First 3 weeks
When Sasuke first arrived home, the day before I had moved into a dog friendly apartment in the relative center of Kyoto. I took three weeks off work to help him acclimate to his new environment and to try and set boundaries and routines.
While this started out well the one big, huge, thing I overlooked was how long in reality it would take for Sasuke to adapt. I read much too late to my absolute horror, that it takes up to a year for a newly adopted dog to even start feeling remotely at home and show their true personality. I had tried to cram it in to 3 weeks. Everything I had originally planned was going to take far longer than expected.
So a shift in priorities it was. Although once those three weeks were up, I had to return to full time work. Turns out, Sasuke was highly adaptable and with advice taken from key dog trainers, I was able to minimize the stress of my leaving for work.
The key problem was the chewing. See first blog!!
Going back to work was nerve wracking. I don’t think I have ever been so terrified of what Sasuke would get up to. Barking and howling while an issue were actually small issues and were often a reaction to movement in the apartment complex or outside, which he was still getting used to. After about an hour or so he would settle down.
One of the best purchases I have ever made was a dog cam just to make sure the if there were any complaints I could go and check to see if it was actually legit. Saved my bacon on a few occasions. Not to mention the ability to watch in abject horror and anxiety inducing destruction he caused in the first few months, knowing I couldn’t do anything while at work.
So work. In total I am away from Sasuke for approximately 8-11 hours per day while at work. Now before you all shout at me, this includes travel time and is based on both a compact (8hour day) and a split shift (11 hour day). On split shifts I am able to come back and check on him. In Autumn through to Spring we have afternoon walks and in Summer because of the heat I have a compact shift and Sasuke sleeps the heat away.
He NEVER goes without water or food, except on a compact shift day, and all that means is that he has a bigger breakfast and bigger dinner rather than it staggered throughout the day.
Our general day goes as such: 5am start; 5:30 breakfast (&coffee for human); 6am get both of us ready-me work and Sasuke for his walk. By 6:30 we are out the door for an hours walk minimum. We return by 7:30 at the earliest and I get him settled for me to be back out the door to catch the next bus to work. When I return from work, its hugs, kisses and greetings on both sides, a quick turn around and we are both out the door for a 2-3 hour evening walk.
Thats right. We go for 4 hour walks each day. Every day.
Work itself has been very accommodating, giving me time off and allowing changes to my schedule so it can fit better around Sasuke. After all, it is just me looking after Sasuke – there is literally no-one else!
From January, as previously mentioned why, we started walking outside and the difference it has made is astounding. With work on top of the four hour walks, the tiredness is very real. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Knowing, even at the point of adoption that Sasuke is an outside dog, to have him indoors 24/7 would be insane; borderline cruel. I never adopted Sasuke to stay indoors, but to be outdoors. If this all comes at the expense of sleep then so be it!
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