Monday, July 18, 2011

Separation anxiety

Beagles are pack animals. We don't like being alone. Now back home in Malaysia, I didn't like being left home alone. I've climbed over 7-foot fences, killed plants and dug the garden when left in the garden. During the rainy season, when left indoors, I would scratch the grill, shoe cabinet, shred paper get the picture...

My humans used to accept it in their stride. Sure, they got frustrated from time to time. But they knew that it's part and parcel of having a dog. Then of course, my humans had a network of family and friends whom they could rely on to keep an eye on me. We had the best neighbors, Aunty C and family absolutely adored me and I was equally at home at their place as I was at my own. Aunty C would usually bring me over to her place when my humans went out. If my humans had to travel, I would usually go over to gramps homes on both sides of the family.

Now that we're in Hong Kong, away from family and neighbours, my humans are faced with the predicament of having to deal with this beagle's separation anxiety. The first few times they went out, they put me in my crate, with a special bone treat. They even left the radio on so that there would be sounds at home. When they came home, they would find this beagle in a state of anxiety, wet from water spillage from the water bottle on the crate door because I had been "bouncing" my crate, as if I was trying to move the crate closer to the door. Looks like I never did adjust to being in a crate.
Because we live in a rented apartment, they don't dare to let me roam freely in the house due to fear of damage to the property. What they've resorted to doing now is getting in helpers cum dog-sitters when they want to go out. So each time they go out, they always have to watch the time coz they have to be home by a certain time. They've also tried a doggie day care once when they ouldn't get someone to come in. But they know that this beagle is more comfortable at home. It's been pretty challenging for my humans as it means they can't be spontaneous. They are now considering a full time helper, which is very common in HK so that there will be someone home with me whenever they go out. The trade off is loss of privacy. It's a real dilemma and they're still trying to find the best solution for our family.


Jake of Florida said...

Would having a beage brother or sister help? Or just double he problem? We hope your humans can solve the problem quickly so no one -- you or they -- has to suffer!

Wirey woofs,

Jake and Just Harry


Not sure what you can do.


Lorenza said...

I was thinking the same as Jake and Just Harry!
I hope you find the best solution so you all will be happy and relaxed.
Take care
Kisses and hugs

Molly the Airedale said...

We keep reading about those thundershirts working so well with dogs who are afraid of fireworks and thunderstorms (yes, that's me too). Could it work for separation anxiety too, Kess?

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Unknown said...

Hi Kess,

I'm FINALLY catching up! It's been SOOOO interesting reading about your move to HK and all the new challenges you have had to adjust to. Your poor humans must have found things quite stressy (on top of all the human stressy things!) and tough but I'm glad they're also finding new things to enjoy, like being able to go out to places with you. I loved the post about your visit to Sai Kung - wish I could have gone too!

I'm sorry to hear about your weeing troubles. I have heard that there is kind of 'artificial grass' that you can buy for apartment doggies to wee on. Maybe your humans can do a search for it online? That would probably be easier than real grass to maintain and keep clean! I think you can just hose it down.

And I'm sorry to hear about your SA too - although I have to say, unless your humans have a lot of time, it probably isn't a good idea to get another doggie just to keep you company. People often think that's the solution but it's a lot of extra work and sometimes, the 2nd doggie picks up on your problems and then the trouble is doubled!! Plus unless it is a puppy, you might not get along - and if it is a puppy, that is a LOT of extra work & commitment. So I think finding another solution might be better.

I was going to suggest doggie daycare until I read that you're not very comfortable there. But perhaps it is worth trying again a couple more times, to see if you gradually get used to it? Because that would be a good solution that would not invade your humans' privacy and not hamper their freedom as much (it would just become routine to drop you off in the morning & pick you up at the end of the day) - it would be beneficial for you too to socialise with other doggies and get some exercise/mental stimulation. It would help you adapt to staying in kennels better too, when your humans are away. Look on it as part of your new education adapting to life in a big city! So I think if your daycare place is nice, you should definitely try it again - sometimes us older doggies just need a bit of time to get used to things and once you start making regular doggie friends there, you might really enjoy it!

Honey the Great Dane

Sapphire said...

Poor Kess, your Mom and Dad must be so worried too! I really hope you find the best solution. I could dog-sit you anytime if i were there! Keep us posted, take care Kess, KessMom and KessDad!

Cinnamon and Mint said...

I am sorry to hear about your separation anxiety. I used to have this problem too, and I might still do. The dog daycare sounds like a good idea, but it is not for me, as I am not very good at socializing with other doggies. However, as you are not reactive to other dogs like me, you might get used the environment over time.

Anyway I hope your humans will find the best solution for you and themselves.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've enjoyed reading your blog especially since Kess has moved to HK with you guys and adapting a new environment. Hope the Angel will guide you through the difficulties and stay happy always.

Oh in addition, we decided to pass on the Versatile Blogger and Inspirational award to you. Drop by our blog post for the badges and details. Cheers!

River said...

A nice quiet, old beagle might help. We hope the live-in helper will work out so you don't have to be so unhappy alone. I do not like my mom leaving me!

love & wags,

Thanks for signing my guest book.