Dealing with dog Separation Anxiety

Here is a note I received from Chloe‘s new family, followed by my response to their separation anxiety issue:

sweet ChloeMy parents are the proud adoptive parents of Chloe! I am their daughter and live 5 blocks away and I love Chloe too! She has taken to my mom and dad easily. They are active seniors who stay home a lot. I am at their house often. Chloe is doing well and is adjusting quite well to her new home. She is a wonderful dog!!!!! Very smart!

She has only been with them for 4 days. During that time, the only thing we may need some advice on is helping her to separate when my parents leave the house together to go out for breakfast. They are only gone a couple of hours once a week. She has the run of the house. Chloe whines and howls when they are gone. She is not destructive in any way. Is there any way we can help her through this?

Thank you SO much for the update on Chloe! I know many of my readers will be thrilled to hear that she is doing well in your parents’ home. I became really attached to her and would have kept her had my home and heart not been full already, so your words were a comfort to me.

Chloe has been through an incredible amount of change in the past 4 months. She was taken from a hoarders’ home with her 7, one-month old puppies and placed in a shelter for a couple of days. Then she was transported from southern IL to my home where she lived with her pups for another month. On a single day her pups all went to their new homes and was taken to her new (more…)

Update on Jackson

Here is an update on Jackson (formerly Jacob of Chloe‘s litter)…

JacksonIt’s been a while, so I thought I would give everyone a quick update on how Jackson is doing. He has grown to be quite the big boy, weighing in at about 40 pounds at 18 weeks. He really doesn’t look that big, I guess he’s just solid. He is still good natured and loves to see new people and places. He used to cry and whine in the car, but now he goes and sits next to the van sometimes and is happy to go just about anywhere with us.

He loves playing outside, and lately he can spend a lot of time romping in the yard trying to chase moths. He has recently gone through a phase of hiding his bones & rawhides outside. If we are in the house he will sit by the door and whine softly. When we take him out he runs to the base of a tree, sets the rawhide down, then with his paws he digs a hole in the mulch. Then he’ll pick the rawide back up and gently put it in the hole and press it in with his nose. Then, using his nose again, not his paws, he covers up the rawhide and fills the hole. It’s pretty interesting to watch.

Yesterday he got his “big snip” at the vet’s office, so there won’t be any little Jackson’s running around in the future. They sent us home with a cone so he can’t lick his stitches, but it is WAY too big for him, so on the advice of a friend we fitted him with a custom t-shirt which I put over his head, his front legs through the sleeves, and then gather up the shirt over his butt and between his back legs and rubberband it off on one side of his tail. We have to undo it every time we take him outside to go, but it does keep him from getting to that area, and it is much more comfortable than the dreaded cone.

He is slowly getting used to the back to school routine, but hates to see the boys leave in the morning. I hope you and your pups are all doing well.

Update on puppy Angel

Here is an update on puppy Angel from Chloe‘s group…

Angel 8-13-09Sorry we missed the last puppy playtimes, I came down with some virus which had me down for a week and my husband and girls were tending to me. Plus now getting ready for school starting next Wednesday.

Angel is doing great she had her rabies shot and weighed in at 27 pounds, growing really fast and she seems to be losing some of the black coloring on top of her head, it is becoming more tan. She is doing well with commands and loves to play fetch. We take her just about everywhere and she seems to love car rides the best. She also enjoys long walks with the family which settles her in for the night.

We have noticed she is very intent on chasing the birds but thankfully hasn’t caught any.

Hope everyone’s family members are doing well. I have attached a few pictures of Angel.

Basket of dog & puppy toys from Kong

I am done!! All my foster dogs are out to their new families!! Hooray!

I can’t describe the level of contentment that swept over me after last Friday when all the puppies and Willow moved to their new homes. The past week has been a breeze with just my dogs and Chloe. Unfortunately, Chloe still hasn’t found her forever home but she has fully recovered from her last experience. She is back to her sweet, very smart self. Today she left for her permanent foster home. I’ll still see her at The Water Bowl when I work there. I’m Goodies from Kongplanning on doing some training with her and working with her shyness around some men. It will be good to have contact with her. And it is VERY good to have her out of my house.

