As I said, it's been just over a month and I feel like we're finally hitting our stride in how all of this works. Of course, it will all change again in a month when I go back to school, but for now we seem to be adjusting and adapting - finally. It was hard on all of us, dogs included.
Right now our schedule tends to be that I get up around 6 to let the dogs out - if it's light outside they think they need to be out there. I go back to bed until 8 or 9 when I get up for the day, feed the dogs, and get started on whatever projects I have (during NISE, I just got up at 6, let the dogs out, then let them back in and fed them before I left at 7:15).
Around noon, Ricky rolls out of bed. If I'm home, we hang out, but more often than not I'm not home. He lets the dogs out again and then does whatever he needs to around the house until it's time for him to leave for work.
When I get home, I let the dogs out, then let them back in for their dinner. While they're eating, I make my own dinner and eat. Sometime in the evening, after it's cooled off outside, the three of us head out to the backyard where I read my book and the pups play. I'm usually in bed by the time Ricky gets home, at which point Jacko stays in the bedroom with me and Cody joins Ricky wherever he is.
Our poor dogs went from going out and coming back in once in the morning and once in the evening to this weird, seemingly random in and out routine. Jacko especially wasn't adjusting well, especially since it took Ricky and me several weeks to figure out what the new routine was. Now that we've figured it out, he's doing a lot better, but for a while we were dealing with a pouty, whiny dog who just wanted to chew up all the paper in the house.
I will say, I'm enjoying my evening reading time. It's nice to be outside in the cool air, and even though I'm not an active participant in the dogs' playtime, it seems to be enough for them that I'm just there, which goes a long way to reduce the neediness they exude once we're back inside. How all this will play out in the school year, especially in the winter, I don't know. For now, we're just taking it a day at a time.