Hi Friends, Chile here again. I’ve been thinking more about my complaint from last week. I understand now why my mom needs to tell other humans about what we went through with my separation anxiety so they can better help their dogs. But, as the canine side of the equation, I feel like I should also tell the story from my point of view. I have to warn you it may be a bit difficult to read. I struggled a lot with the gremlins that came over me when I was alone and really bad things happened. Don’t worry, I’m still here to tell you about it and I DID get better. So there is a happy ending. But there is a lot to tell and I can’t do it in just one post.
Going all the way back to the beginning, more than 16 years ago, I would say that I always had some trouble being left alone. It’s strange to say but there really was no reason that we knew of it was just the way things were. My mom loved me, of course, and let me sleep on her bed and did all the things humans should do with their dogs. Her love did not cause my problem. In every other respect, I was a normal, outgoing, and extremely confident puppy. I feel I should also mention I was absolutely adorable, even back then. When I was very young, mom started to train me to be comfortable in my crate. She wasn’t a professional trainer yet. That came later after everything we went through together. But she had read lots of books and things on the internet saying it was good to crate train your puppy. I learned to like being in there and could sleep there through the night until she took me out in the morning. I could also be in there while she was home. Although I thought that was kind of weird because why wouldn’t I just be in her lap? Humans do strange things though and I just let that one go. But when she would leave me in my crate all alone in the house that was when the bad things happened. When my mom would get home she would often find my blankets and me drenched in drool (and I am NOT a drooling dog!) Sometimes I even had accidents in the crate even though I always went to the bathroom outside when she was home. One day I got so scared and panicked when she was gone that I ripped out two of the bars on the metal crate and squeezed my body through the tiny opening. My mom and dad were so confused when I met them at the front door when they got home. They couldn’t figure out how I had gotten out because the crate door was still closed. Then my dad found the two bars inside the crate. At the same time my mom picked me up and I screamed because I had bruised my ribs while getting out (and cracked a few teeth). She cried a lot that night because she thought it was her fault. I licked her face so that she would know it wasn’t her fault and it wasn’t mine either. It was the gremlins.
THE LAUNDRY ROOM MASSACRE
After that, they tried leaving me alone without the crate. They made a safe place for me in the laundry room with my bed, toys, water bowl, and some treats. My mom knew I wouldn’t like the door being closed so she put a baby gate there instead. It was a nice gesture and a comfortable space. UNTIL they left me there by myself. Again, I met them at the front door when they got home. I was running around panicked and there was blood EVERYWHERE. My mom tried to check me to make sure I was ok and then my dad found out what happened. While scaling the baby gate to get out of the laundry room, I had caught the toenail on my back paw and yanked it out completely. It was painful but, again, when the gremlins took over I had no control over what I was doing. Thankfully I was ok and the wound where my nail was healed quickly.
STOP THE PANIC
That terrible incident helped my mom finally realize that we needed to resolve this issue and that, in the meantime, I could not be left alone. She was a little slow to come to that conclusion but don’t hold it against her—she is only human. I’ll have to stop this story right here for now because it’s almost time for my dinner and if I don’t start barking fifteen minutes beforehand they might serve it late. But I will leave you with this, friends: from the moment my mom decided that I could not be left alone until I was comfortable, my whole life (and hers) changed for the better. You’ll start to learn more about our journey to recovery in my next post!