Dogs have feelings, too
Max was the epitome of what a good dog should be. A 7-year-old Golden Doodle, Max was well behaved both at home and outside. His pet parents Marsha and Gordon doted on him, and in fact, considered him their third child. It had been six months since their youngest left the nest, and Max seemed to enjoy being the only recipient of his parents’ undivided attention.
Then something changed…
The first indicator that things were not as they should be was the cushion incident. Normally Max greeted Marsha’s return from work with a wagging tail and a few happy woofs, but on this occasion he was nowhere to be found. Marsha finally discovered him hiding behind the living room couch which was covered in feathers from a newly destroyed pillow. Clearly Max had had a lapse in judgement, and the ‘guilty dog look’ confirmed it.
A week later early in the morning, Gordon entered the kitchen and discovered a pee-pee puddle on the floor. Once again, Max was nowhere to be seen. Hearing that annoying non-stop licking noise coming from the spare room Gordon found Max working on yet another hot spot on his flank. It was time for a visit to the vet.
Listening to Marsha and Gordon tell the tale of Max’s recent misadventures while examining his furless spot, the vet interrupted. “He’s bored. When he came into your home as a puppy he had two teenagers to play with and a mom who worked part-time. Now the kids are gone and Marsha’s working full-time. Max is alone all day. He’s licking because he’s anxious and he’s being destructive because he’s bored. I suggest either hiring a dog-sitter to come in for an hour or so daily… or send him to doggie daycare.” Max – anxious and/or bored and definitely acting out – what a revelation!
The Solution: Doggie Daycare!
Marsha found a quick solution. Max would spend two days per week at the local doggie daycare centre, where he would socialize and play with other dogs and enjoy the occasional spa treatment as well. The other three days of the work week he would receive two-hour visits from his new neighbour, a spry retired animal-loving widow who welcomed the extra income and the chance to enjoy a new furry friend. They would go on walks to the park, play fetch and other fun games, then return home to enjoy an afternoon snack together.
The result was magical. No more incidents from a now very happy and relaxed Max. The lesson to be learned is this – dogs have emotions, too. They can feel sad or anxious and can become depressed. And they get bored, too! Especially if there’s no stimulation in their lives. They also feel excitement and anticipation, so give them something to look forward to, like a daily visit with a friend, and enjoy your well-adjusted fur-baby!
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