Dealing with separation anxiety, I have been mulling over this topic for way too long now. As with most things these days, my thoughts are scattered all over the place. The pandemic is now in it’s fifth month with no end in sight and we are strapped in for the ride. Me and my team of dog walkers are blessed to still be able to work, if not at a greatly reduced volume. I am sure most of my readers have come to know my two dogs, better known to all in my building as “the boys.” Frankie and Rusty have no idea there is a fire raging on the planet or that people are dying daily. This however does not mean they are unaware that things are different from last January. I have always said that dogs, as well as many other animals are energy beings. This includes us! We are aware of our feelings but may not be aware that we transmit these feelings. Positive and negative, confident or unsure. We have an aura that surrounds us. Dogs have this same light within them as well.
I have been noticing a subtle difference in my dogs behavior over the last few months. I am standing in front of the mirror, shaving, and take a step only to bump into Frankie. I wander into the living room to see the TV while I shave and look down only to find Frankie attached to my ankle. It has come to the place that I usually take a look before I move in my apartment to be sure not to step on him. Frankie is five years old now and, from day one his trainer and I went to great lengths to socialize him. Lots of interaction with a variety of people and dogs right from the start. This new behavior is not limited to Frankie. Yesterday I came home to Rusty charging to greet me with his whole body wagging and him squealing as if he had been lost in the woods for days and I had just found him. As I am sitting in my office writing this blog, Rusty is curled on his “office” bed instead of the big comfy one in the living room.
I like to think that I am a pretty smart person and my daily world is filled with dogs. For the most part I am coping with the daily routine that feels like it is locked in a time loop. And yet, I see my reflection in my boys’ behavior. I have gladly accepted the responsibility for their entire well being, not just their physical needs. As we are trying to figure out how to live in a new reality, our pets are taking their ques from us. We will eventually come out of this situation but will be forever changed by it. People will venture back out into the world, restaurants will once again begin service and offices will open their doors to a weary, work from home, people. As we slowly pick up the pieces and return to a “normal” life, what will be the state of mind of our furry best friends that we have shared a bunker with for many, many months. This is our charge. Now is the time to address how they are feeling, and how they they will cope when the routine changes dramatically, once again.
There are many great resources that deal with the science of separation anxiety, from ways to recognize it to the ways to address it. I have decided, instead,to write about our role that we play. As we are coping so our are pets. Let it be a mutual experience and take the steps now to leave a happy and content dog home when we return to the world. What my team does every day while providing dog walking services is not just physical. Quite often, we are the time between mom and dad leaving and when they come home that makes the day fun. I hope you find a dog walking service that views what they do as a higher calling. Let me know what you think about today’s musings!