Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Yeah. Dogs are the tough one. We can leave our cats at home for a couple weeks at a time, and hire someone to just come in twice a day for a few minutes and replenish the food and water, and occasionally change the litter box. They're cats. They deal with it.
A dog left alone can go bonkers within hours. They're inherently social animals. Leaving them alone for long periods of time, whether at home, in the yard or in a kennel, causes many dogs to distress about being separated from its "pack," whether that pack is canine or human. No other critters bond with "their people" so much, at least in the typical case.
Ultimately it often comes down to whether the love and companionship one can get from a dog is worth the sacrifices in being able to go away for long periods of time. For some it is, for some it's not. There's no right and wrong answer (other than getting a dog and proceeding to neglect it being a clearly wrong answer).
When we do go away, we send our dog to a "dog ranch" where she has long periods of play time outside with other compatible dogs every day and doesn't spend most of the day cooped up alone in a small kennel. It's pricey -- about $30 a day -- but the alternative (for us) is to either never get away, or to be miserable during our entire trip thinking about our poor pooch confined to a small kennel 23.5 hours a day.
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)