We took care of a dog last week, while his family was out of town. I’ll call him Napoleon, to protect his privacy.
Napoleon lives in a loving home now, but in one of his past lives he experienced some crazy owner behavior. At least that is the story we believe because of some of his, let’s say, tendencies.
Napoleon barks not to be annoying, but to say “Hey, you are back home, I missed you, please don’t ever go again”…or “There’s trouble a brewin’ outside, I hear some loud teenagers in the alley you should check it out” or my personal favorite, “You really shouldn’t leave because while you are gone I will find your undies on the bathroom floor.”
Napoleon’s growl is surely not an indication of a mean and vicious disposition more like that of a jealous lover. Also indicated by his need to be touched, fondled, cuddled and caressed.
During his first few days with us, my son, we’ll call him Bob, to protect his privacy, noticed Napoleon’s barking, nipping and nervous energy.
I told him, He is sad his family is gone and when we leave him he worries no one will come back for him. They call it separation anxiety, Bob, and we just have to show him love and try to make him see that he won’t be left forever.
OHH, said Bob, Mama, that is exactly what I have, we have the same thing me and Napoleon, that is so cool. We both have separation anx—ty.
Why, yes you do.
For the rest of Napoleon’s week long stay, Bob reassured our dog friend with lots of love and care on our departure and arrivals to and from home.
And I will tell you, dropping Bob off at school this past week was void of any traumatic tendencies. Bob knew I would be there at the gate after school, “in six hours, mama” to be exact. He even told me, like he does every day, You can’t see me at lunch today and that’s okay, because you will be with me, right here in my heart, I love you Mama.
We all may not need daily reassurance like Bob and Napoleon, but deep down we all have the same need to know we are loved and that we won’t be left forever, even though it doesn’t show itself with wanting fifty hugs and kisses or stealing underwear.
by J.G. McGlothern