Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Work Changes

This is a hard post to write... lots of changes going on around here, and things are moving faster than I knew they could. Just shy of two months after I gave birth, I had a job interview for a new position (because, you know, I just wasn't busy enough lol). It was a somewhat lengthy approval and negotiation process, but I will now be starting my new job TOMORROW. It will be a BIG change, since I've had the luxury of working from home for most of my post-college life so far, and for nearly all of the past 5 years. Which means that Captain has had a ton of Mommy time. Ironically, it also means I will have spent more time "raising" my dog than my human child, but I am grateful for the 5 months I have gotten with my (human) baby, since I know that is much more than most women in this country get. In any case, I thought it was worth paying a little tribute to my working-from-home days with Captain, since office life is going to quite different!

THIS is what working with a Vizsla is like:

Between missing my baby and my Captain, I might just have to steal one of my little girl's stuffed animals and bring it to work with me so I have something to cuddle in the middle of the day. ;-)

To my Captain: I will miss your mid-day cuddles, running with you whenever the sun (or squirrels) were calling us- no matter the time of day, and yes, even your park-o-clock stare-downs that kept me from finishing work.

As for Captain, no worries there: He will be moving from a part-time to a full-time employee at my husband's company. Benefits include: treats from the too-nice secretary, make-out sessions with Chula, the other office dog, lunch-time walks, and evening play sessions at the local dog park. Not bad. He'll also begin biking to work with my husband- which I was concerned about, but I think he'll do ok!

A note on working parents and active dogs:
More generally speaking, I think if you have an active dog like a Vizsla, it is really best to be able to work from home or have the option to bring your dog to work. In both settings, you need a flexible position (ie, one in which it's less about which hours you work and more just about getting tasks done- so that it's ok to go for that mid-day run, or evening play time). A third option is having a dog walker or using doggie daycare, of course, but especially with sensitive dogs like Vizslas, you really have to be careful to find the right fit. With the walker, it needs to be someone that takes a good small pack to somewhere off-leash, for a good hour or two at least for real exercise. Day cares I think are trickier for Vizslas, since they so crave individual attention, so it would need to be somewhere that doesn't have too many dogs and of course where they are not just put in a cage for hours! They need to have the opportunity for adequate exercise but also rest and attention. We have tried a number of doggie day cares, and while there are a few good options in the Bay Area, we just didn't find any near us that really was a good fit. We have found great home-based boarding for Captain though, with a family who he loves. Finding good care for when you need help is crucial- for any of your babies (fur or otherwise!)

People are always commenting about how well-behaved and trained Captain is, and I fully believe that is because we have spent so much time with him and because we exercise him so regularly. He's not anxious and doesn't have pent-up energy, as can happen when dogs don't get the time they need. He gets tons of love and affection and plenty of exercise- and all of these things are just as important to Viszlas as food and water! I am really hoping we can continue to meet his needs so well even as life continues to get busier and busier- which is a challenge, but one that we're happy to take on as Vizsla parents!

So, the next chapter of Captain's (and my) life begins! GULP!


  1. Congrats on the new job! I loved being at home "part time" when I was in college years ago with my 1st V. I"m so lucky that my parents adore(d) my dog(s) and insist on picking them up several times a week for dog park visits & rides or pool time.

  2. Congratulations!! Change is, of course, difficult. And let's face it - you have gone through MANY changes in the last year! I am so grateful that you are willing to share Captain (and your growing family) with all of us. Your posts make me smile. Be gentle with yourself during the transition - everything is going to be just fine!

  3. Captain is so beautiful! He reminds me of our Peaty (who is also a vizsla). I had to laugh at the lap pictures, because that is exactly what Peaty does day in and day out! I wouldn't have it any other way...we love our beloved Peaty! Thank you for writing the bit about caring for a vizsla (or any active dog) when you have to work away from home. I've tried in the past to coax friends who fall in love with Peaty and want a vizsla, to perhaps give it a second thought (since they are not home for long hours). We are home more than we are not, and we live out in the country with a lot of space, and still there is a need for Peaty to be ran or walked! So it's no joke that these beloved pets NEED their human companionship and their exercise! Blessings on your new journey!

    1. Thank you! Loved hearing about your Peaty too!