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

Break Ö guilty as charged. I just called to check on them during a layover in Detroit. Theyíre fine. No signs of missing me. I canít say the same. But, I do know from experience that the more time that passes, the easier it gets being away. Music to Calm Your Canine Companion has been clinically demonstrated to relieve canine separation anxiety. But thatís separation anxiety that dogs have. What will help my separation anxiety?

Kathy Sdao, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, reminded me to stay focused on how great it would be to see them again when I return. Oh, I knew her positive training methods would tumble over into other areas. What a great reminder! Another positive aspect is that Sanchez and Gina sometimes bond even more when they are together and Iím not in the picture.

Do you have challenges when leaving town and leaving your pets behind? Any coping mechanisms that make it easier? Thanks for clicking comment below and sharing your thoughts.

As co-founder of Through a Dogís Ear, I am offering my Care2 readers a free download from our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 3. Simply click here and enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.
Image: Sanchez & Gina Bonding

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Veronica Bastidas

Gracias por los reportajes ;)

Donna Kinney-dobbins

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

caterina caligiuri


DobieMax Wojcik
DobieMax WoBib4 years ago


sharon rosenberg
sharon rosenberg4 years ago

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

Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M.4 years ago

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!

Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M.4 years ago

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.

May Howie
may Howie4 years ago

You have 2 adorable dogs,very touching story,ty

Mikaila H.
Mikaila H.4 years ago

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.

Sharon R.
.4 years ago

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.