“The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them.” Stanley Coren
We have five dogs, one cat, and a fish. The fish and the cat pay us no mind when we leave. As far as I can tell, the only good I am to our cat and fish is that I consistently feed them. Well, that’s not entirely true.
Every day when I sit down in my home office, courtesy of COVID-19, our cat jumps into my lap, drapes herself over my left arm, and promptly goes to sleep. Meanwhile, I attend virtual meetings, answer emails, and go about my daily tasks until I can no longer feel my fingers. I am literally Sophie’s armrest.
On rare occasions, I actually leave the house to run an errand. All five dogs stand at the gate as I open the door. It’s heartbreaking, really. Five sets of eyes pleading with me not to leave. I assure them I will return shortly, but their pleading persists. Two of the dogs experience separation anxiety, one of them being our first Yorkie. The other, a rescue, experienced prior abuse at the hands of his previous owner. His issues I understand but the Yorkie, not so much. The other three Yorkies participate because it is the collective expectation. At least, that is my summation. Returning, however, is a time of celebration. Fetch my finest robe, kill the fatted calf, open our finest wine, tonight we celebrate! It doesn’t matter if we are gone for an hour, a day, or a week; the celebration is the same.
Our two youngest Yorkies expect to go with us whenever it appears we will leave the house. We took the older of the two with us wherever we went when she first joined our family. Tasia is a fabulous traveling partner, settling in the minute she gets in the car. Unfortunately, more and more businesses are posting signs that only service dogs are welcome. Most dog owners who bring their furry ones along are respectful of others, but it only takes one apple to spoil the barrel. People leaving messes for store owners to clean up and unruly dogs ruined it for the rest of us. In spite of the signs, people still bring their dogs.
When the COVID-19 crisis winds down, I am a little concerned about our dogs’ reactions. Will they think I am not returning? Eight plus hours will seem like an eternity…..