Tonight we received a box full of samples from Kong. We tried some of their toys I’ve never used before! I’ve talked about how much I love their products before but now I can describe how my dogs liked them:

We took a large bone and filled the ends with treats and Kong Stuff’n and gave it to Lollie. She immediately became VERY possessive of it and is still chewing it. We had to put her upstairs so Hermes vs. Kongthe other dogs could enjoy their treats. If you have a dog who is at all dog aggressive or toy possessive, this treat will set them off…it is that good.

Hermes got the regular sized Kong bone, also filled with treats and stuffing. He is still working on his. He has also confiscated Bella‘s stuffed large sized puppy Kong and is currently chewing on that one while his lies nearby. Unfortunately, Bella preferred the cattle bones we have lying around, but hey, two out of three ain’t bad.

Lollie guards her kong

Lollie guards her kong

Benjamin Moore paint stands up to puppy grime

I have done the final cleaning of the puppy room. I used WAY too much bleach in the water and my poor hands (and sinuses and eyes) paid the price. I tried to ventilate but I really did use more than I should have. I really wanted to clean that room out good. Having two litters, back to back, made me concerned about transmitting illnesses. In fact, it seems we have a case of coccidia at our house. I hope my dogs won’t get it. I think most healthy adult dogs can clear it on their own but clearly we’ve got it. I think it came with Chloe‘s group but it could have been here from last summer from all I know (we had a dog with it last summer, that’s the only one who tested positive). These illnesses can last for a long time on surfaces and in the lawn….crazy, that.

Anyway, back to the bleach and the cleaning. So, the walls were gross. You may have noticed in some of the videos the film of dirt on the lower part of the white walls. You may have asked yourself, “why did she paint the walls there white?!” Well, I did it so I could see just how dirty it really was. I like white and light colored things for that reason – cuz when they are dirty you know it. But you also know when it is clean!! Anyway, I used a very heavy, wet rag and just soaked the walls with bleach water. I let the water sit on the walls for about 5 minutes and then scrubbed them hard. And I noticed what a great product Benjamin Moore makes…I always use Benjamin Moore paint because I like how thick it is, I like how it goes on, and I like how it holds up. But I did not expect it to hold up as well as it did! Not a bit of paint came off after all that soaking and scrubbing. And now my walls and nice and white again! Yeah.

walls before

walls before

walls after

walls after

So, the door is closed to the puppy room and after I do some research on coccidea and how long it lasts in lawns I’ll let you know. That will determine when our next litter can come, that and my need for peace and quiet. But that only lasts about 4 months…usually.

Weary dog fosterers

Chloe 08/04/09The work load is almost unbearable now…I am letting everything go. Luckily, ever since Chloe‘s been back my son is interested in playing in the puppy pen again! I don’t know why but he has always liked her, and I suspect that she keeps Willow busy and out of his hair…

The puppies have figured out (with Willow and Chloe’s help) how to get into the other half of the side yard. This morning I was washing dishes and saw a puppy up on the second floor deck!! I hustled her down the stairs, which she handled well to my surprise, and found three more waiting. When they saw me they all started coming up! It was funny. I corralled everyone and as soon as I bent down to take some pictures the whole group promptly fell asleep. So, not the greatest pictures but a funny sight for me.

pups 08/04/09I have had my heart, head, and will-power all set for being DONE with all fostering duties on August 7th when the puppies leave. Alas, it seems that isn’t going to be the case (due to Willow and Chloe still being with us) and it is making me stressed. I am aware of that old tendency I have of projecting into the future and then feeling really overwhelmed by what I see there. I am trying to just trust and be with this moment. I know I am feeling overwhelmed, and tired of fostering. As much as I love it I need a break. A L-O-N-G break. I worry about Willow finding a good home but mostly I worry about Chloe. Won’t someone out there give her the chance she needs??! Sigh. I need a miracle.

Willow 08/04/09I have never had an adult female dog in my home as a foster because of our Lollie who is dog-aggressive. Now I have our Quaker parrot, Frank Frank. I have to always ask myself: where’s Lollie, where’s Chloe, where’s Willow, and is anyone near the bird? Thank god we’ve had nice weather as I can put everyone outside and get a moment of peace. I have access to a wonderful doggy daycare, soon to be reopened as The Water Bowl and I need to take advantage of their willingness to have my foster mamas there, free of charge. Tomorrow I plan to drop the two mamas off in the morning and hopefully not see them again until I go into work there in the evening.

I know this will end…right?

pups 08/04/09