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I'm a PhD student who's taking a semester off. The transition to working has been difficult for both me, as a dog-owner, and for Milo, as a dog who's accustomed to having me around most of the time while I wrote my dissertation from home. Now, I'm working odd hours (early in the morning, sometimes late at night), so Milo's off his schedule. I'm also working too long to leave him at home by himself, so I've been day-caring him a lot. He's getting sick often - twice in the past two weeks - from what my vet assumes are gastrointestinal bugs he picks up from day-care. Or from the stress of being off-schedule and away from home (I even had to overnight him at our local PetSmart Pets Hotel this week for the first time, poor guy). I make sure he's getting all the exercise he needs, but he's alone and in daycare too much.

My question is: what do those of you who work (which I imagine is the majority of doodle owners) do in terms of dog care? I can't afford a dog walker, but I hate to take Milo back to day care if he's getting sick because of it. Help! I'm a single woman away from home and friends for school, so I don't have anyone to help me with this and I'm starting to feel like I'm doing Milo a disservice here. Am I?
 

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I can't imagine that a once a day dog walker is any more $ than daycare.
I know in my area I can get a dog walker/pet sitter for about the same as a day at daycare without the vet bills.
I'd definately look into it. Maybe you could even run an ad for a teen-ager to come let him out, water him, etc. in the middle of the day. Just a few ideas.
 

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we both work full time jobs. Our doodles stay in our basement together the full day. Nobody comes in during the day. They really have no problem with the schedule - I think it's all about getting them on and keeping them on a schedule. We walk both of them about 1 mile in the morning and leave for work at 7:30. We get home around 5. After work they are crazy for about 20 minutes running around and we make sure they get a lot of exercise in the evening (much easier now that it's summer!).

Our doodles are very well adjusted to this...we play softball one night per week and we come home for 1 hr before the game and then are gone another 2-3 hours and they seem to have no problem.

Good luck :)

P.S. Dexter was fine on this schedule when we did not have Kirby.
 

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We have teenagers in our neighborhood who are wonderful pet sitters for daytime. Even during school months, they can at least take the dog for a walk after school.

During the summer, it should be even easier to find someone. Also, they are usually thrilled to get any money at all. Even 10.00 per day would be cheaper than daycare. And, your Doodle won't be exposed to all the germs.

Also, you might ask an adult in your neighborhood who has a dog. They may love to have a playdate every day. You could offer to walk their dog in the evenings or on weekends in exchange.

Best of luck!!
 

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hey there -- i am also a graduate student in ann arbor (and i think there is at least one more member on this forum who is). i still have a pretty flexible schedule but there is one day a week that sammy has to be alone all day (and even though my sister lives in town, i don't quite trust her with the dog, plus she is grossed out by poop. no help there! haha).
so, i looked into a couple of local dog walkers and was worried that most of them seemed to be around the $40-$50 range, which was not for me but, i found one awesome guy who takes sammy out once a week -- he comes to my place and picks her up and they go to a private dog park with a bunch of other dogs, run around for over an hour, and then he drops her back at my place. she's usually gone for about 3.5-4 hours with him and gets constant supervised interaction with other dogs, and she's exhausted and happy after her adventure. it costs $20 per week. for me the great part is he picks her up and drops her off, which gives me extra time. not sure this would solve the problem of getting sick from the other dogs in daycare (and maybe won't work for your schedule) but i'd be happy to give you more details if you'd like.

and we should definitely have an ann arbor doodle romp as soon as it stops raining!
 

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We send our doodles to PetSmart Day Camp once or twice a week, the other times, they are home alone, while we are at work. We walk them before work, after work, and before bed ( except on camp days )... the Camp works very well for us, they play very hard, while at camp are are usually tired the next day... so we try to stagger the days...

I would imagine, the combination of change in schedule, and the physical-ness of camp can be tough for your dog, maybe some time to adjust to all these new things will help... along with LOT'S OF HUGS! Sounds like you are making it work...

This may sound kinda silly but... is there someone at the Camp that is particularly friendly with your dog? Perhaps you can ask them to give your dog a little extra attention, since he is still trying to adjust? At our camp, there are a few people who are quite fond of our doodles, and give extra hugs and kisses to them... perhaps you can find someone at Camp to do the same for you?
 

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Wow, all that for $20??? Amazing! He must have a wife that is allergic or something.

Mill, getting the dog in a set schedule is the best thing you can do. GF and I both work 8-5, so Dudley is just used to being in his cage for that period of time. Weekends he still wants to get up and start playing at 630am no matter how late we were up drinking the night before!!

Your schedule seems a bit chaotic, so some outside help might be the right solution for you. Put up some flyers in the neighborhood, talk to some people you've met at school. If it is a college campus someone out there would love $20/week for beer money.

Just be careful with who you give a key to. :)
 
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