Back to the office | Your dog is not ready

(New York) Look at that face, those pleading eyes, that nose that kept you with you during the pandemic. Now explain to Cooper why it is so important that you go back to the office, and leave her alone all day, after two years of being around the clock.

Posted at 9:00 am

John Leland
New York times

for what ? Soul company?

Todd McCormick, a derivatives trader on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, decided he wouldn’t. “I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the office,” he said. As he spoke, his 13-year-old dog Higgins sought treatment.

Of course, many New Yorkers have long since returned to their workplaces, if not stopped going. But for those considering this transformation today, and for their dogs, a crucial day has arrived.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, more than 23 million American families adopted a cat or dog during the pandemic, and many of those animals never knew what it would be like if they were left alone all day. They filmed the meetings Zoom, wrote encrypted messages on the gentlemen’s laptops, and found other ways to contribute to the shared work environment. For many people, dogs were the only thing living nearby, serving as a healer, companion, and entertainment system.

Today, employers want them to give up.

Bad luck, McCormick says, who doesn’t pretend to delay satisfying Higgins’ cookie.

Photo by Adrien Grunwald, The New York Times

Todd McCormick and his dog Higgins

If I take out the trash or recycle or receive my mail, it howls like a Costa Rican monkey, and it looks like there’s been a murder in my house.

Todd McCormick on his dog Higgins

Describes behavior that has only emerged since the beginning of the epidemic. “He knows I’ll be gone for three minutes, but that doesn’t stop me from hearing him all the way in the elevator.”

McCormick has stopped frequenting restaurants and hasn’t gone on vacation since the pandemic began, largely to avoid separation from his dog.

“But I have to tell you, through it all,” he said, “he’s been a wonderful companion.”

Dogs who live in city apartments have always had to adapt to less-than-ideal conditions, said Kate Senese, the dog school’s director of training, but that returning to work means that thousands of people are suddenly going through the same transition at the same time. In the East Village of Manhattan. “We’ve had a lot of breakups,” she said.

She says dogs that were used to being left alone before the pandemic tend to adapt very quickly. “But when it comes to pandemic puppies” — dogs born and adopted during the pandemic — “were never left behind, and are now in their sensitive teens,” she said. “It can be very difficult. They have to learn these new skills.”

Trainer tip: only give your dog this toy when you leave, as the toy will become a nuisance.

Pam Reed, deputy chair of the behavioral sciences team at the ASPCA, notes that dogs who suddenly find themselves without their handler may feel “confused and lonely and wonder why everyone is rushing out the door instead of spending time at home.” She suggests short training breaks before the big return to work, and schedule walks and meals around the future work schedule.

“Make sure you look for signs of anxiety as you prepare to leave, such as nervous steps, panting, voices, or attempts to leave with you,” she added.

Such signs are all too familiar to Millet Israeli, a psychotherapist who lives in Chelsea. Since the pandemic, these distressing behaviors have been part of the daily routine of Milton and Rufus, a mix of poodles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, whom their saviors call Cavapo.

Photo by Adrien Grunwald, The New York Times

Israeli millet and its dogs, Milton and Rufus

If M.I An Israeli woman and her husband leave the apartment at the same time, and the dogs declare their disapproval, she said. “By that, I mean an upside-down trash can, an upside down bowl. They probably wouldn’t have used the sanitary pads we leave at home if they needed to go to the toilet, for example.”

As a healer, M.I Israelis view separation anxiety as a “two-way street”. Was she feeding her dogs anxiety? Or, more precisely, was she projecting her concern on animals?

His solution: to eliminate the separation. Now she takes them to her office, where they are sometimes part of her therapy sessions, which are usually virtual.

“In many ways, I let myself go,” she admits. I wouldn’t tell a parent with their child’s separation anxiety to do so. »

Andy said many tech companies, including Amazon, Google, Squarespace and Etsy, welcomed dogs into some of their workplaces even before the pandemic, and since then other companies have made exceptions to attract and retain employees. , Gray and Christmas. Dogs are often put on a trial period and sometimes have to stay on a leash. The sting usually results in expulsion; For minor crimes, the leeway is greater.

But Challenger believes this trend may be short-lived.

In the meantime, the real separation anxiety may be due to the owners, not the animals. Raff Astor, who keeps and walks dogs in East Village, says the dogs he sees have adapted well to the change. But for people, he says, “a lot of these dogs have become emotional support animals. Now, when they have to leave their dog behind, a lot of the anxiety comes from the owner, not the dog. This epidemic has given anyone with a bit of neurosis a license to indulge in His gang. And the dogs, in a way, broke free of that.”

This article was originally published in New York times.

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