Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Separation Anxiety

I have separation anxiety. Me & my Mommy are together all day, so when she leaves for any amount of time I have a horrible, horrible time trying to adjust to her absence. On Saturday when my Mommy left with my Grandma, I cried & just lay down & didn't want to do anything but look out the window waiting for her return. My Mommy feels horrible when she leaves me & she tried different things to keep us both calm when she has to leave. She doesn't talk to me, when she is getting dressed to leave, however because I'm around her all day & I know what she wears when she stays home & when she puts jeans on I know she is going to leave me. She can be wearing what she wears all day but if she puts her shoes on I go crazy! I just cry & hide under the bed.Don't leave me Mommy. Can you see the stress & sadness in my face?

My Mommy also tried giving me a stuffed cow that she used to sleep with. This worked for awhile until I got mad at Mommy for leaving me & took it out on the cow...now he is void of stuffing but I still sleep with him.

Often I follow her into the bathroom just to make sure she isn't getting dressed. I also have to be in the bathroom while she is taking a shower or the carpet will suffer major damage(while I claw it to try to get to her.) My Grandma is worried that my relationship with my Mommy is unhealthy for the both of us, but we don't care. I think my Mommy has separation anxiety too, because Daddy says she always talks about me when they leave. Do any of y'all have separation anxiety? Do you have tips to help me with this?


Simba said...

I do sometimes. But HM has worked a lot to help me.

Good things to try are stuffing your food in a Kong and adding a dolop of Peanut Butter on top and freezing it. When she has to leave you get this extra special treat!! Only when she goes away. It will take some time to work on and get you tired by filling your belly and you working to get your food out.

She can leave more than one, either in your crate - or around the house where you stay! So you have to work tot find them.

Your mommy should practice coming and going every day - even if just for 5-10 minutes so you get more used to it!!

Daisy said...

Poor Eduardo! When my Mommie leaves, I just sleep and sleep.

Ruby said...

Ah you poor dear.
Mom gives me a big handful of my favourite treats. She only gives me these favourite treats when she is leaving and she has her coat on.
Then I snuggle under the blanket on the couch & sleep until she comes home. Or at least that's what she thinks I do.
Love Ruby
Btw she has been leaving me alone since I was 11 weeks old, so I'm used to it.

Stellaluna said...

Your Mom is leaving you? What? Who will snuggle you now????

Faya said...

I think your Mom should leave you everyday (yes everyday) 10-20 minutes. After a week or 2 you will understand that she always comes back. You will see, it works !
Kisses, Faya

Jodi said...

Oh Eduardo you poor lil thing, I know it's not easy when mommy leaves buddy. But just know that mommy will be back because she loves you soooooooo much okay?

Joe Stains said...

I don't have this kind of anxiety, I like being alone. Tanner is worse than me, but he just sleeps in his crate while Mom is gone! Sorry we can't help you :(

Mango the Maltese kiddo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mango the Maltese kiddo said...

Haha, unhealthy relationship, Grandma?
I think healthy relationship usually goes the opposite way with love, the healthier the relationship, the less love involved, just kidding with you, grandma!
Me too, I know when my mom goes out to Walmart looking for clearance stuff.
Healthy love to you

Peanut said...

Well I'm sorry you have that. I agree with the leaving every day even if she just goes outside and hides until it's time to come back in

Lacy said...

w00f's Eduado, me nosss what u mean..me nos when me not gits to go..do u do that when just u and ur daddy iz home..i think faya had a pawsome idea..and mayb ur mom cood leave the radio on fur u..

b safe,

Erin,Bubbles and Texas said...

Hi Eduardo!
My new puppy Texas has separation anxiety, and while I love him very much, I know its not good for him to get himself into that state, so I practice leaving him a lot. When I leave my room, I'll close the door and not let him follow me, so he will realize, "ok nothing bad happened when she left, and I may get a treat if I'm quiet while shes gone!"
Today was his best day yet!! YaY
Also like Simba said, Kongs are good and maybe change up your leaving routine so he won't go into that state of mind.

Sandra y Coco said...

Hi Eduardo! I also had separation problems, specially when I was sick and now everytime we move to another house, it takes a while for me to adapt being alone. What my mom does is create a routine. When my mom is going to leave the house she says "bye Coco" and opens the fridge and gives me some green beans. She watches while I eat (she is scared I will choke because I eat very fast) and when I am almost done she runs to the door and leaves. I don't care because I had my treat and then will have time to sleep. If we spend the whole weekend together it gets harder for me and I don't want to be left alone, so she starts saying "Coco we will do a bye bye soon" for a while and I get the idea. I think that the real problem is my mother. She is the one that wants to be with me the whole day!

CoCo said...

