Creatures of Habit

Dog waiting for his owner

“I wish it was that easy …. but it hurts now”

Dog waiting for his owner
Dog waiting for his owner

We are creatures of habit .… human, dog, horse ….
We, as humans get used to someone being there for us and when all of a sudden they are not, we can become distressed. we question. Where is that return phone call, text, the visit? Is that person okay? Have I done something wrong, etc. etc.?
During this Covid -19 pandemic, many people are working from home, or are home as they may have unfortunately lost there jobs. Nonetheless, whether it be positive or negative they are suddenly a constant companion for their dog. The dog is probably thinking … “Great! My human is with me all day. I like it ! My human loves me! Im happy, this is great! I get extra attention, treats, I can hear my humans voice …. on the phone, talking to me! The TV is always on or the radio or suddenly the whole vinyl collection is being played as they have been spring cleaning and sorting ‘stuff’! My human will suddenly dance an impromptu dance which is such fun and I want to dance and jump! its so exciting!!”
As they snooze to the tip tap of the computer keyboard …. all content …. snoring happily and running in their dreams.
What happens when you take a toy or a lolly away from a child? Theres no explanation they truly understand…. but they hurt and they cry.
Suddenly the human is back at work, or called away elsewhere, a sick relative but gone .… gone ….
“Whats happened? Where is my person? Where are the noises? Why am I alone? Have I done something wrong?
Am I being punished? I love my person …. I really miss my person …. I’m really sad and alone now ….
I don’t like it ….”

Waiting for their loved one to come back
Waiting for their loved one to come back

The reaction could be holes in the garden, a chewed slipper, the barks and cries you don’t hear, but the neighbours may and then the council may too …. if the neighbours care not to politely discuss with compassion and give you a chance to resolve.
It is often called separation anxiety.
What to do? You don’t mean to hurt them. You have to earn a living.
You still love them. It’s tough.
Some ideas ….
Treat type toys, where your dog can play with a toy that delivers treats eg. wobble kongs. Leave the radio or TV on.
A day here and there in doggy day care facilities where they can play with other dogs and be …. yes dogs!! They are pack animals and even if not so sociable, actually enjoy the environment.
I have many dogs come in quivering …. after a few visits, they make friends, they have more confidence and are basically happier. Also you, as the human …. you are not trapped either!
So, if there is a second wave or you are still working from home but one day will go on a holiday …. think ahead for your beloved friend, practice a bit of distancing, try some local doggy day care facilities, as it’s the kindest solution all round rather than an abrupt change. At the end of the day, none of us, human or animal want to feel abandoned.

I wish you all well.
Shari Hughes
Tamborine Pet Farm Stay

Tamborine Pet Farmstay