What is Separation Anxiety?

Some of you may recall that my family decided to get a puppy back in June - well, my husband and I had been talking about getting a puppy for a few months but we had not met the right dog yet. We weren't looking to buy a dog - we had our hearts set on rescuing one. But we knew we wanted something slightly smaller than our current dog Madeline (who weighs in at 80 lbs). We also knew it had to be a dog that would work with our family dynamic - 2 working parents, 3 crazy children, 3 cats..etc. Along came Simon - Simon was a Brittany Spaniel puppy who was surrendered to a local ER hospital where I do some relief work. He had tested positive for parvovirus and unfortunately his new owners couldn't commit to the financial burden of his treatment. The ER hospital took over care of him and promised to find him an owner. I happened to work the next morning and as soon as I saw his face, I fell in love. Simon came home to live with us mid-June, in the midst of the Covid Pandemic and we soon found ourselves as one of the 'pandemic puppy' families. We were now raising a puppy who was going to be used to someone being home all the time.....which of course, as a veterinarian, made me concerned for future separation anxiety issues.

Simon has done well with getting adjusted to our schedule - we have spent time away from the house so he can get used to being home alone at times. He even went to doggy camp for a week when we went out of town last week. But it's still a work in progress. When I am home he tends to follow me everywhere I go and wants to keep a constant eye on me. Some might look at that and think its adorable - which it is! But I know that this type of attachment can lead to destruction if we don't deal with it the right way.

Join me on the next few weeks of blog posts as we delve deeper into separation anxiety, how to prevent it and how to work with dogs who suffer from it.

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