I went somewhere around noon. Not my eye appointment, just a trial run somewhere to see how Stanley would deal with my absence. I’ve left him in the kitchen for a little while when I was in the house, but I hadn’t left the house before.
Let me tell you what a disaster this was.
I could hear him scream in the garage. Yep, it was a scream. It passed whine several decibels earlier.
He was in the kitchen with his favorite toys. I Stanley-proofed everything, made sure he couldn’t hurt himself with anything. I took off his training collar and replaced it with his harness. There were wooden, pressure baby gates in both doorways.
Garbage lids on, check.
Everything off the counters, check.
Fresh water, check.
I was gone 45 minutes.
When I opened the door from the garage, Stanley greeted me, his whole body wiggling. Huh? How did you get out of the kitchen?
Well, he knocked out one of the baby gates. He only weighs 22 pounds and those gates were solid on there. I guess if you’re determined, anything is possible. Oh, and he spilled his water everywhere. He didn’t leave me any presents in the house, though, thank heavens.
Lord love a duck, he REALLY doesn’t like being left alone.
My darling son has offered to babysit on the day of my eye appointment. I’m going to take him up on his offer. I’m also checking with care.com to hire a dog sitter for those times when I have to go somewhere without el doggo. Thankfully, those times don’t come up very often – just doctor or dentist appointments.
I know that I’m anthropomorphizing Stanley. He’s a doggy, not a person. However, if I’d been tossed from pillar to post as often as he was I’d be a little insecure, too. Of course he’s going to think I’m abandoning him. After all, he’s already been abandoned enough in his short life. I’m hoping that after he’s been with me a year or so he’ll start to feel a little more comfy. Or not.
He is a mess. However, he’s my mess right now. If I have to arrange for a babysitter every time I leave, that’s okay, too. I know he likes John. I’m not too sure about another person, which is why I’d like to establish a long term relationship with someone.
I’m going to do the leaving thing next week, too. Maybe it’s a case of familiarity.
Stanley has to be introduced to things very slowly. For example, brushing him took a few weeks. He had to be shown that the brush wasn’t a weapon, that it didn’t hurt, that he could bark at it and I was okay with that. Then we did his back – with treats – then his legs – with treats. Now he’ll let me brush his face and Stanley wears his food on his face. I can brush his ears and everything else. I don’t think he loves it, but he tolerates it.
Patience – that’s the word to use with Lord Stanley. I have to admit I’ve done a lot of rolling my eyes lately and more than a little talking to God.
I have to work a little tonight and have already told Stanley that there will be no naps ON me tonight. (He already had a nap this afternoon ON me. It’s a little like being a marsupial and Stanley’s my baby in the pouch.) He’s resigned himself to sleeping under my desk (on a bed, natch) while I’m working. (He’s on a 50′ lead now, which I don’t connect to anything. I’m testing his adherence to HERE, Stanley or COME, Stanley. He’s doing pretty good. I anticipate no leads in a week or so.)
I am going to check out a Thundershirt and other non-prescription items to lessen a dog’s anxiety. I really do think, however, in Stanley’s case that time will accomplish more than anything else. Time and trust.