Sunday, May 20, 2012

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A Safe Place

We have found a safe place for Jam to settle when we need him to be at home while we are out and about.  He will tolerate the crate, going it without any fuss, but he is not happy.  You can tell.  And we feel bad about leaving him.

Just by happenstance, though, we came upon the idea of babygating him into the kitchen with Willow.  What's not to like about that?  They have free reign of the kitchen, which is relatively large, and he has a buddy.

The first time we tried it for 30 minutes when we went grocery shopping.  Success!  No wild barking or panicky breathing when we returned.  There was the sneaking suspicion that perhaps one or both of them had searched the counters for something to eat, but nothing could be proven.

So we tried it again.  For a longer period of time.  Again, it was a success.  So on Friday, when we went to Bern's, we were pretty comfortable with leaving Jam in the kitchen.  We checked all the counters and left them both safe and happy.

Jam and Willow lying down in front of one of the kitchen babygates.
The good news.  He was so happy and relaxed that when we got home, he had actually fallen asleep!

Woot!  Sleepy Jam.  Separation anxiety, I am the boss of you!

1 comment:

  1. Separation anxiety is so common with "puppies in training" and "service dogs". My first guide had such horrible separation anxiety until he retired, that I had to take him everywhere with me and none of my friends or family would watch him. He'd bark and cry the entire (even if I was gone the entire day) time I was gone. He got to do some pretty cool things with me though that I would never do with my other dogs, so I guess that is a positive. When he decided to retire himself at 8 years of age, he stopped having separation anxiety issues and happily stayed home with our female golden retriever while we were away. It was amazing, I have no explanation for it, he just stopped caring about being left home and as soon as he saw me take the harness down from the leash rack, he'd run over to the couch and settle in for a nap while Cessna went to work.

    I think that if Phoenix's puppy raisers had worked on separation while fostering him, then he probably wouldn't have had such an issue with staying alone, but they were in their 70s so there wasn't really much of a need to ever leave him and when they did, they had his "grandma's" sister come stay with him.

    You guys are doing such an amazing job with Jam. If he doesn't end up being a breeder, the person who ends up having him as their partner, will be one lucky individual.