Bonnie, my 13 year old Silky Terrier, keeps a watchful eye on my comings and goings. When I walk in the door, she greets me with wild abandoned joy.
She is vigilant for any signs that I might go out. She has separation anxiety. When she was a puppy, she dug an 11×18 inch hole it the wall leading to the garage. I came home and found a destroyed wood molding and the hole. She had plasterboard stuck in her whiskers and splinters everywhere. If dogshaming.com had been operational at that time she would have been the star for the day. I now have a baby gate between her and the door. Over the years, I have tried several things to alter behavior. She is far better now but the anxiety is still there.
She watches as I get dressed. She looks at me if I go near my purse. Reaching for the keys or going into the garage has her following me.
She has over the years developed strategies for delaying my exit. She runs to the kitchen and looks plaintively at her water bowl. I fill it. Even though she may have just been out, she pretends she has to relieve herself. She is out for a long, long time. She does come when I call her in my mother voice. Then, she races to the door putting herself between me and the door. I lift her 10 lb. body up and over the baby’s gate. She now gives abut 30 seconds worth of whimpers instead of the youthful howls I used to hear.
So the game is winding down and she now knows I will come home.