Dealing with Anxiety

Such a calm, cool exterior. You would never imagine that this girl has some issues. I am amazed by this beautiful pet. She comes when I call her, sits, stays, fetches. She is eager to please. Lucky just doesn't want to be left alone. I am learning a lot about separation anxiety before resorting to prescription anti-anxiety medication. The vet supplied me with lots of articles to read and I found this Animal Planet video to be very reassuring. A little knowledge and hard work and we will both be better off. Here is a bit of what we are learning.

Get plenty of exercise and take time for play. Good advice for anyone. We don't have a fenced yard and I don't want to just tie her to a tree so Lucky takes me for a couple/few walks a day. I am better for it. And, with a couple of kids around, we don't need to be reminded to play.

Encourage independence. Okay girlfriend, I know you just got dumped. I thought it was kind of sweet that you wanted to go with me to take out the garbage and you insisted on waiting for me outside the bathroom door, but don't you think maybe it's just a little bit pathetic? You are going to have to give me some space.

Be firm and clear in stating your expectations. Hmmm...maybe I could apply this one to all aspects of my life. It didn't occur to me until I watched the video that on my mock departures I could come back in and correct the dog. I haven't completely convinced her that I don't want her jumping on the chair and slobbering down the picture window, but she has learned to jump down as soon as she sees me coming. A little progress there.

Emotional Detachment. (Another trait I could apply to my own life.) I have to keep reminding the girls to refrain from long emotional doggy good-byes. Also, upon returning just ignore her til she settles down. Kind of hard to do because it's really nice being greeted at the door by someone who is super happy to see you.

I'm trying to be patient. I leave a rawhide right by the front door every day, but she chooses to chew on the woodwork instead.


April said...

i hope it gets better patti. she's a really good dog.

Lou Who said...

I went through the same thing. It took almost 2 years before we could leave Norway alone at my mom's house and he wouldn't eat the furniture. We're still working on my house. I resorted to anxiety medicine which definitely helped and we've been weaning him off of it the last month.

Maybe one day the pooches could meet ;) She is a cutie!