Our Alex, a pit bull mix, was one of the best dogs I’ve ever had as a pet and as my helper when working with other dogs to modify their behavior, but my girl, when we got her as a puppy, had bad separation anxiety so it took us a while to get her to be balanced. Let me tell you that she was worth it. We had her for 13 years, and even now I don’t think that it was long enough.
Our Charlie, the new addition to our family, has separation anxiety and he is getting better as time goes by:
-We couldn’t leave him in any room by himself because he would scream murder at the top of his lungs. Nowadays, he is able to stay by himself for a short period of time.
-Charlie would bark/whine when Abby went out to do her business. Recently, he only makes a funny sound, yes sometimes he still whines, but the intensity and length of time is but a couple of seconds.
-When we placed Abby in the car first, Charlie would go berserk. As time went by, he understood that he would get in the car too so he does get excited, but it’s manageable.
The above is just a few of the things we’re working on with Charlie and his separation anxiety. To those pet parents that are probably asking themselves, “How long will it take for that separation anxiety to disappear?” Let me tell you that it depends on the dog, the activities you are doing with him, the behavior and training you are working on, and the consistency and commitment on your part. Work hard, but also remember to take a break every so often. Stay safe.
Charlie is improving on some things, and on others, we still got a bit to go:
-Walking around where we live is getting better. I haven’t seen him do a Superman, airborne, recently. But, yes there is a but, when he is walking outside of our property Charlie is still a bit hesitant. We are working on that.
-Eating, our boy eats anything, is getting better. He is giving me space when I am about to feed him. Great job Charlie!
-Sleeping/napping in his bed is also better. He is staying on it longer and longer. Yay!
-Separation anxiety is something that most shelter dogs exhibit and Charlie is not the exception. This weekend we took him to do some shopping and when Cynthia exited the car to go to the supermarket, guess what happened? Charlie lost it. But, and this part is the good part, he did better and better as we when to different stores. I will write about separation anxiety on another post.
I want pet parents to know that getting a dog to be balanced is done slowly with tons of patience. For those pet parents that are frustrated I would say to them to take a moment and to keep working at it. Take my word for it, your canine companion is worth it. I know my Charlie certainly is so don’t give up. Stay safel
Looking at pictures of my Alex and the dogs that we’ve taken care of throughout the years filled me with nostalgia and gratitude. Alex lived 13 years and she was the most amazing dog ever, and although when we lost her we were devastated, I wouldn’t trade the time we had with her for anything in this world.
Maggie and Alex (Left to Right). A Rottweiler and a Pitbull
When I look at the pictures of Alex, Maggie and so many other dogs, yes I feel a little sad because they are no longer with us, but more than anything I feel joy. Some pictures also make me laugh because they bring back funny memories. And with that being said, I would ask you, who said nostalgia is a bad thing?
Lately watching the news is scary and depressing-to say the least-but then I take a look at Abby finding happiness in simple things such as: walking, taking a ride in the car, eating, etc., and all I feel is a great sense of gratitude.
Abby, “I smell food. Mom, do you smell it too?”
Dogs are great teachers, and for me they are an integral part of my life. They make me take a look at what really matters and not worry about things that are out of my control. What does your dog bring to your life?
A few of you, I can imagine, are experiencing cabin fever, but I may be one of those lucky few that don’t feel that way. Yes, your mental health could and may be affected due to the executive order by Governor Larry Hogan to stay at home, but having a dog can make the difference between keeping your sanity or going bonkers.
So with that being said, aside from my usual advice of going for walks, I’d also recommend taking naps. Lots of naps! Stay home, stay safe!
In January we moved from MA to Maryland, and to say that Abby was excited about our move would be an understatement. She loved “inspecting” the boxes we were putting together to pack our things; she dashed between Cynthia and yours truly as if to “help” us pack; she watched Cynthia like a hawk while she taped the boxes; and when she was tired she’d take a nap near one of us or go to bed.
Abby, “Aha! I told you this was your glove mom.”
Abby seems to enjoy moving, but she is the exception rather than the rule. Because dogs enjoy having a routine, moving could be stressful for them so I’d recommend the following:
Walk/run your dog at least once a day. Exercise is paramount at this time
On moving day, make sure that your dog is in her crate while things are being loaded to a truck/car
Once you get to your new place – assuming you took her for a long walk/run in the morning – put on her collar and leash and walk with her through the entire house
Afterwards, put her in her crate while your things are being unloaded
Take her out of the crate once unloading is done, but limit where she could go and explore for the first week or so
Dogs love routine, but if you plan ahead of time perhaps moving doesn’t have to be very stressful for your canine companion and you. How did your dog(s) do on your last move?
To say that the coronavirus pandemic has affected our lives would be an understatement, but I choose to be optimistic and find a silver lining in every cloud. With that being said, living in semi-isolation has afforded me the time to take Abby for more walks; catch up on some of my reading; write a post more often; and prepare to start working on my taxes – I know, you must be giddy with excitement and anticipation to tackle this task!
I don’t know how long we’ll live like this, so my question to you is: what are you doing with your canine companions during this time?
Abby, “Mom, please turn off the lights. Moving is exhausting!”
Yes, that’s how tired Abby looked after helping us unpack. By the way, she is lucky since we are not unpacking everything. Remember to provide your canine companion a bed and some blankets.
Abby, “Mom, wait! I am not ready. Please wait!
Sorry Abby, but I had to capture that facial expression. We are taking nice walks except when the days don’t permit us to do so. All in all, I could say that although it was stressful to move and super tiring, to say the least, we are really glad to be back in Maryland and we are looking forward to all the adventures we’ll have in Crofton!
Abby, “Mom, I like the new smells I am picking up from here!”
Yes, we’re finally back home. Home is really where your heart is, and a long time ago I realized that that place was Maryland. For the last 5 years, we lived in Stoughton, MA and although it was a nice place, and we met amazing people and dogs, I always hoped that we had the opportunity to come back to Maryland and it finally came true.
Abby, “Mom, I picked up an amazing new smell. It smells like chicken!”
We were really busy moving for the last couple of weeks, but finally things are less hectic, and I have been able to take Abby for nice walks around the neighborhood lately. Thanks to all the pet parents in Massachusetts that trusted us with their canine kids, we’ll miss you all, and looking forward to meeting amazing dogs and their pet parents in Crofton, MD. It feels great to be back home!
Abby, “Mom, hurry up! We need to get on the road before it gets dark!”
It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this blog, but lots of things happened the last few months that kept me busy: my mom fell down and had to have surgery; Cynthia’s mom passed away; my mom stayed with us for a while; a few doggies stayed vacationing with us; and Abby, of course, helped out big time. Because of that, we decided to take a well deserved vacation. Where did Abby go? Montreal, Canada. By the way, we left at 1pm so I don’t know why she was so concerned about leaving before it got dark. Drama queen!
Abby, “Mom, let’s cross the street now. Come on!”
So, where was Abby, in the above picture? The Latin Quarter, Montreal. After breakfast, we headed out the door to do some sightseeing, take pictures, and enjoy ourselves.
Abby, “Mom, I am so tired! Thanks for dinner. Good night.”
Our days in Canada were certainly enjoyable, but by the end of the day we were all really tired, and Abby was the first one to get in bed. Smart girl.