Eduardo, my Daddy thinks that I have separation anxiety too, but I think he is nuts. Although I will have to admit that I got really sick the last time Daddy went out of town for three days. I am usually a food fanatic, but I refused to eat when he was gone. It nearly scared Mama to death. Don't feel bad, you are not alone!
...CoCo's Mama here: As little as you may want to hear this, but I think Eduardo needs a friend/sibling. Another Dog may be good company for Eduardo. When CoCo was a puppy, she destroyed the floor board when she was left alone, but when we put her roommate Duke in the same room with her, everything was fine. A lot of times, dogs are just bored and needs company.

CoCo and Mama

P.S. The bone you saw on CoCo's blog is beef bones that were picked up from the grocery butcher. Ask you local butcher and they should be able to sell you some bones. Then all you do is boil it for 25 minutes give it to the pup.

Mack said...

I am a bit of a momma's boy myself, but when mom leaves I usually just sleep and dream about when she'll come home for lunch and give me lots of treats!

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

We don't like it when Mom leaves either. I always sit at the stop of the stairs as she leaves in the mornings. We are all sitting in the windows when she comes home from work. Of course on the weekends we freak when either mom or dad puts their shoes on. Perhaps we are going to the lake or herding!!!

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

with love, Madison said...

H-mom has separation anxiety. She hates to leave Madison. Everywhere H-Mom goes, Madison gets to go too. H-Mom even chooses restaurants that are dog friendly! We are so lucky to live somewhere that enjoys dog patrons as much as people patrons!

Bryan Karl said...

Hi Eduardo. That's real sad... but I know you can cope up with it. Just play around for a while or sleep when your mommy's gone. Just think that she'll be coming home very soon. Don't dwell on the thought that she's away, ok?

Peanut said...

I do not have separation anxiety, but I do miss Mom and Dad when they're gone a bit and get very excited when they come home after work or a Holiday. Mom and Dad have put me in my crate regularly from the beginning and they think the crate has helped me avoid any separation issues. I am starting to be weaned off my crate a bit now. They also go away every few months on vacation and I have the opportunity to meet and stay with new people and doggies. I would agree with Simba and the others that it would help if your Mom and you practiced each day coming and going. I also get my Kong filled with some goodies when Mom and/or Dad leave. Now I rush to my crate whenever they start getting their boots or coats on. I love food... and I know they will always come back. Good luck with your training XOXO Peanut

Grr, Midnight & Cocoa said...

aww - you poor thing! would it help if you had a brother or sister to play with? there are 6 of us, so we're never lonely.

Dannan and The Girl said...

Eduardo, I am so sad to hear that you have separation anxiety! The Girl has generalized anxiety and I cuddle with her to help her. I wish I could cuddle with you to help you out!

I always know the difference between the "at home" clothes and the "going out" clothes, too.

I think that evfurrybody has really good ideas. Special treats like Kongs, or one of those puzzle treats that you have to figure out to get the treats, or the treat dispenser ones that you roll around and it gives one treat at a time, those are all good ideas.

I think that the idea of your Mommy leaving every day for a short time (like 5 minutes or less to start) is a good idea, too. And then build up to longer times.

The other idea other doggies had that I think is worth trying is for you to have a really special, super yummy treat that you only get when she leaves. (Kong, or whatever. I get a beef bone, and I don't care that she goes!)

The HSUS has some info about separation anxiety: http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/our_pets_for_life_program/dog_behavior_tip_sheets/separation_anxiety.html. It has some info on how to desensitize you to her leaving, the steps that she can break it down into.

We'll keep looking for a really good resource, if you want. The Girl knows that there is someone out there who wrote a really good article about it, but she can't remember. She'll keep thinking and we'll let you know.

Eduardo, we hope that you and your Mommy can figure out how to make you feel better about her being gone. Anxiety is awful.

Brown dog kisses,

Lorenza said...

Hi, Eduardo!
I am so sorry you have separation anxiety.
Our friends gave you good ideas like the kong and that your mom goes away for a few minutes every day so you can get used to it.
Kisses and hugs

The Devil Dog said...

When mom or dad leave, Lucky and I just go to sleep. We have each other, so we are not lonely.


duo_disaster said...

Dad has SA thou'..

Mum says whenever they're away for howlidays, Dad keeps reminding us.

We think we're fine, thou' we miss the hooman much too, prolly thats because we have each other as company...

How about getting your Mum to get you more toys? and smart toys (those that you can stuff treats inside if you're a glutton, lol)

Apart from that, whenever your Mum has to go somewhere, remind her to give you a piece of her TEE or something (not washed) that bears her smell... We dogs are great sniffers, you know!

Hope it helps!
Love, R+G

Scottie the 'cutie' said...

I used to have separation anxiety too...whenever Mom leaves, I kind of go berserk. But Gramma is always around, and I have Kenji to play with, so after a while I was okay when Mom leaves for work...=)

I like Faya's suggestion...perhaps your Mom can ease you out of the anxiety by leaving the house for at first 5 minutes or so...then after a few repetitions through out the week, she can lengthen the time to 10 minutes, and so on until she can leave you for quite a while and you're fine with it...=)

Hope you'll find your solution soon!


Jen and Duke said...

