We both work and Audrey spends her days in an X-pen (4x12) with her crate open at one end. The crate has a cover so it is very den-like. The pen is in front of a large glass door overlooking our back yard. I have a great dog walker that comes mid-day to give her a potty break and spends 1/2 hour playing with her. One day a week she takes her for a play date with another small dog. All in all Audrey has been okay with this and goes in the pen without trouble. I often think of trying her elsewhere in the house but I know she is safe in the pen and can move around. She is just 16 months old and still has some puppy tendencies. I give her a treat ball with a portion of her daily food allotment in it when I leave for work and I leave a stuffed kong for the dog-walker to give her mid-day. My husband plans to retire in a few years which we look forward to- I am sure Audrey does too!