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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!
just reaching out to know if I’m normal.
i think i might have separation anxiety with my dog. I have to leave cookie for 2 nights at pet hotel. When they picked cookie up, i did my best to hold back tears and once they left, i cried my eyes out.
I feel so bad having to leave cookie. And the look on his face when we have to put him into the crate 🥺
He looked at me like “who are these men? Where am i going? Are you leaving me mum?” 🥺
I’m typing this while crying. Sorry if i make any mistake in grammar.
I cant stop crying lol it has been 10 minutes.
anyone else feeling the same way when they have to leave doggo under other people’s care ? 🥺
I wonder if there’s any way to train the human on separation anxiety issues
 

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These days I only leave mine with people I know well, and that really helps. The time I left one of my dogs in kennels it felt like a high security prison - very caring and well run, but like a prison. She recovered from the experience a lot faster than I did, but since then I have always managed to find friends or relations to care for them if I have to be away. I still miss them like mad, though...

I am sure Cookie will be fine - 48 hours is a good length of time for a first stay. I am sure that you checked the place out very thoroughly, and with luck he will get so much attention and petting that he will look forward to another visit, and you will have the reassurance of knowing there is a safe place for him in an emergency. If he hates it then two days is not long, and you will know to plan differently next time.
 

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As usual, FJM offers sound words. I would also add that your feelings may be heightened by the pandemic, because of both a base level of anxiety and because Cookie's absences breaks your established routine. I don't know your situation, but Cookie has likely been a 24/7 companion for most of the year, and frankly, for many of us, our four legged companions have been a great help at lifting our spirits during lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders. This brief separation will be over quickly and may provide you with a new perspective on your life together.
 

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Here's another contributing factor in how we may feel when leaving a very sensitive dog (and babies and toddlers). They are limited in understanding our bigger words and concepts like:
  • My job says I have to travel for meeting in another state, or,
  • I have to visit my sick relative/friend and won't be back for several days, or
  • I'm going on a vacation with my partner.

Job? Travel? Meeting? State? Sick? Relative? Several? Vacation? Partner?

You might as well be speaking gibberish.

You know that all they know is what they see, and they see strangers and you leaving. You worry they'll feel like you would feel: abandoned. It's a horrible feeling when you have a close, nearly telepathic type of relationship with your dog and both of you are very much in tune with each other's feelings.

Something for others to know: Dogs are also high risk of running away from a temporary caretaker they aren't familiar with. A door or gate left open or a hole under a fence, and many run, trying to pick up your scent and find their way home, get lost and are never seen again.

But your circumstances are good. Cookie is at a safe and professional pet hotel. She has the distractions of other dogs and there's a good chance she'll play with some of them. All that she sees, smells and hears will be fascinating to her. People there won't feel like they want to harm her. She may whine periodically when she thinks of you and wonders where you are, but bam! More interesting distractions! And hey, she thinks, I'm having a little fun!

A 2 or 3 day break is a nice length of time. When you return, she'll be wagging her tail and so happy to see you, and wishing she could tell you all about her adventure with new dogs and people and toys and smells. She should emerge stronger and more well-rounded, and the best part is if you have to take her there again, she knows you'll be back. This is sort of like when you drop off your dog at the groomer's in the morning and return in the afternoon; after a couple times they know the routine and are fine with it.

So enjoy your two days, she's in better hands than she might be with a friend and can disappear from a door or gate being left open. You did well by her and she's safe.
 
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