Jenna was moved to my home in Ham Lake, MN, a few weeks ago because I am retired and home during the day. Jenna displayed separation anxiety in her previous foster home when her foster parents were at work.
At both homes, she was with our resident dogs, but that didn’t seem to matter to her. I have been working with her to help her understand that we will come back after being gone.
At first, she got nervous when I just went to the basement. She definitely cannot be kenneled because this raises her anxiety and she finds a way to break out of the kennel. Luckily, she did not hurt her mouth after bending the wires on the crate in her first foster home.
I set up a security camera to watch her activity while I am gone. She stood on the couch for the first 2 hours, just looking out the window and waiting for me to return.
Then, for the next hour, she paced between the couch and the kitchen door where I would come through. Boy, did she sleep soundly that night!
The next time I was gone, I made sure that she had a good workout that afternoon before I had to leave. That time, she slept for the first hour and watched from the couch until I returned.
Jenna is a counter-surfer, so I cannot have anything on the counter within her reach. I found this out when I was gone for an hour, and she got the jar of peanut butter and brought it into the living room.
I left it out because I have to give my senior dog her pills with it twice a day. Jenna chewed the cover off and chewed the entire rim of the jar. She couldn’t reach the peanut butter because there was only 1.5 inches left in the jar.
I put the peanut butter into another container and put it into the cupboard where it should have been. Then, I made a dumb mistake.
I filled the jar with hot water to let it soak, and that night, after we went to bed, Jenna pulled the jar full of water from the sink and carried that into the living room! She didn’t spill much in the kitchen but dumped the water in the living room!
So, even when I am home, she gets into things because she spent years living in her kennel and never learned what is not for her!
The next day, she went into the bathroom and carried my 34-oz bottle of shampoo from the bathtub into her dog bed and started chewing on the pump! When there is nothing inappropriate available for her to chew on, she is happy chewing on her favorite Nylabone. I just have to make sure things are out of her reach.