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Guest Blog: Doggy Assistant, Excuse, or Both?

by | Feb 29, 2012 | Dog Training & Care, Writing Advice & More | 2 comments

Today I sniff out new territory and welcome my first-ever GUEST BLOGGER! Please help me welcome my colleague Natalie Markey, who balances a writing career, marriage, motherhood, and special-needs dog–in other words, she’s like many of us who call ourselves freelancers. There can be pitfalls when working for yourself, though. I often tell folks that my “boss” is a b*tch who always knows when I’m goofing off–but truly it can be hard to toe the line and juggle all those balls (and Frisbees). How do YOU do it? Even if you don’t have the two-legged children, the fur-kids and significant others demand attention, too. Natalie shares her answers to these questions. Take it away, Natalie!


I traded in my fancy suits and briefcase from the “corporate world” for college t-shirts and Victoria Secret sweats (they are comfy) to write full time from home. Some people turned to working from home when the economy went south. The truth is, more and more professionals are working from home as freelancers, consultants and writers. Some companies even allow employs to work from home as incentives to save on gas and long commutes.  And then there are the brave stay-at-home-moms AKA CEO’s of the home. Whether you work professionally from home or deal with the normal daily chores that faces us all, dog owners all have one thing in common— Our dogs and if you’re like me your dog wants to help with everything!

My dog, Oscar sees himself as the man of the house whenever my husband isn’t home. Gosh, sometimes he still probably feels that way when my husband is home! As a working from home mom and author I’ve learned from my experiences how to manage my schedule so that I can be a great mom, dog owner and professional. I’m currently prepping my next Writing Moms workshop and I’m reminded that so much parenting advice can be applied to anyone with a dog.

If you have children and dogs then you will probably agree with me that children are in many ways easier. I can take my daughter to the grocery store, church, etc. Most places don’t want to see eighty-pound Oscar, even though I know he is such a gentlemen and anyone who knows him is blessed. Oscar is my other baby.  So how can you use that to help you with your work?

Your dog can help you around the house, whatever you are working on. Treat him like an assistant. Don’t let him be an excuse for not getting things done.  Arrange your routine to incorporate him. I work in my office so I made him a comfy bed set up under my desk. When I write, he lays on my feet keeping them warm and providing company.

Before I set up his addition in the office he would constantly be trying to get me away from work to spend time with him. He doesn’t get as much mommy/Oscar time as he use to because of our daughter. Whenever she naps, he wants to spend time with me. Of course I do give him my full attention throughout the day but when I’m working I’ve made it possible to combine time with Oscar with productivity.

There are many things you can do to incorporate your dog into your daily routine. Start with your relationship with him. Know your dog and you will know how to best incorporate him into your work, chores and goals.

How has your dog become part of your routine at home?

I’m giving away a “seat” in my March Writing Moms class, which begins Monday March 5. To participate visit my blog and leave a comment. I will put your name in my virtual hat and draw!

Natalie C. Markey is a seasoned freelance writer including popular columns like the Special Needs Dog Care Examiner. She is the author of “Caring for Your Special Needs Dogs,” and also writes fiction from her Arkansas home, where her dog Oscar assists her. Follow her on Twitter, Pen to Publish blog, and her website.


I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!


  1. Ali Dent

    Our dogs love being with us. In the evenings our family watches a movie together. each of the dogs has his special spot to sit and the cats have their favorite laps too. We recently discarded a rug from that room leaving a cold slate floor. Alex, the German Shepherd always lays beside my feet. He just couldn’t get comfy but he kept trying. I got a towel and folded it up and he was so content. They all love their “spots” and I do too.

    • amyshojai

      Magic does the same thing, wants “something” on the hard floor if only a towel. He eventually ends up on the sofa against my husband’s feet while watching TV. Seren perches on my lap. *s*


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