We leave Duke with a kong full of treats and peanut butter. He loves it. He has wicked bad separation anxiety, like really really bad.

We've tried the whole leave for 10 minutes, come back, leave for 15, etc etc, and it hasn't worked yet. He still gets really nervous when one of us runs in to get something at the grocery store or forgets something in the apartment. He whines and screams and scratches at the window.

The kong with peanut butter works, and he goes so hard at it he just falls asleep when he is done. Hey, whatever works!

Boo Casanova said...

poor eduardo. i know some of the dogs have the same symptom too. sorry i can't help much coz am no good in solving this problem. :(

wet wet licks


Asta said...

I'm so sowwy you have that sepawation anxiety..I'm home most of the time wif Mommi, but she has always just left when she has to wifout making a fuss about it.
she just goes and says see you in five minutes..I cuwl up and sneep
smoochie good luck kisses

Chow Chow said...

Eduardo, just remind youreslf that your Mummy will be back very soon! I don't have Separation Anxiety cos I'm an independent boy. I just sleep or play with my toys when no one is at home.

My Mummy has Separation Anxiety though. She would try to rush home so that I won't be too lonely at home without anyone. I wonder if she would go crazy when she starts working again.

The FOUR Musketeers said...

sorry to hear that you have this problem, but we never had it .

Four Musketeers

Bae Bae said...

Oh dear.. I hope you'll find a solution for this..

~ Bae

Molly and Taffy said...

Eduardo we hope you can overcome your separation anxiety sooon.

I, Taffy, used to suffer with it but now I am just fine. I know my hooman is always going to come home so I just settle in my bed and snooze while she is away.

Taffy and Molly

Poopsie Blue said...

Poor you & poor Mummy!
Sorry but can't help, wish I could.

Love, pats & pets

Xsara ... said...

Xsara does a little, but I am doing my best to help her. I try to leave her alone at least for 15 minutes every day, even if I don't have to go anywhere. I think it's best if the dog is used to being alone for a while, because you never when it could come handy. But I absolutely agree with your mom: I miss Xsara even more than she misses me (with the only exception that I don find chewing on her things all that helpful in avoiding to feel stressed out).

Simba said...

I don't think you have an unhealthy relationship with your Mummy. Me and my Mummy are together all the time. She says I am the most important person in her life because its me she spends her time with (ok maybe a bit odd lol). But I don't mind when she goes out. I just nap until she comes back. I hope your Mummy finds a way to make you not mind her going out.

Simba x

Goodboy Norman Featherstone said...

Ian says Woman and I have co-dependency issues, so I think we have similar problems that you and your Woman person have. Has your Mom thing tried to give you a Kong treat when she leaves? That sometimes helps with the sadness.

Duni said...

Eduardo...I feel for you.
I HATE when my mommy goes out too! You know what I do? I refuse to eat that disgusting healthy diet food she gives me every day...then I make her feel really guilty and she gives me a piece of cheese instead! Haha.

Sammy, the cat.

Bruschi said...

Oh poor Eduardo! That is so sad! I think that if you are not left alone as a puppy often, then you become attached very easily to your mommy and/or daddy because you are so used to them being there. My mommy and daddy crate trained me when I was a pup and I would be alone for 3 hours or so at a time, and as I did well in the crate, I gradually got more space and was alone longer. Now I have the house to myself and I too know when they are both leaving for the day. I usually hide under the bed, or cry until they lift me on the bed and that is where I hang out til they return. Luckily, daddy is a firefighter so he is home A LOT. Only one or two days a week I am alone during the day, but I do good with it.
I think your mommy should start leaving you for an hour a day to break the habit. Over time, you will be ok Eduardo. I promise, they always come home! :)

Hugs and Licks,

Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello eduardo its dennis the vizsla dog hay i handel this sort of thing by shredding the furnitcher but i am not shoor i wood rekomend that as it offen ends up with me gitting krated as a result ok bye

Lex said...

Gus has that problem too. When I first got him he was attached to my leg, and I couln't even go to the bathroom by myself. He is better now but he still follows me from room to room to see what I am doing.
We had to kennel him in the beginning since he was so destructive and even now we have to make sure the whole house is Gus proof when we go out. One thing I found to help is not to make a big deal of you coming home because it will make his anxiety worse when you go to leave again.

Mango said...

I meditate when momma leaves. That passes the time for me.

Thanks for the award, little guy. I will post when I recover from this weekend.


Preston said...

Yeah..My mommy and I both have SA. Personally, I think hers is worse than mine. (She uses web cam to spy on me! when she didn't see in through the web cam, she thought someone broke in and kidnapped me). Mommy placed a toy stuffed with treats (like Kong) on top of my crate before she leaves. I have to stay in my crate until she leaves then come out to get the treats. I just can't wait she steps out of the apartment every morning! Eduardo, there are a lot of fun things to do when mommy is not around (like dancing on the dinner table! shhh..). If your are bored, just sleep. Mommy is back before you know it.


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