Charlie my beloved mutt has separation anxiety. There, I’ve said it.
We spend RM300 every month just for a dogsitter to look after him on the weekends and I’ve basically given up on a full time job just so I could be with him on the weekdays (okay, I really do not like working full time also :P). Which explains why he has to be at the sitter on the weekends, because I need dog-free activities like eating at non-dog friendly restaurants, catching a movie etc.
Leaving him for a 1/2 hour alone would mean that he would be barking ferociously at the closed door for a full 30 minutes until I’m home. Though I don’t work full time, I need to go out to meet clients on the weekdays too and whenever this happens, I in turn become the one with the anxiety problems :P
Yesterday someone offered me 2 tickets to watch a new movie tonight and imagine how ridiculous I felt when I had to decline the tickets because my dog cannot be left alone?
My greatest fear is the neighbours complaining and eventually getting us into trouble but touch wood, that has not happened yet. A neighbour did voice out to us about a barking episode a while ago though. And I had strived to stop that from happening again.
English Cocker Spaniels are a great breed but they are infamous for being needy. They need constant human contact, very very affectionate animals. Something which I had no idea when I got Charlie. Trust me, if I had learnt to research on dogs’ characters before getting a dog, I would not have gotten him at all. I’d get a cat instead, JUST KIDDING! But alas, it’s fated and I have to live with my decision for at least 15 years :)
So anyway, due to Charlie’s separation anxiety, I’ve been avoiding going out at all. I know it’s unhealthy for me but to be honest I was pretty happy cooped up at home with just my dog.
Then suddenly, I was swamped with work and had to go out a couple of times a week. Luckily my friend, Ringo could look after him. Another time the bf took leave to do it.
But today…today I couldn’t find any help. So it’s just me and Charlie and then Charlie alone from 12.00pm – 4.30pm. Frankly, I was worried to death. I took a chance by leaving the wooden door open hoping he won’t feel so trapped in our tiny apartment.
And when I got home, he wasn’t barking which was not really a good sign as I had learnt because it probably meant that he’s exhausted from it. I decided to ring a neighbour’s doorbell and according to her, he didn’t bark but instead he howled. In fact he howled for a while like he’s asking for pity. Then I asked her whether the howling disturbed her and she answered, “Nope”.
At that very moment, I was filled with pride and happiness that you cannot possibly imagine. I guess leaving the wooden door opened really worked!
Yes, I have reached a new milestone with Charlie :)
And possibly getting my social life back!!!!!