I have shared about our new canine family member, Luna and how enamored we are with her. She has been an excellent addition to our family, but she is a tad quirky. A few blogs ago, I wrote about our struggles with her separation anxiety issues that were built because she has been hopping homes. Not her fault, but just a general misconception of how much responsibility it takes to be a dog owner. We are her third home and while she is fun, playful, sweet, well-trained in most areas, and extremely smart, she loses her shit when we leave the house. Unfortunately, I write from home, so she is spoiled knowing that I am here most of the time. But, as we plan football games at my son’s school in the fall, among other outings that will result in us being gone for long periods of time, I decided it was time for a little doggie boot camp.
First, my vet put her on a little doggie Prozac, which I’m skeptical about, but am willing to try anything. Adding some behavior modifications, I figure how hard can this be? Sometimes, I am incredibly clueless. I froze her Kong with the cheese treat inside as it was suggested in an effort to distract her. I purchased an anti-anxiety bed that fits in her crate. She loves it and in fact, uses it while we are home. I spray lavender on the bed for calming along with doing small increments of leaving the home to get her used to it. She is not onboard with any of this.
Patience is key, is probably what you all are thinking. I lack that virtue. Thursday, I left to meet the delivery people at my mother’s home who were bringing her new refrigerator. Bailey was downstairs taking a nap. (That’s a whole other blog in itself.) I leave and am gone for about an hour. Longer than her training sessions. When I get home, I am accosted by her whines and barking even though I haven’t walked into the house yet. When I open her crate, she is beside herself with excitement that I am home.
When Bailey comes upstairs later, I ask him if he heard anything while I was gone. “Mom, she cried and barked while I was trying to nap.” I really want to tell him if he didn’t stay up until 4 A.M., then he wouldn’t require a nap, but it’s like talking to a wall. Anyway, new tactics are being adopted. One article suggested crating the dog, and then going into another part of the house for thirty minutes. I did that yesterday and she did fantastic until about 25 minutes in and then she started to bark.
I know this will take time and fortunately, I have a lot of that, but if any of you have had experience with a codependent dog, who takes anti-depressants to ward off anxiety when their family leaves them, I would welcome your experience. Sweet. Baby. Jesus. I might need some Prozac.