Unbeknownst to us, Charlie has not made much progress with his immense fear of being left alone.
We have thought that, aside from some initial distress at our departure, he eventually calmed down and spent the day doing…well, whatever dogs do all day.
Apparently this has not been the case. Our sweet Charlie, it seems, barks. A lot. All. Day. Long. Loudly and pitifully. And did I mention constantly? Literally?
Our neighbor came over to talk to us about it for the first time on Sunday. Apparently our schedules are often similar enough that no one is home during the majority of Charlie’s bark fest. But when we went out early on Sunday for breakfast, that prompted a visit.
I felt awful that Charlie (and our neighbors) had been suffering for so long without us knowing. We truly believed the strategies we had been trying were helping and he was doing well. Had we know, I definitely would have started a more aggressive desensitization program right away.
Luckily our neighbor has been pretty understanding, especially when we reassured him that we were taking/ are going to take steps to fix the problem.
Which is why is spent my day off trying every single thing I could find to help dogs with separation anxiety in addition to the several methods we already have in place.
I think I’ve found a strategy that so far has shown a lot of promise. Charlie has responded pretty well to it, and I think with more time and consistency it will help a great deal. I just wish it was possible for me to have a few days off right now, for I fear the progress we made today (which has been wonderful but by no means close to “cured” status) will be lost when Charlie is back to being on his own tomorrow.
All I can do is hope for the best and keep on trying. I really love this little guy and I so much want for him to be able to spend his days relaxed and not afraid. And not driving our neighbors crazy.
Hopefully soon I’ll be able to post a more specific description of what we have tried and what has and hasn’t helped, so that maybe someone going through the same thing can find some ideas to help their dog.