PET PARENT ANXIETY

By Thursday, September 29, 2016 16 No tags Permalink

When I walk out the door every morning I realize it’s not the dog – it’s me with the guilt and anxiety. I don’t like leaving my Boys…
PET PARENT ANXIETY

Two days after Labor Day, I re-joined the workforce. I had been home for the past four years when an opportunity presented itself – one tailor made for me!

It took only a few days before I realized – I suffer from separation anxiety when I leave my dogs.

At first I thought –

This is normal, gotta go through the adjustment period – that’s all

But I’ve been employed for almost a month, and what I experience #aintnormal

PET PARENT ANXIETY –

seemed like the appropriate diagnosis for my pawticular disorder.

My symptoms?-

  • I’m a procrastinator when it’s time to leave the house
  • On the road I have a tendency to look into the rear view mirror as if they’re in the backseat
  • While I’m at work, I tell time based on our daily activities (play, groom, train, photos, potty, errands)
  • On the way home, I’m that driver other people scream at because I drive too fast  #lanechangingdoodlemom

DO DOGS KNOW HOW LONG WE’VE BEEN GONE? –

Terrific question isn’t it?

Patricia B. McConnell PhD writes how –

studies recorded the behavior of dogs left by their owners for 30 min, 2 hours and 4 hours, and found that if the dogs had been left alone for 2 or 4 hours they greeted their owners with more ‘intensity,’ and were more active and attentive, than when the duration of separation had only been 30 minutes. However, there was no statistical significance between the dogs behavior if left alone for 2 or 4 hours.Source: The Other End Of The Leash

I can relate. On a scale of 1-5 “welcome home” rating –

  • Haircut at the Salon (30-45 minutes)….. 3
  • Church (3-4 hours)……5+

But those separations have been sporadic and/or once a week. Now I am out the door at 8:30 every morning – returning at about 5ish.

It’s a whole new world Aladdin 🙂

DO DOGS MISS US WHEN WE’RE GONE? –

It is then quite plausible that dogs really do understand what it is like to genuinely miss someone when they are gone; they just probably don’t understand the full extent of the absence. Source: NextGenDog

The bulk of my worries stem from thoughts of Jaxson…

PET PARENT ANXIETY

He’s my baby, the “ying to my yang.” I’ve not worked outside of the home in his entire existence.

I was working when I brought Harley home. He was close to four years old when I stopped. He seems to have adjusted to our “new normal” better than Jaxson AND I…

PET PARENT ANXIETY

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL –

for me at least.

I insist on getting up early enough to –

  • play a bit
  • feed them breakfast
  • walk and groom them

Then I head out to spend 7 hours with humans LOL

I’m back in time to –

  • feed them dinner
  • walk them
  • play a little soccer in the backyard before dark

Doodle Dad is home during the day. Although I know Jaxson and Harley are in great hands with him…

PET PARENT ANXIETY

A part of me wants to make sure they’re not having ALL that much fun w/o me #selfishIknow

My prayer is that I am able to tame this overwhelming feeling that starts to stir and bubble up inside me around 1:00pm Monday through Friday. My mind starts to drift, and my focus bounces back and forth between work and “what are they doing now” thoughts.

I guess I need to give it time (either that or buy a Pet Cam!) #hewouldkillme

Pawhaps I could write a best seller – become the American version of my SHERO J.K. Rowling, and spend ALL of my days with Harley & Jaxson. #itcouldhappen #keepinghopealive

But until that day arrives, I’d better iron my clothes for tomorrow and pack my lunch!

HOW DO YOU COPE WITH PET PARENT ANXIETY? –

Please share in the comments below.

May your Friday Sparkle Bright! ✨

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16 Comments
  • Golden Woofs: Sugar The Golden Retriever
    September 30, 2016

    can relate especially when traveling . did you ask “work” if you can bring one of the boys – maybe one day of the week. do you think you have anxiety too cause dog dad stays home 🙂 Woofs to you, Rosalyn & SUGAR

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      I can’t bring the Boys to work but after a few more weeks I will not have to work there everyday. I will be able to work from home on some days. I think I’ve become to accustomed to being with them all the time, and leaving them will take some adjusting.

  • Emma
    September 30, 2016

    Well, it is pretty simple. My mom can’t stand going to work, so as of yesterday, she quit her job. She is starting her own business as a virtual assistant for realtors and will be working mainly from home from now on. We sure hope it is a success, so she can stay home. Mom is with you…doesn’t like to be away from the fur kids! Hopefully you like your job as that would help make a big difference. My mom didn’t like it enough to want to be gone to do it.

