In nature, I don’t think there would be any reason for dogs to be apart from their pack mates.  This is why, I assume, they hate being left behind so much, and they get so excited when we come out of the bathroom after a 15 minute shower (my crew tend to just open the door and sleep on the bath mat).

Tomorrow morning I am heading out of town for the weekend, and I have made the heart wrenching decision to leave Ross behind.  I know this is going to upset him (and me), but it I am convinced it will be more stressful for him to come on this trip.  We will be staying on a farm with a dozen other dogs or so, and I will have to leave Ross behind in a strange room, in a strange house, that smells like other dogs.  

Any scenario that reminds Ross of being in rescue or the shelter before that seems to trigger post traumatic stress responses in him and I just can’t put him through that.  It would be different if I was going to stay with him the whole time, but I need to be able to go out for hours at a stretch, and not only leave him behind, but have strangers manage him around other dogs.  I just think too many things can go wrong.  So Ross stays home with the cats and the roommate, and the girls come with me.  

I don’t think its normal for humans to live in isolation anymore than it is for dogs, and I have become quite accustomed to having a pack of dogs at my feet and cats at my elbows, pretty much where ever I go around the house and property.  Considering I mostly work from home, that’s a good chunk of my time.  I think I am going to be as upset about leaving Ross as he is going to be about being left.  I hate leaving my animals behind for any length of time.  I’m fine going out for the afternoon, but I even hate leaving them for a full work-day.  If I do stay in academia when I graduate, I will be looking for a job where I can bring my dogs to work with me.  Many universities allow this, so it shouldn’t be out of the ordinary to find.

I had best get to bed now as I need to leave early.  I’m excited to visit my friends and to attend this conference.  And I’m really excited at the prospect of working sheep this weekend, especially in seeing how Kess does.  She continue to worm her way into my heart and home, and, well, we’ll see…

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