Monday, September 26, 2011

Separation, Part II

I wanted to let you know how Finn was doing with her separation anxiety.  I had posted about some several failed attempts here.  She was munching on our poor little carpet, and throughout the summer, the state of our carpet had gotten worse and worse.  Several people had told us to crate her, since she hadn't really been punished in her crate, and from time to time she wanders in there.  But leaving her home alone in the crate for upwards of 8 hours a day just didn't seem fair, in our eyes.  Throughout the summer, Finn would have some good days, where she didn't touch anything, and then some bad days, where she actually starting munching on our molding!  We went and bought some sour apple spray to deter her from this and it was just diluted rubbing alcohol.  I could smell it when I even just sprayed it.  No wonder why Finn stopped munching on it.

Then, we went away for a couple of weeks and left her with the dog sitter.  Before we brought her home, I bought this pink bin to keep all of her toys in.  Either at night or first thing in the morning, I pick up all of her toys and put them back in there.  I told myself it was because I wanted her to know where everything was, but really I was tired of stepping on the random pig's foot while I was barefoot!

It's been a couple of weeks now, and I thought for sure she would have taken a crack at the plastic bin, since it's new and colorful and crunchy, but she hasn't.

I can't separate her behavior from my imagination, but I think she kind of grew up while we were away.  We've left her for a nice chunk of time several times now since we've been back, and she seems to be doing fine!  When we return, she's been sleeping or playing.

We still use that spider web toy, I put it down before we leave and I pick it up the instant I walk through the door.  The funny thing is that she never ever ever plays with it, even though it's awesome and rubbery and sqeaky!  It's always in the same spot where I put it down.  So I think she knows it's not really a toy but just something that signals this "we're coming back" idea.

So...maybe she just learned we are coming back.  And I try my hardest not to make a big deal for a few minutes before and a few minutes after I leave and come back.  Could it be...she's *gulp* maturing???  Could it be...that I am getting less anxious about leaving her and she senses that it's ok to be alone?

Either way, that molding by the door is getting replaced this weekend, and we're hoping to put down the new carpet within a month!

We'll either be going a walk somewhere new this morning or taking Finn back to the very beautiful Prosser Pines, and we'll let you know how that goes!


  1. I like the idea of leaving a toy before you leave. We have never tried it, but it might be a good option.

    Finn seems to be maturing. That's a good thing.

  2. I'll keep my paws crossed!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  3. I thinks that Finn is growing up to become quite a sweet girl!

    woos, Tessa

  4. Sounds like Finn is maturing!

  5. Oh, your little girl is growing up! Funny, no one ever mentions the cost of replacing stuff (shoes, carpet, furniture, etc) when talking about the cost of raising a puppy! BOL

    The Road Dogs' Mom

  6. Finn's getting to be a big girl. My dad often tells people that we golden's are half beaver and will destroy everything you own until we are two years old. Can't say he's wrong because I work hard to prove him right!!

    Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

  7. Shiver gets separation anxiety too. In fact, that's mainly why I got Chico. Prior to, I had a kitty who passed away. Shiver was all by himself all day while I was at work and then I'd come home at lunch to let him out. He would just cry and cry and cry and I felt so guilty. So along came Chico to keep him company.

    The other day, I picked up the car keys and wasn't even going anywhere, I was just going to put my backpack in my car for the next morning. Shiver saw those keys and he got upset. I made sure to spend extra time with him and give him lots of extra loves.

  8. We got told that putting toys out before daddies leave can help as then I have toys to play with, and to take them back up when they get home..

    That way it's something special for when they are gone!

    I also scratch at the wall and chew things... but now I get to stay outside and it's a lot of fun :)


  9. It is really great that Finn is getting used to being left alone. I bet she is growing up. :)

  10. I guess the general thought is... Maturity. Whatever it is.. I am sure it is a GOOD thingy.

  11. I still get a bit stressed out when my mom leaves me. I don't destroy anything but I do make lots of noise. Good thing we don't have any neighbors dat live close enough to hear me. ;)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  12. Nice to see that she is maturing and getting used to being alone.

  13. Hurray for Finn!

    Your pal, Pip

    P.S: I am almost 14 and I still get a little stressed when my mom leaves.

  14. She is really maturing and comfortable too in her home. My "getting ready to leave" signal to Penny was saying, "I'll be back in a little bit, watch the house." I feel like I gave her a job to do, and usually she would be in position (on her bed or on the stairs) before I even finished the sentence.
    Like kids, they are comfortable with routine, whatever you do. I think that toy you put out does tell her all is fine, you are coming back, so you you might as well chill out and take a rest!!

  15. Yep, Finn is growing up and hopefully is past the chewing phase.
    I can't believe you don't like to play with your spider squeaky toy.

  16. Sounds like growing up to me. It always helps to leave toys!!

    Jazzi and Addy

  17. I think Finn is feeling more confident and your manner in handling her initial anxiety definitely helped. Good job!

  18. It sounds like Finn has started to relax a little bit and feels like life might be all right now. She is probably getting some confidence and is also maturing. Glad you are seeing some improvement. Finn you are such a good looking doggie. Take care.

  19. Woof! Woof! OH FINN ... Golden Happy to hear about your progress. Sending you lots of Golden LOVE n Woofs, Sugar

  20. The putting down/picking up the spider web toy seems like an interesting idea. I'll have to keep that in mind.


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