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Saying Good-Bye to My Dogs

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Saying Good-Bye to My Dogs

By Lisa Spector, Juilliard Graduate, Canine Music Expert and co-founder of Through a Dogís Ear.

Don’t worry, it’s only temporary. Iím preparing to leave for a cross-country trip, without my dogs.

Sanchez and Gina go almost everywhere with me, and itís hard to leave them behind for a week. I havenít even left and Iím starting to get, dare I say it…. separation anxiety. I thought that was a symptom dogs get when their person leaves, but this is in reverse. Iíve left Sanchez during travels dozens of times over the years, and heís always been fine.

But, Gina is younger and newer in my life. Sheís the tender age of 22 months, and sheís been a part of my family for the past five. Bred to be a guide dog, she loves to work, play, and train. I sometimes think she is part Border Collie and part energizer bunny. We train a few minutes at a time, on and off, all day long. She has a strong work ethic and is always eager to please.

While Iíve hired a terrific dog sitter who will be staying at my house with the dogs, nobody can take my place when training. Iím worried that all of her training will go kaput when Iím away. I just have to trust that itís like riding a bicycle and she wonít forget. But, the good news is that she is the happiest dog Iíve ever known. So, while sheíll be over the moon when I return, I know sheíll adjust and be her usual happy self when Iím gone.

Next: Separation anxiety in humans

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

93 comments

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10:33AM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

Gracias por los reportajes ;)

4:45PM PDT on May 21, 2011

Hi Lisa,
I just discovered your articles and am enjoying the info. You may recall playing piano at our wedding in '97. You & I met doing volunteer work at PHS. Yes, I still work with cats. And they know what open suitcases mean...that look still bothers me. Cats, I have learned, don't jump for joy upon our return. Instead we get ignored for 24 hours....then the joy begins. So glad you & your dog family are doing well.
Donna Kinney-Dobbins

8:28AM PDT on May 1, 2011

Thanks

11:42AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

Noted

8:02PM PDT on Apr 27, 2011

Hi,
Thanks
I'll try with the collar, anyway I'll leave them a lot of my stuff like favorites shirts, and pillows so they can feel me a little bit closer.!!

Now I think they are getting anxious and nervous too, they are behaving a little different.
Hope everything is going to be fine

12:57PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

Whenever I leave the house, no matter how long or short the trip-even to the store, I tell both dogs, "I'll be right back". They are now so accustomed to this that they accept me (and the family) leaving and returning no matter how long we are gone. A joyous reunion when we return!

12:47PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

Whenever I leave the house, no matter how short the trip-even to the store, I tell both dogs, "I'll be right back". They have become accustomed to this and no that I will return. Sometimes it's a short time and sometimes it's a long time, but I always come back to a very happy reunion.

11:32AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

You have 2 adorable dogs,very touching story,ty

11:08PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

I can't leave my poor puppy (3 years - not so puppy) alone for too lon - I just get too nervous. For when I do have to leave her I've given her a greenstone on her collar and I wear a greenstone neckless permanently which helps me feel attatched to her still - must sound silly but it does help.

4:13PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

Dear Lisa,

I'm from Chile, and I have 2 yorkies, (mom and daughter).
I try not leave them alone during the day if I can't take them with me.... they are my babies. I'm sure you can understand me.
Now my husband has a great study opportunity in australia, and we have to move there for 2 year! Taking them to sydney is very hard and dangerous for them, 17 hours alone in the plane, quarantine... I don't want them to suffer.
But I have anxiety since 2 month...and can't stop crying,
I think they will be better here, with my family.

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