Should I ask for time off work? (Officially mad dog lady now)

(46 Posts)
ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Wed 09-Oct-19 18:59:08

OK. WWYD in my position?
Rescue dog been with us 11 days. Lovely dog, I had a thread on separation anxiety, got loads of useful advice and am confident we can crack this given time, love and patience. He's already more confident around the house, doesn't always need to be in the same room as me, making great progress with desensitising work on the stairgate (he whimpers if I go upstairs for too long) - I can now reach halfway up the stairs and he wanders off into the lounge.
My main problem is, when I leave the house he whimpers and barks a few times, no matter who he is with. I am mainly leaving him with my mum and dad and they are able to eventually comfort him but its obviously causing distress when I go out of the door. He did it with my husband this morning when I left to do the school run.
I work 2 days a week in a school and enjoy my job, however I am worried that me leaving in the morning is going to set back progress with his anxiety. I do need a life and I don't want to be stuck at home forever, but I'm thinking if I asked to have a sabbatical until Christmas I could take things slowly without putting the dog in a position where he gets anxious.
I have no idea if my Head will agree to it, and I don't really know if its the right thing to do. I do know that even considering it makes me a crazy dog lady. But I want to do the right thing and put the effort in now so we have a calm relaxed dog in the long term.
What would you do in my position? Rational objective opinions needed please!

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Perunatop Wed 09-Oct-19 19:02:59

Personally I do not think it is reasonable to ask for time off in term time for a dog. If I were the HT I would refuse. It would probably be very difficult to get short term cover at very short notice.

Podemos Wed 09-Oct-19 19:09:28

Not sure from the dog side, but what's your role in school? Will they replace you for that time? If it's with supply it will cost the school more money so can't see the head going for it. If you are support staff and won't be replaced then I'd be worried about your job long term if they can do without you.

I know for a fact that my head wouldn't agree to this for any role.

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Wed 09-Oct-19 19:15:43

Sorry should have explained, we've all had our hours cut this year hence me only working 2 days, I job share with another TA so she would probably be quite happy to have my hours. I agree the Head might still think its a complete no, but I get on with her well enough to ask.

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Teacakeandalatte Wed 09-Oct-19 19:25:43

Can you afford to take time off and also could you afford to risk losing your job? If so then I would do it.

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Wed 09-Oct-19 19:27:47

Yes and yes. My pay is pitiful and I could pick up agency work in the future.

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ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Wed 09-Oct-19 19:29:01

Lucky enough to have a high earning DH, I was a SAHM for 7 years and my work has always fitted around my two DS.

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FurryDogMother Wed 09-Oct-19 19:33:42

Well, I don't think it can hurt to ask, but then I'm definitely a mad dog lady smile Kudos to you for caring about your new rescue so much - it was lovely to read!

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Wed 09-Oct-19 19:36:27

Thank you FurryDogMother I honestly hadn't appreciated how much work this little man would need, but he's so lovely and I want to do the right thing by him.

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adaline Wed 09-Oct-19 19:42:11

If you can afford it, and your DH is happy for you to do so, why not?

If I could stay home and hang out with my dog all day, I absolutely would!

Podemos Wed 09-Oct-19 19:53:33

Going by that then yes I'd definitely ask as you have someone who could potentially cover your role easily and you're not relying on your income/ job security. Good luck!!!

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Wed 09-Oct-19 19:54:37

Thank you!

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Wolfiefan Wed 09-Oct-19 19:57:16

I saw your thread. I would ask. Much better to settle this dog in properly and then not have to worry than have months or years of it being distressed when left. Good luck.
What happens if they take him for a walk or into the garden and he doesn’t see you leave? Would he be confident enough to do that?

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Wed 09-Oct-19 19:59:24

Hi Wolfie you were most helpful on my other threadsmile
If I'm in the house, he won't go out with anyone else, he's too anxious about where I am. Once I've left, and he's got over his whimper/barking stage and settled with whoever he's with, he'll go in the garden or on a walk with them.

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Medievalist Wed 09-Oct-19 19:59:31

My main problem is, when I leave the house he whimpers and barks a few times, no matter who he is with

Am I missing something here? He whimpers and barks a few times? Why is that an issue? Our 3 year old rescue hurls herself at the front door when DH goes out. If I go out to the bin I can hear her do the same. But it's just for a short while and then she settles. I didn't think it was that unusual for dogs to be temporarily upset when a member of their pack goes out.

Wolfiefan Wed 09-Oct-19 20:02:10

Of course it’s not usual for a dog to hurl itself at the door! shock
My dog occasionally grunts or sighs if I make too much noise as I leave. Other than that she couldn’t care less.

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Wed 09-Oct-19 20:06:01

Because he's a newly rescued dog with separation anxiety and the advice is to minimise stress as much as possible in order to successfully treat the anxiety.
I have only very recently learnt this from helpful posters on this forum, and the Facebook group I was recommended to ask advice from here. I am very much learning as I go but I want to get it right in the early days so eventually he can be easily left and I can get my life back!

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Countrysidelife Wed 09-Oct-19 20:07:37

I would give up work in a heartbeat to be with my dogs if needed. Sod work, my life and theirs is much more impu

Medievalist Wed 09-Oct-19 20:09:08

I didn't say it was usual for dogs to hurl themselves at the door hmm. I said i I didn't think it was unusual for dogs to be temporarily upset! By that I mean to do what the op's dog is doing. Obviously my 3 year old's behaviour is a little extreme.

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Wed 09-Oct-19 20:13:21

Medievalist I think that's where my thoughts are - is it OK/normal for him to do what he's doing, or is it making things worse in the long run. I genuinely don't know the answer.

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adaline Wed 09-Oct-19 20:13:34

I agree that a couple of barks/whimpers are normal and not really indicative of any kind of anxiety.

Ours had horrendous anxiety as a puppy - he now barks a couple of times and goes to sleep!

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Wed 09-Oct-19 20:15:46

adaline thank you I find it really useful hearing stories like that, I don't know what's normal in dog landsmile

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adaline Wed 09-Oct-19 20:23:06

As a puppy he would cry, whine, bark and get himself really stressed. It was horrible to hear!

He's 20 months now and so much better. So long as he's had a good walk, I can go out for a good 2-3 hours and he'll be in the same spot on the sofa as he was when I went out.

In the beginning I couldn't even go behind the baby gate without him crying blush

Wolfiefan Wed 09-Oct-19 20:23:17

I wouldn’t say it’s normal for a dog to bark on being left. Not at all.

Medievalist Wed 09-Oct-19 20:24:07

All I mean is that taking time off work until Xmas seems a little extreme. But would he otherwise be left alone for any length of time?

Our other dogs are all fine but we've never cracked our 3 year old's anxiety. Got her at 6 months but don't know her history. She's very sociable, if a little highly strung, and is okay with us leaving the room but not the house. She's only left on her own once in a blue moon. Her anxiety is quite selective. She is terrified of fireworks, the hoover and having her flea lotion applied and takes herself off behind the sofa. Does your dog have a safe place?

I feel quite sick at the thought of the firework season approaching as it seems to go on for two weeks and I hate to see her so terrified. We have discussed it with the vet but nothing seems to work. Sorry - I'm digressing!

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