure to top up face time with our poodle earlier in the day. So long as he's by my side in the house, I don't feel that bad about going out in the evening. I play with him in the house too (he's learning to crawl).
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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HUMMM, is there life after poodle ? I have 5, so much for getting a poodle for the poodle . PLEASE, let us know if you get this worked out.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I work part-time and that leaves me alot of time home with my poodles. But I still don't want to leave them for a day trip ect. My husband thinks it is so crazy because we have willing family to come by and check on them,let them out ect. I still don't want to go. I understand how you feel, the differance is, I am fine with it. I just wish my honey would feel the same ...
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ha, ha me again; I seem to need to comment on all of your posts! I think you should definitely go out again if you want to, after work. The key is exercise for Ralph and as long as he's getting enough, he'll grow to be happy with his human time when you're there, and chewing toys and sleeping when you're not. I think with your dog and our dogs (who are approx. the same age), as they get older they will feel more comfortable when we're not around. Not that it happens much! But in the evenings our dogs tend to start snoozing around 6:30 p.m. or so, and then having bursts of wild wrestling, then more snoozing. So that's pretty much what they would do if we weren't here in the evenings too, I imagine; especially as they get older and don't have quite the same level of puppy rambunctiousness. I hope!!
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It sounds like you just need assurance that it's OK to leave him home a few more hours a couple of times a week?

I don't see a problem with that at all. Your dog is getting a lot of stimulation throughout the week and you will likely see signs if he isn't getting enough stimulation.

But if you still feel guilty, something I have taken to doing now that our weather is cooler is bringing our girl with me when I run errands. So when I go garage sailing, to the market, etc she comes with and hangs in the car. During the summer I encouraged friends to do more dog friendly things (ie happy hour/lunch/dinner in places with dog friendly patios). My girl has made an impression upon a few of the non-dog people in my circle (she is incredibly calm and well behaved for a 1 yo dog - by nature, not nurture) and she is welcome in homes/situations were other dogs are not. We have a rug/crate pad we bring with us and in less dog friendly places (ie other peoples homes were she has been welcomed but we don't want to impose) she is made to stay on her rug.

Maybe look for a "yoga in the park" class?
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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One thing I always wrestle with, too. I always remember what Sunny's breeder said to me several times when I first adopted him and was struggling with work/life/poodle balance. "remember Deb, he will fit into to your lifestyle, not the other way around.". Easier said than done!
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It is OK to leave him alone for 3-4 hours while you go have fun in the evenings! I do every now and then, I just don't like staying out past 10PM because I need time to unwind on top of walking and feeding dogs. I don't feel guilty for leaving them during the evening as long as I've done at least one fun thing with them during the day. My dogs are with people almost 24/7 though. They hang out with me at work, and when they stay home - my husband is there. It's also OK to admit that sometimes hanging out with your poodle or other pets is more fun than hanging out with friends
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