Gus here. I have a real bone to pick with all of you families out there. It’s almost back-to-school season and you know what that means… I’m no longer the center of attention. It’s really frustrating for me because I get used to being everyone’s favorite pup and all of the sudden, I’m all alone at home with no one to keep me company. I know I’m not the only animal feeling this way. Fur parents, you should know that when you leave us at home, it can be REALLY scary or REALLY boring (maybe both). We get used to having people around to play with and the separation anxiety when you’re gone can be overwhelming. When we misbehave, don’t assume it’s just because we are troublemakers. Sometimes, we just need more stimulation to take our minds off of missing you.
Story time… Junebug has always loved tearing up toilet paper. I guess there’s something about the way the paper shreds so easily or maybe it is just fun to pull it off the roll that she loves. When she was little, she would steal rolls of toilet paper and run around the house with them while my sisters chased her. It was a hoot and a half. Thankfully, she stopped when she started getting in trouble for ripping up the toilet paper instead of just stealing it. She got in SO much trouble. Last year, in an attempt to communicate to my mom that she really didn’t want to stay home by herself, she started ripping up toilet paper again. I have to admit, she did it in a really smart way. I reckon she knew that if she tore up a lot, she would get in big trouble, so she just tore up one square but wow did she make a mess. It must’ve been kinda hard to just rip off one square, especially since we don’t have thumbs. And you know what? I think my mom thought it was kinda funny this time so Junebug didn’t even get in trouble. If I did it, the world would’ve come to a screeching halt but I guess Junebug gets to operate outside the confines of the law. Whatever, I’m not bitter or anything. But I digress…
Anyway, Mom came up with a few new strategies to help Junebug transition into her new routine of staying at home alone. She’s going to get her some new toys (hopefully, she’ll feel guilty and get me toys too). I overheard her telling my sister, Lauren, about these toys you can put food in (since Junebug is a Jones, that’s right up her alley – she really likes food). Apparently, there’s a maze inside of it so when she pushes it around the house, it releases individual pieces of food. Yum! There’s also a bowl that’s formed like a maze so it takes, like, five times longer to eat, that way she stays “occupied” for longer… so it’ll probably take her 10 minutes to finish, but that’s better than two minutes, right? Plus, it may help her lose some weight, even though Dad just says she’s big-boned (I say big bones don’t jiggle when you walk!).
Mom said if the toys don’t help her feel less nervous and bored when everyone leaves, she’s going to have to go to doggy daycare at the Northside Animal Clinic. Personally, I think Junebug is getting in trouble on purpose so that she can come hang out at the clinic all day like I do. There goes my quiet time. I can’t escape her!
Parents, if you think your dog is reacting more severely than you’re comfortable with, you are welcome to come see us at the Northside Animal Clinic for an evaluation to see if clinical intervention is necessary to keep your furry friend happy and comfortable. That being said, if your dog is jumping around on you when you get home, don’t automatically assume it’s because they were bored and lonely all day. They’re likely just super excited to see their best friend.
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