It took them a few weeks, but I think the dogs finally miss not having Isaac around during the day now that school has started.
The boxer Val probably misses him the most. All the dogs are happy to see us when we get home, quite as much as Val.
But that’s mainly because we have to lock her in her kennel with no one at home for most of the day. If we don’t, there’ll be hell to pay, if she’s left to her own devices. No matter how well we put things up, lock stuff up, she’ll get into something and make a mess.
Between going into work early, Isaac practicing after school and night games and having to cover stuff in the evening, it can be pretty late before the dog is out of the kennel for the night. Now I try to let her and the other two dogs out when I go home for lunch or when I take a break before covering an evening event, but that’s really just long enough to do their business and catch a breath of fresh air. Usually 6 o’clock is about the earliest Val gets out of the kennel for good.
My son tried to convince me we should be locking her up at night too because she shows her displeasure over being locked by barking at the neighbors’ dogs and leaving little messes in the morning. But I told him we can’t keep her locked up all of the time, and this phase will pass when she adjusts to the new schedule.
So when Isaac comes home after practice, Val is really happy to see him. There’s a lot of tail wagging and face licking, and not just because he’s the one who feeds her and cleans up her poop.
Val shows me she misses me too by begging for attention with a nudge of her nose and a wag of that extra long bony tail. At night she shows me she really misses me by sleeping on top of me and keeping the other two dogs out of the bed.
She also shows her enthusiasm by running around the house as fast as her legs can carry her and harassing the other two dogs — presumably because they didn’t have to be locked up in a kennel the whole day. They’re actually good when left by themselves.
On one of my days off I noticed that the usually ornery boxer spent the whole day sleeping.
“Is something wrong with Val?” I asked my son. “She doesn’t seem like she’s herself.”
“This is what she does during the day when you’re not home,” Isaac informed me.
“You mean to tell me the only time she’s really ornery is for the couple of hours after I get home from work?” I asked him.
“Well, yeah,” my son said, as though that should have been obvious. He is, after all, guilty of the same thing.
Thanks dog. That’s just great.