In March of 2020, when the pandemic first began, I was excited to work from home. I thought we’d all be working from home for a week or two and then we’d be back at the office in no time. Like many people, I was naive back then!
Fast forward more than two years. I have gone from working on my laptop on my couch to converting one of my spare bedrooms into my home office. I have also quit my law office job and taken on the executive director position at the nonprofit I started during the pandemic, which means that I will be working from home for the foreseeable future! Needless to say, my prediction of one to two weeks of working from home was more than a little bit off!
While I have come to love the flexibility and comfort of working from home, there is one thing that makes working from home especially difficult: my dogs. Or should I say, my one dog. I have two dogs. One is a saint and one is a demon in a very cute dog’s body. The saint, Rocky, will lay under my desk and accompany me throughout the workday without making a sound or causing any havoc. The demon, Bullwinkle, is always suspiciously missing when I turn my head and frequently causes me to leave my computer when I hear a crash in the other room only to find the newest thing he’s broken, eaten or otherwise destroyed.
He is also an incredibly vocal dog. Did I mention my dogs are mini huskies? That means that when Bullwinkle barks, he doesn’t just bark. he howls and he can howl for hours. Remarkably, he always seems to know when I am on a Zoom call and can time his howling to start just when he knows that I cannot slip away from my laptop to stop him!
I love both my dogs dearly, but Bullwinkle has made my ability to be productive almost impossible. I tried quieting him with treats and going to coffee shops to get some peace and quiet, but even coffee shops can get loud. I was running out of ideas when I stumbled across doggy daycare! I found a doggy daycare that is five minutes from my husband’s office that offers “academy,” which is essentially a school for dogs that need a little extra attention. Bullwinkle definitely needs extra attention! Instead of sending him every day, we decided that Bullwinkle would go to school on Wednesdays. Now, I try to schedule all my important meetings on Wednesdays when I know the house will be quiet. Bullwinkle not only gets to play with other dogs, but he gets to have doggy lessons!
Have the lessons helped yet? No. But I’m holding out hope.
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador advisor for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.