A Day in the Life: Working from Home with Two Bernese Mountain Dogs
Updated: Dec 4, 2022
Wonder what a regular day is like with Bert and Ernie around? Like lots of people, we've been working from home since Covid. Bert joined our family in July of 2020, so as a Covid puppy, work from home is the only life he knows! My husband and I share a home office (noise-cancelling Airpods + working for the same company make this possible!), so the dogs have gotten used to being about to see the whole family all in the same room most of the time. Bert and Ernie go to daycare every other week to get some socialization and play time with other pups, but most of the time, we all spend the day together! Here's a peek into a typical day's routine.
5:00 am: Bert jumps up on the bed for AM cuddles.
Although Bert wakes up early, he doesn't actually get up until we do at about 6:30. He's all about the snuggle life, so he likes to jump up on top of the covers before everyone else is up and spend an hour or so curled up by our feet. When he was small, it was frustrating that he'd wake up super early, but when we discovered that what he really wanted was to join us for that last hour of sleep, we starting calling this move the Bert Bert Snooze Button. Works every time!
6:30 am: Time to get up!
We have to coax Bert off the bed (once he's cozy, he's not really inclined to get moving), and Ernie tends to make his way upstairs around this time. Ernie likes to sleep on the floor in the dining room beneath his favorite plant or on the couch. We can normally find a warm spot on the couch and a nest of blankets he's made in the night. The telltale sign that Ernie was on the couch, however, is when all the throw pillows are on the floor. He hates pillows and will toss them off - either with his nose or with a paw!
6:55 am: Time to walk!
From about March to November, this is one of our favorite times to take a quick walk around the block. We get in a nice routine where Bert and Ernie get to greet some of the neighborhood kids as they wait for the school bus and we all get to stretch our legs before the work day begins. These walks are a lot less likely to happen in December, January, and February when it is cold and dark in the mornings. One of our favorite spots to walk is along Minnehaha Creek; we like visiting the big bunny sculpture along this route. The neighbors in the area dress up the bunny depending on the time of year!
7:30 am: Breakfast
Bert and Ernie have their breakfast and we have ours. When we're at the cabin, B&E always get a little something from breakfast - a quarter of a waffle, a dog egg (which is just a regular egg but for dogs), some berries - but that's what makes the cabin special. On a regular old weekday, they get regular old kibble.
8:00 am: Log on for work
8:10 am: Let dogs outside, refill coffee
8:20 am: Morning rumble time
For about the first hour or 90 minutes of the work day, Bert and Ernie go bananas. Of course this usually coincides with one or both of us having a meeting or a call, so we have to be fast on the mute button! B&E like to wrestle, tug, and chew loudly on bones right beneath our office chairs. Occasionally one of them will hit the height adjustment lever and send someone hurtling toward the ground. Always exciting!
9:30 am: Let dogs outside. Dental bone time!
We have inadvertently conditioned the pups to expect a mid-morning dental bone snack each day. Between 9:30-10, if they haven't had the opportunity to go outside, they'll sit by the cookie jar and stare!
10:00 am: Morning nap (for dogs)
Ernie tends to settle in on the couch after he's had his dental bone. Bert will either nap in the office or on our bed. They'll come visit us if they need to go outside, and sometimes they come in to the office when they hear us hang up from a work call. They have both learned that "Ok, thanks, bye" and the click of an Airpods case means they can come get some pets!
11:40 am: MAILMAN BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK
12:00 pm: Lunch
We take a quick break to eat and sometimes have a stroll around the block in nice weather. The dogs will usually get a chunk of apple or whatever fruit we're eating. They both love popcorn too!
1:20 pm: Mid-meeting interruption
Whether it's Bert popping his paws up on my armrest like a gopher or Ernie nudging my elbow for pats during a call, these two can be relied on to provide a bit of distraction during meetings. Sometimes these interruptions mean "Let me outside!" and a lot of time they mean "I'm bored!"
1:30 pm: Afternoon nap (for dogs)
2:50 pm: AMAZON DELIVERY BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK
3:00 pm: Stretch, water, let dogs outside
3:05 pm: Dog naps continue
4:15 pm: Dogs getting restless
The boys start coming in to the office and bugging us more as the work day winds down. This is about the time that Ernie can be counted on to jump on someone's lap - whether or not they're on a Teams video call! He's made a number of "guest appearances" in my meetings.
5:00 pm: Calling it a day
When the dogs hear "Ok, thanks, bye" and it's getting dark outside, they know it's just about time for us to pack it up. Yay! When the laptops close and the office lights turn off, Bert and Ernie get excited for the evening ahead, which usually includes a walk or a drive somewhere and definitely includes dinner!