One of our dogs has severe separation anxiety, and can’t stand to be left alone in the house unless the younger dog is left with her, or with a human. This is tricky since I live alone with her right now.
We can’t crate her, because she becomes irrational and chews her way out of any enclosure. She’s broken a few teeth and has been known to rip all the toenails out of her paws, too. When she’s loose, she sometimes goes after furniture. It’s impossible to predict when she’ll howl vs. when she’ll consume valuables.
The younger dog has a fifteen second attention span, and really needs hardcore obedience classes, but since I live alone with both dogs and the other refuses to be left alone, this is proving borderline impossible to do.
I thought the Furbo was a godsend. Two weeks ago, Separation Anxiety Dog stayed at home alone with the company of FluterDude via Furbo. She doesn’t recognize the voice as human, but she did accept treats, so he was able to head off any of her drama.
Last week, I had a student sit with her. (The student has an anxiety issue as well and has been enjoying a casual friendship with Separation Anxiety Dog, and asked if she could hang with her. Two birds, one stone, etc.) Since they have similar issues, they actually hit it off really well and had a great time. The student took some spectacular photos of their hang.
This week, the student wasn’t available, so we were back to Furbo. I was feeling confident since we’ve had two weeks with no drama, and I got a text halfway through that FluterDude and Furbo had run out of treats, an FluterPup was standing on the couch, front paws on the armchair, howling her nose off.
I left class early, raced home, rescued the couch. His message, “I’m gonna sign off. It’s been a lot of dog time tonight.”
EXCUSE ME, WHAT?
One hour of the right thing for your dog with emotional issues is too much dog time? One hour of emotional support? TOO MUCH DOG TIME???
I love my stupid, crazy dog. I’m at my wits’ end with the wild one, but I love her too. (I just want her to have a shot at being loved by anyone else in the world and she’s gotta learn some impulse control if that’s gonna happen.) It’s two high-energy dogs who were brought into our home with the assumption that there would be two adults in the home taking care of them. I walk them - sometimes five and ten miles at a time, and always together, because that’s what it takes to keep Princess Squirrelypants calm. I’ve figured out the solutions for leash aggression (crazy dog), completely forgotten leash manners (wild thing), for ganging up on me and for a passing obsession with chasing squirrels that are already in trees. I’ve been pulled over, dragged several feet, humiliated in public on dozens of occasions, and walked myself to the point of blisters and aching hip flexors and general exhaustion.
I mow the giant-assed yard and run interference when the dog on the other side of the fence takes issue with their presence which is like ... every time they’re outside together. I come home for lunch and I leave work to be home for their walks and when one of us has to potty three to four times a night because they have the attention-span of a rabbit, I’m the one who gets up at 12, at 2, at 4, and then again with the alarm at 6. (This was all of fall semester.)
But I guess an hour is ... too much dog time.