  • Monika & Sam
    September 30, 2016

    Paws crossed being away from your sweet boys becomes easier. It may take a while but I’m sure as you get more familiar with your work routine and challenged by the work, it’ll get better. Good luck!

  • Kari
    September 30, 2016

    I’m the same way. We haven’t traveled much the past few years because the only place I want to be is home with my dogs. It takes me forever to leave the house in the morning because I hate to leave them!

    I also obsessively worry that I forgot to lock the front door and Leo will escape. Not that he would go far… but think of all the danger he could face without me to protect him!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 2, 2016

      Leo escaping? OMDoodle you’ve got to share this story! When it comes to traveling – we mostly visit the kids and they “expect” to see the Boys. In VA, I was super comfy with them staying at Olde Towne Pet Resort – it was truly “home away from home” for them. Haven’t found anything like that here in Charleston, so trips for Lee and I without them is out of the question. It’s funny – neither one of us are bothered about that either. It’s the life we’ve chosen and we’re content.

  • Jan K
    September 30, 2016

    Over the years since we’ve had dogs, I’ve gradually cut back my work hours. I now only work M-W-Fr from 7-1:00, which must be the magical time that it’s ready to head home if you’re feeling it at that time! But still, I’m ready to go and thinking about the fur kids by noon.
    I should probably get another job now, because I lost one of my work from home jobs, but I can’t stand the thought of being gone any more than those 3 shorter days. I can imagine how difficult it is for you after being home all of the time for 4 years.
    At least for you it’s good to know that the dogs are not home alone; even if it does make you a bit jealous of Doodle Dad!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 2, 2016

      While I loved/love being home with the Boys, a part of me was missing some of the chaos a job could bring. 🙂 As time goes on, my time away from them will become less and less (only been there a month) and I can work a bit from home. I miss them, but I do enjoy what I’m doing – so I have to find some emotional balance. I’m remaining positive and being patient. You’re right though – thank the Doodle for Doodle Dad 🙂

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    September 30, 2016

    My alarm is set to go off at 4:35 so that I can have time in the mornings with the dogs. I love to slowly wake everyone up.

    I feel anxious every day that I leave them because I’d rather stay home so I bribe them before I leave. It’s silly, but I can’t help it.

    Congratulations on the new opportunity. You’ll have to tell me more about it.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 2, 2016

      We’ve gotten back to planned activities on Saturday – which I didn’t realize I missed so much. I know they are fine – after all Lee is home with them, but I still miss certain moments. I love coming home, it’s a PAWty every afternoon…

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    October 1, 2016

    First of all, congrats on the new job!!

    As for pet parent anxiety, I get it every time I have to leave the house without the dogs. Especially when Ducky’s at daycare and Shadow is alone. I feel guilty every time. At least while Callie was still here, she cuddled with Shadow and kept her company. Since we retired, we’re both home more than we are anywhere else; but I still hate having to leave them alone for even 15 minutes.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 2, 2016

      So you can relate my friend. I feel so freaking guilty every morning. But on the flip side, I’m back to planning “fun” weekends for all of us. I used to do that with Harley & Leo. Just gotta give up some “me-time” right now – but that’s alright, I’m hanging with my Boys 🙂

  • Leigh
    October 3, 2016

    Anxiety for me happens mostly when we have to be away for family vacation and have to leave my fur babies behind. I call the pet sitter several times a day to check on them. Other than that, it’s all good. As with all things though, you’ll most likely get used to being away and looking forward to get home and get your dose of fur loving.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      You’re so right Leigh, this past week wasn’t as bad as the first three LOL As I get more comfortable with my responsibilities I will not go into the church everyday and that will also be a blessing. It’s amazing how attached we can become to our fur babies isn’t it? Thanks so much for stopping by, please come back again soon!

  • Debra Thompson
    October 5, 2016

    I also have a doodle love her to pieces. I think of her everyday ev3ery minute. I have never been this close to an animal in my life and I am scared all the time something will happen to her. Stress ha
    I realize I am too close to her I work everyday but I have to get home and take her riding and get her an ice cream she loves ice cream or just ride her around.
    She fills all my empty spaces some folks have3 grandbabies I got my doodle best pet ever.
    WE have snuggle time before we go to bed she is LOVE

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 7, 2016

      I relate and mimic every single word written. I used to feel odd – strange even, but now I don’t care. This is who I am, it’s who I’ve become and because I have my Boys, I could care less what others think. Shall we start our own club? LOL Most Doodle people I’ve met over the years feel the exact same way. It’s got to be a #doodlething. Thanks so much for stopping by – please come back again.

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