I’ve been a member of Freelancers Union for about a year. They’re asking freelancers who have pets to post photos on social media with “a caption that tells everyone how your pet helps your freelance business.”
Ever since my son left for college in 2013, I’d been thinking about getting a dog. I started watching the Humane Society website and other sites at the end of 2016. My search accelerated when my son and his girlfriend adopted their dog, Jenna, in March. I fell in love with her right away.
So I stepped up my search, checking websites every single night. And the night I saw Juno, I knew I had to be first in line the next day to adopt her. Four months later, I’m so glad I brought this little girl home. I don’t know how I lived without her.
When I adopted Juno, she was about 5-6 pounds overweight. I’ve been watching her diet and walking her almost every night. Along the way, I’ve gotten to meet many of the neighbors and their children. Juno loves kids, and they love her, too.
Juno is an excellent watch dog. A few weeks after I brought her home, I noticed that she was sleeping in some strange places: in front of a chair by the front door, a corner of the rug. So I searched online for answers. I learned that beagles are watch dogs, and they will sleep in places where they can watch the most doors/hallways. So those sleeping places weren’t so strange after all.
Juno doesn’t bark much, except to alert me when she hears a car door outside. Most of the time it’s no big deal – a neighbor has just come home, or the cable guy has arrived to do a repair. But there have been a few times when I’ve been glad to know about a strange car on the street.
She is very protective of me and the people she loves — my son and his girlfriend, and my neighbor. Juno does not like going to the basement; she just watches for me at the top of the steps. But one day, my son came over to pick up some things he’d been storing in my garage. After loading up his car, he stepped inside from the garage, and we were talking at the foot of the basement steps. All of a sudden, I heard ba-dum WOOSH! Juno heard my son’s voice and swooped down the stairs to greet him!
Juno is a wonderful companion. Over time, she has started snuggling next to me on the couch, then laying in my lap for a nap. A few mornings, she’s tried to push my laptop and table out of the way so she can occupy the space she thinks is rightfully hers.
She loves to ride in the car, and goes crazy when we get to Petco. She also likes going to the bank with me, especially when they send a treat for her back through the drive-through window. But she always has to “bury” her treat under the towel on her car seat before she can eat it when she gets home.
So how does all of this help me with my business as a freelancer?
I definitely feel safer at home with such an excellent watch dog. I know Juno will alert me to something unusual outside, and she’ll go after anyone who goes after me.
The nightly walks have given me a great opportunity to meet my neighbors. Now we know each other better and are watching out for each other. This also makes me feel safer.
I find great joy in taking care of this little critter. From getting her up in the morning to tucking her in at night, I enjoy feeding her and letting her out and watching her nap and hearing her snore and “woof” in her sleep. When I talk to her, she tilts her head to the side and wiggles her ears back and forth. (She doesn’t like it, though, when I yell at my computers to get them to work correctly.)
When I go into the kitchen, my “sous chef” soon follows. She wiggles her way in between me and the kitchen cupboards so she can catch any stray food that may fall.
Juno also reminds me that I’m doing something right. I don’t know why she was put up for adoption — that information was not included on the form. However, from the way she reacts when I get out a broom or mop, and other signs I’ve seen, I’m guessing she was mistreated.
It’s taken some time to earn Juno’s trust. I’ve gone from having to take her outside and stay with her the whole time, to letting her out and watching her play and explore by herself. I love it when she lays down in my lap and falls asleep, or she prances by the place on the counter where treats are stored to persuade me that she needs one of those tidbits. Earning her trust and building this relationship keeps me going when clients are being difficult, and human relationships aren’t going so well.
Having Juno also keeps me learning and exploring as I need to find out more about the best way to take care of her. I’ve looked up what you can and can’t feed dogs, how to stop them from itching, why they sleep where they do, why they snore, and so many other things that have educated and sometimes amazed me.
One of the best things I’ve learned along the way is that beagles love to hide things. I’ll never forget the first time I gave Juno a rawhide bone. At first she “hid” it in her crate. But when I let her out, she had to find another hiding place.
She carried the bone out to the dining room and put it under the curtains. After stepping back to take a look, she decided that the bone wasn’t hidden well enough. So she took it back to her room. She pushed it behind a dresser, then stacked my shoes in front of it to hide the bone! When I came in and took photos, she finally took the bone out to the living room to chew and enjoy it.
For my business, I’ll call her my CCO — Chief Canine Officer. Outside of work, she’s my friend, my little love, my joy and my delight. I call her “Sweeheart” as much as I use her name.
My thanks to the Nebraska Humane Society for giving me the opportunity to adopt Juno. She is a great addition to my family and my staff.