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Discussion Starter #1
For the last few days, Merlin has been leaving me and Beckie alone on the coach and going to his doggy bed on the floor. From where he is, even though he’s not very far from us, the other couch blocks his view and he can’t see me.

This, from a very anxious dog who wants to be close to me, touching me as much as possible and who likes staring at me 24/7, is very out of character. If I call him, he’ll take his stairs to the couch, lie down a minute or two and go back down to his bed.

He eats very well, likes to go outside to play with Beckie and even plays on his own sometimes. He doesn’t have diarrhea or vomiting. He’s in great shape.

I, on the other hand, have been struggling with high anxiety for the past week or so. I always have anxiety, but this time it’s different, more severe. Would he be avoiding me because of that ? He’s always been very sensitive to my moods, but I’ve never seen this behavior before.

What do you think ?
 

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Is the bed cooler than the couch? We've had a few hot days here, and Mia has taken to sleeping on the wood floors in the afternoon (in the mornings she does the awkward: half on the dog bed, half on the floor).
 

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I would strongly suspect that he is picking up on your anxiety, but it may be worth a vet check just in case. I have learned over the years that Sophy, usually the most relaxed and confident of dogs, is completely thrown if I get highly stressed. At lowish levels she gets stress diarrhoea; if I am in suppressed panic mode she can be a shaking, dithering mess. As soon as I relax she is better. I now know that my stress is the most probable explanation, but I get her checked by the vet just in case.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Is the bed cooler than the couch? We've had a few hot days here, and Mia has taken to sleeping on the wood floors in the afternoon (in the mornings she does the awkward: half on the dog bed, half on the floor).
I would say they’re about the same. I just had a brand new air conditioner installed and it’s nice and cool in the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would strongly suspect that he is picking up on your anxiety, but it may be worth a vet check just in case.
I will certainly keep watching him and go if necessary. He has been to the vet recently, when he and Beckie had their diarrhea episode and had a complete exam so that is reassuring.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How's Merlin doing?
Same... Still very playful, eating well and all but sometimes he just isolated himself in the corner, where his bed is. Thanks for asking ! :)

It’s funny my Betta fish is also having problems with hiding these days. It must be a new trend...
 

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I wonder if the new air conditioner is making a sound that the fish can hear. Fish can be sensitive to small changes in their environment. With Merlin, I would suspect that he is distancing himself from your anxiety. Have you tried Gummy CBDs for yourself? Doing years of therapy dog work, I have had dogs that would pick the most needy person in the room and go to them. Sometimes in a classroom, it would be the teacher. My oldest boy could sense when teens were near blow ups, and he wanted nothing to do with the kid that morning. I would give the teacher a heads up, and later that day, she would email saying that the dog had predicted correctly. It is interesting that the dog would seek out those in need of comfort, but avoided the ones that would be throwing chairs later in the day. How could he sense the difference? And, if a therapy dog can sense the emotions of people he sees once a week, then certainly a poodle that lives with you would know when you are anxious. Hope you feel better soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I wonder if the new air conditioner is making a sound that the fish can hear.
I hadn’t thought of that. The air conditioner is very quiet compared to the old one, but maybe it emits some kind of different frequency ? He’s the only one affected of all my fishes.

With Merlin, I would suspect that he is distancing himself from your anxiety. Have you tried Gummy CBDs for yourself?
I have tried different forms of CBD but it’s just not for me. I’m hoping to talk to a doctor tomorrow.

Hmmmm, Could he be respecting Beckie's space? She has occasionally guarded you in the past, right? Maybe he's nervous he'll trigger her.
That would be possible, but Beckie has been really smooth lately. Today he hasn’t done it yet. :)
 

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It's hard to pin down why they do what they do sometimes. Both my boys are cuddle bugs but both also go thru separation phases.
Remo goes thru phases where he chooses the carpeted floor in front of the brick hearth of the fireplace rather than a lap. It just starts one evening then goes for days or weeks and then he's back to full time laps, or at least on the sofa.
Neo has turned into a part time Basement Boy. He still spends lots of lap time with us but will as often go under the sofa and stay there.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think I know what’s wrong. Since getting my new AC, I’ve had to put on a hoody sometimes and I just leave it on the sofa for whenever I get cold. This is my casual hoody, it has my scent on it and I’ve been wearing it for years. He’s afraid of it.

Whenever I put a piece of clothing on the sofa, he jumps up and gets off the couch as if his life was in danger.... It’s no different with the hoodie !

Such a weird dog.
 

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Well, if that's what's going on, what a silly boy :). OTOH, if this is mystery solved, then Yay!
 

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Sometimes it really is something tiny! Well observed - you can test the hypothesis by leaving the hoodie out on alternate days, perhaps?
 

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Sophy was behaving oddly yesterday evening - I think she must have been able to hear something I could not, as it was very much the way she is when there is thunder about. First she would not settle, but came in and out of the room where I was sitting, staring at me. When I went with her to see if she needed to go out she instead went right into the cloakroom, which is next to the front door, and again stared at me. So I fetched one of the cushioned dog beds, put it in the tiny cloakroom, and switched on the fan. She curled up immediately, but when I left her started short, anxious barks to fetch me back. I spent an uncomfortable half an hour perched on the loo seat with my laptop computer before she decided the danger was passed and it was safe for us both to venture out again.

Remind me to take a cushion for myself as well next time...!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Anxiously awaiting the hoodie test report!
Ha Ha Ha ! I put the hoodie on another couch and it seemed to confirm the hypothesis, but then I had the hoodie on and he got off the couch. And another time the hoodie wasn’t around and I wasn’t wearing it and he did the same.

So that’s not it, or at least not 100% of the time. A few times this week I thought he was limping but I couldn’t really confirm what I thought I had seen. He does zoomies outside with Beckie and he doesn’t limp when we go on walks. So I might be imagining it.

Stay tuned, mystery not solved...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Okay, now I think I might know... He started being reactive to the tv (again). He seemed to be over it, but I guess it came back. He comes up on the couch, scared, and wants to be on my lap to comfort himself. But... it’s summer, I’m hot, and I can’t have him on my lap 24/7.

So when he sees he can’t be on my lap, he goes to his bed where he doesn’t see the tv. Now Beckie is joining him... Why do I have such complicated dogs ?
 
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