By Julie Cole
momstown Guest Blogger
When I got talked into getting a dog almost two years ago, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Growing up, I had never had a dog. Heck, I don’t think I had ever properly petted a dog.
But I signed up, got our puppy and, honestly, I can’t imagine our family without him now.
One problem: I recently discovered he has a lot of feelings and responds to them in ways I never anticipated. THAT, I didn’t sign up for.
Our family just returned from a month overseas. While away, we had wonderful friends move into our house and provide Ozzy with the best doggie care possible. Our dog was spoiled with treats, walks and attention. By all reports, he was on his best behaviour the entire time we were gone.
Upon our arrival home, I thought we returned to a very sick dog. He had chronic diarrhea, but strangely it only happened when our family was out and he was alone in the house. We kept returning to a house full of doggie diarrhea. It was absolutely disgusting, but I couldn’t decide whether to feel sorry for the dog or kill him.
Friends with dogs suggested he was responding to our absence—that he worried when we left the house, we wouldn’t be coming back and that was what caused his poopy issues. I had never heard of something so ridiculous! After all, he’s a dog—not a human!
The last straw was when I returned home from work to find he had crapped down a heating vent. I booked a vet appointment, proving that I am more likely to get medical attention for my dog than my children. His diarrhea was so bad; he had to have something physically wrong with him. Or so I thought. The vet confirmed what the dog friends had said—it was behavioral. We were dealing with puppy separation anxiety!
So dogs are a little more human than I realized. I have been shocked to learn that his response to our absence is not rare. Many friends relayed similar horrifying stories involving dog poop.
Have you ever left your dog for an extended amount of time? How did pup respond? What’s your experience with separation anxiety in dogs?
Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six.