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Spencer not handling a life change very well

1648 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  biscuit
Since Sadie died, Spencer has been staying with my mom everyday while I went to work. My mom had a decline in her health recently & is currently going to adult daycare Mon-Fri. Now, for the first time in his life, Spencer is spending his days alone. The first 2 days I left for work, he ws ok, but the 3rd day he went into a panic - running around the house with a toy in his mouth, crying & drooling. I took him for a walk and afterwards he was better but not great. This is his 3rd week alone, & he is continuing to have problems. Doggy daycare is out, because of his temperment (his is not tolerant of other dogs or strangers). I do have a neighbor that he loves who is willing to let him out daily, but she is out of town until next week. Honestly I'm not sure if her letting him out once a day is going to work. I think he just does not want to be alone. I've left TVs on and today I left his Kong smeared with peanut butter, which seemed to distract him from me leaving a little. I've been reading up on Clomicalm - has anyone used this or had success with it? I've read that it is meant to be temporary, and I'm not wild about putting him on another drug. Any suggestions?
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Amy, first I'm sorry to hear about your mom. Its a hard situation. As to Spencer, would it be possible to find him a doggie day-care where he could be kept separated from the other dogs? That way he wouldn't be totally alone and would have human companionship during the day. . something I'm sure he misses terribly.
I've been reading up on Clomicalm - has anyone used this or had success with it? I've read that it is meant to be temporary, and I'm not wild about putting him on another drug. Any suggestions?[/b]

It need to be coupled with behavior modification to be effective, Which early on means on very shorts stints of being alone. Giving the drog without find different arragements is not very likely to be effective.

Check into pet sitting/walking serices for frequent vists it is likely to be as costly as daycare butit does avoid other problems.

I left his Kong smeared with peanut butter, which seemed to distract him from me leaving a little.[/b]
Do you know about stuffing kongs, can make engage the dog for a much longer time Kong Stuffing Pointers They even make a device that will despence up to four kongs though out the day while you are gone

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I guess getting another dog is out of the question huh?

I've also heard about an herbal fluid you can add to their water to calm them down.. I once remember someone telling me about their cats freaking out over a thunderstorm and their vet suggested this herbal sedative type stuff. I don't know what it is called and weather it would be good for a dog or not and maybe you'd only need to give it to Spencer for a short time while he gets used to being on his own.

I agree with Mikey that you need to try shorter times alone to get him used to it.

I really like Mikey's suggestion - KongTime! I was giggling while i watched the demo video. It's so funny. I'm thinking of ordering one myself now for those longer time that we're not at home. Great one Mikey!!

By the way... I was wondering how you know how Spencer is acting while you are away? Do you have a video camera set up?
Thanks for the responses. To answer the questions --

dhatt, thanks for the kind words about my mom. Doggy daycare is really not an option, as the closest one to my house is not very close, & I have to leave for work at 7 am (after attending to my mom first). It's just not practical.

LouieDog, I'd LOVE to get another dog, but it's not a good time with everything else I am dealing with now. Also, I doubt it would help. Spencer has always been a nervous dog & when Sadie was alive, having her around did not help when he was in one of his moods. When Spencer is nervous he drools profusely. I know he is doing this when I am gone because there is dried drool marks all over the floor (I have all laminate floors, no carpet.)

MikeyT - I did read that Clomicalm needs to be coupled with behavior modification. The problem is there is no way I can shorten the amount of time I am gone. My work schedule is not flexible. When my neighbor gets back in town next week, I'm hoping she can help. The cost of pet sitters is not my main concern. The problem with having people come into my house is how Spencer reacts to them. He is fearful & aggressive towards strangers. I know, I know, a problem I should work on, but he is old, stubborn & set in his ways. I will try stuffing the Kongs & will look into some of those other toys that dispense treats.

It's just a bad situation, with no good solution that I can see. :(

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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I don't really have any solutions unless that neighbor wouldn't mind becoming a doggie sitter. I wanted to say that Kong Time thing looks super fantastic. My 2 may be getting one for Christmas.

When Lady died, Yogi completely fell apart. It was the first time in years he'd been without a doggie best friend.

My adoption of Bailey solved everything. Yes, there have been a few training issues, and yes, having a young doggie has been a handful. But when I brought Bailey home, I went to let Yogi out to see her - he took one look at her, literally began leaping into the air to lick my face, and they've been stuck together ever since.

Bailey *was* a bit older when I adopted her - 9 months, and she'd spent maybe 7 of those months at the vet. And My vet also happens to do some dog training - so Bailey came in puppy-ish, yes, and with a few pee pee problems, yes, but she was calm and perfectly socialized.

I understand why you say this is not the right time for another dog. But I don't know how I could have done it without Bailey. If a good match should turn up, you really might want to consider it.

In the meantime, lots of good thoughts from here. It's tough!
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