Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guilt-Stricken Parents

Every day I go to school, and I have to leave my Milt.  I cannot possibly describe how difficult this has been for me.  The guilt is overwhelming, and all throughout my day I find myself thinking, "What is poor Milt doing right now?  He must be so bored."

Thankfully, Jeff and I have worked out a little schedule to make things more pleasant for our first born AKA our goldendoodle.  Three days a week, Milton goes to doggie daycare; he loves it!  (More details on daycare in another post.)  The other two days, the Milt stays home.

As you saw in Tuesday's post, Milton is gated in a really big area stretching from kitchen to bathroom.  On a typical day, I leave for work by 7A.M., and Jeff follows at around 8A.M.  First, to get the Milt ready to be sequestered, I wake up early to walk him for a solid hour around the neighborhood.  By the time we get back, Milton is super tired and on average will sleep for a good three hours (I know this from our summertime walks).  Jeff returns home around lunchtime to stay with the Milt for 30 - 40 minutes.  Then I arrive home by 4:30P.M.  All in all, the Milt is alone for 7.5 hours.  I absolutely detest this time frame, but I think his fun days at doggie daycare really make up for his lousy stay at home stints.

What do we do to occupy the Milt while we're gone?  Well, take a look:

Dog music

First, I quietly play this CD, "Through a Dog's Ear" ( from my laptop to soothe the Milt while we are away.  The selection features piano arrangements by famous composers, like Bach and Rachmanioff, whose music's tempo has been slowed to calm your dog when you leave him alone for a long period, during a thunderstorm, etc.  We are uncertain if it actually has a huge affect on the Milt, but it certainly makes me feel better. 

Next, we purchased a Buster Cube for the Milt, also from Amazon.  The way this works is you drop food or treats down into the central core, and your dog needs to flip the cube in order to get the treats to fall out.  You can adjust the core for the difficulty level. 

Hidden food

Let's just say, it is not the Milt's favorite toy because it does require a good deal of effort.  I did buy him the "Genius Level" cube though, so that could explain part of the problem.  Anyway, it is fun to use this toy along with him.

Of course, we throw in the old, familiar Kong.  On its own, it does not excite the Milt, like it does for some other dogs, but we jazz it up a bit.  We fill the Kong with a mixture of food and treats, and then we pour chicken broth inside and stuff the main hole with a sweet potato, peanut butter, etc.  Throw the Kong in the freezer overnight, and it adds a whole other element.  Milton is much more interested in extracting treats from this toy than the other one.

Filled with delicious treats.
Frozen water

We leave the Milt a bowl of ice cubes instead of water, so that he can slide, glide these along the floor for another activity.

All of these key elements, along with selective chew toys, combine to create the Milt's "Amusement Park" at home.  While Momma and Daddy are away, the Milt will play OR sleep...

The resting area
Bathroom - we sprinkle his meal on the floor too, so he can scavenge  

Kitchen, Milt likes to tear up newspapers, and of course we put down a puppy pad just in case

All in all, the Milt would much rather be out of his area and sleeping on the cold tile by the front door.

Stretching out
This is probably why the Milt has been hopping on the fence.  Oh well.  At least Momma and Daddy are trying their best to amuse. 

1 comment:

  1. Set up a puppy cam so that you can sneak a peek every so often while you are at work. Plus, it's a great way to brag to your coworkers that you have the CUTEST dog ever! (Well, next ot mine.)