Self-Employed Life: My Dogs Are Clingy Stalkers (Good Thing They’re Cute)

I used to be a pretty hardcore hustler in the sales world when I was single. I sold cars, commercial pest control, office supplies, and cable/internet packages like they were going out of style throughout the years. When we first adopted our dogs, I was still going to an office every day and it was hard to get any time off to spend at home. My giant Jack Russell mix Miles always had terrible separation anxiety when I was away, and Crackers didn’t handle it much better. When I got home every day, they mobbed me like a celebrity, as if they thought I was never coming back.

Earlier this year, I switched career paths in favor of something more low-key that I could do from home. Ever since I got married and adopted the dogs, my priorities changed a lot. I lost interest in the constant pressure to be the best salesperson, the encouragement to self-destruct, and the expectation of being away from my family for 11-12 hours/day. I don’t need the validation of being #1 at work anymore because I’m #1 every day in the eyes of my husband and my fur kids. Now, work is just a means to make ends meet and advance my true passions, which are my writing and my family life.

The first few days I stayed home to work, it was interesting watching my dogs’ reactions. They’d be nervously expecting me to leave, unbelievably excited when I didn’t leave, and then a little bummed when I was too busy working to play with them. After all, dogs don’t understand money or bills (or the fact that we’ll all be homeless and hungry if I don’t work). Over time, they got used to me being home on weekdays but being busy at my desk most of the day, so now they just lie around until my husband comes home, at which point all hell breaks loose.

My husband is a pest control technician, so he’s usually not out too late, but the moment he comes home from work, it goes from nap time to WWE: Dog Edition instantaneously. As you can imagine, it gets pretty crazy in a small apartment.

Now that I’ve been self-employed for several months, my dogs have adjusted and they’re clingier than ever. If I leave for an hour to go run some errands, they think I’m never coming back. When I’m at my desk working, they lie down on either side of me anxiously waiting for me to be done. I’m honored and I certainly love them, but if a person stalked me the same way they do, I’d be pretty freaked out and probably have a restraining order. They’re lucky they’re so damn cute.

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