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Change of circumstances, whats best for my dogs?

(11 Posts)
LittleB Tue 14-Jul-09 15:48:23

Sorry long - what would you do? I currently work part time (3 days per week) as a Countryside Ranger, my two dogs come to work with me most days (they are very occasionally left behind - if its too hot or I'm going to be in the office all day, this is at most one day per week, and probably happens twice a month). I've just heard that from 1st April our work is being transferred to another local authority, and us staff with it, there are 6 in our team, a max of 3 will get work, the rest of us are looking at redeployment or redundancy, and the posts that are on offer are very much office based. I'm having to think through my entire career as Countryside Management jobs are pretty rare and part time ones are gold dust - I have a 4yr old dd to consider too.
I'm seriously considering retraining as a teacher - would be a year as I already have a degree, would do this from sept 2010 when dd is in Yr1. But what about my dogs? What should I do with them?
I have a 2 1/2 tr old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever(NSDTR) and a 10mth old Border Terrier cross. They are both lively friendly dogs, but my BT doesn't like being left much, he does chew sometimes - generally just his bed, but I do think he's unhappy, but I guess this may get better as he gets older. They don't cry, my neighbours keep an eye on them, and they usually play and sleep in the garden (they have access to the utility room and the garden). But to go from being left 2 days per month to 5 days per week is a big jump. Doing my PGCE I'd be out from 7.30am-5.30pm approx. This probably wouldn't just be my PGCE year, as although I'd rather teach part time I may well have to take full time work if thats whats available. I won't have the money to pay a dog walker or put them in kennels - DH doesn't earn much - I'll get a full grant while training - and we have a massive mortgage.
Do you think they would be ok left all day 5 days, walk before and walk after work, or should I rehome them? I think I would find a home for my older NSDTR easily with family; he's a very easy going well behaved dog, but my BTx is a typical terrier - he has a naughty streak and is quite vocal! But he is only 10mths old. Would it be better to try and rehome him while he is younger, or wait until either my job changes (april - he'll be 19mths) or if I'm redundant sept when he'll be 2? Or will they get used to it and be fine? And what do people do in the winter - do I give them outside access when its wet and cold?
Sorry theres so much to think about, I don't know what to do. I know dh wouldn't mind if they were rehomed - our BT drives him up the wall and they are both my dogs really. Dd adores my NSDTR but doesn't like my BT, he's clumsy and sometimes jumps up at her or knocks her toys over and isn't as cuddly as my NSDTR. I would miss them terribly, but know that I would be very busy and finding time for them would be hard sometimes. I've had a rescue collie in the past and I'm aware that being rehomed isn't always a bad thing for the dog, they could find better homes. I thought I'd have my current job for years and my dogs would have a wonderful life, but things don't always work out the way you expect them to do. i just need to do the best for my dogs. sad

Bella21 Tue 14-Jul-09 18:53:52

I think the reason this hasn't been answered yet is that it's such a tough call, with so many unknowns, and a very very personal decision.

Looking at it cold-heartedly I'd say it's not fair to leave dogs all day every day, although I know plenty of people do so without apparent problems.

Really hinges on how much you are able/willing to adapt and how much they can.

Lousy decision to have to make, though, and you have my every sympathy. Life can be such a pig at times sad

Best of luck x

HellHathNoFury Tue 14-Jul-09 18:59:08

Have you thought about a dog walker type person?
They can either give them a walk (they are usually out the house 1-2 hours) or just check on them... although cost wise it's usually the same so I go for the walk!

It works well for us. I returned to work full time while I have a dog and I really didn't want to rehome him, so I pay £10 a day for someone to walk him.

It works well for us and I think they are readily available in most areas now.

WannaBeAKitchenGardener Tue 14-Jul-09 19:00:43

I don't know but please can I have your old job? Do you get a nice land rover?

The dogs might adjust, with a radio left on and maybe when it's not hot you can take them with you and let them out during your breaks? Is there really no way you could budget for someone to visit them while training? Hope this somehow works out for the best with the least possible heartache.

KingCanuteIAm Tue 14-Jul-09 19:17:29

It is not ideal is it? WHat does dh do, is there any way he could come back at lunchtimes?

I don't envy you, that is for sure. If you wait a while longer do you think you will be able to up the BTs training levels? I am thinking you may have more success getting him a home with family or friends if he has a good training level and he is a bit older. Gah... I am trying to think of a solution and none are springing to mind. sad

spugs Tue 14-Jul-09 20:57:00

Is there not a family member or a neighbor who would pop in on a lunch time?
Im a teacher and when i worked full time my lurcher was happy to be left home all day, a good walk on a morning and night and she was fine. She was old though and spent a lot of time sleeping.
Sorry im not much use, hope you find an answer.

Fraochsmum Wed 15-Jul-09 15:44:22

I have 2 labradors and work full time and it works very well - they are good company for each other. My circumstances have changed dramatically in recent years too, I went from staying on a farm to being alone with 3 dogs, a horse and a ft job to cope with. You may find that the situation works itself out and you are getting worried needlessly. Your terrier is still a puppy and might take several more months to get out of the 'chewy' stage (my pup was about a year when she ate my synthetic saddle...)
We are lucky and manage to get home at lunchtime and they get a good walk first thing in the morning and at tea-time. As for winter, I live in SW Scotland and my dogs would be a damn site poorer if they couldn't get out when it is cold and wet!
Do you have a garden? You could perhaps put them in a shed that has an outside run during the day. And could the neighbours even let them out for the toilet at lunchtime?
Good luck with the job btw!

OrangeFish Wed 15-Jul-09 15:51:12

April is still months away, don't worry about this now. What if you rehome them and then you are one of the lucky ones to keep your job?

Personally, I think they will cope, they have each other's company, the terrier is just a puppy and would have calmed down (a bit!) by then. I think they would be fine.

LittleB Thu 16-Jul-09 11:48:13

Thanks for the advice and suggestions. Although I might be able to afford a dog walker once working as a teacher I couldn't while training, we will have less money coming in than we do now and only just manage now. For £10 per day I'd be looking at £2000 over the year. Dh couldn't come home, he works 20mins away and gets 30mins for lunch. Wannabe, if my job was staying I'd have it - been doing it for over 10yrs, and wanted to do it for many more! Even if I get one of the new jobs it will be mainly in the office - using contractors for the practical work we currently do, anything to save money, so poor dogs would have to wait on the car or at home. I will wait longer until I know what will happen. Chat to other friends and family. It wouldn't worry me so much if they were older dogs, but they are so young and lively. Any other ideas or experiences would be useful. Thanks

Tabithacat Thu 16-Jul-09 12:25:12

Oh, I feel for you! sad

My teenager used to walk a dog at £2.50 for half an hour. As we knew the owner well, the dog actually ended up at our house a lot as well.

Only problem with that is you will need help while kids are at school, but someone at 3.30pm is better than no-one at all.

Good luck.

blackhawk Fri 07-Aug-09 19:54:23

Honestly, with an NSDTR I would rehome if you are not home five days a week.

As an NSDTR owner myself, we aren't talking about a type of dog that can be left alone for long periods, or be satisfied with a dog walker coming in once a day.

Only you know your own animals though.

Have you contacted your breeder to see what they advise with your Toller? They might be able to offer some advice?

Assuming you don't have to decide until September to see if you get on your course?

Let me know what you decide though. If you do decide to rehome, I can help with your Toller.

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