Pet Separation Anxiety

Luna, A Seattle Pup

Luna, A Seattle Pup

I’m sure it is no surprise to hear that having a pet cat or dog can help decrease anxiety and depression in most patients, and for the most part I find that having Luna in my life has helped my anxiety and helps me take care of myself better when depressed.

Spending so much time with my funny little dog friend has not come without its drawbacks though. After all, the folks I care about most are the ones I tend to have anxiety about… and Luna is no exception.

I was very excited to find out that this week Corey and his friends had set up a trip for the two of us to Florida to help celebrate our anniversary. We’ll be gone for roughly five days, that’s a time period five times longer than any we’ve ever left Luna in the care of someone else before.

I know that the issue here is not who will be taking care of her, how good a job they’ll be doing, or even really the state of her own health while we’re gone. I feel confident in all of those things, the area I don’t feel confident in is myself.

Even though Luna gets kind of bummed out when I’m not around, that isn’t much compared with the anxiety I feel (and the horrible conclusions my own brain jumps to) when I am away from her for too long. I find myself in a constant state of panic and total disbelief that she might be ok, curled up in a ball, sleeping on the couch.

This is not uncommon for me. These are the same feelings I have when Corey is away from me for more than 12 hours, and the difference is that I can’t exactly text Luna. Having to simply believe she is fine is very difficult for me… where, for some reason, believing she has burned down the house seems much more likely.

I know there must be some way we can meet in the middle, both me keeping as stiff an upper lip as I can (heh) and maybe working out some kind of daily update from our petsitting friends (something I generally require from Corey when he is away as well). All in all, this issue wont keep me from having a good time in Florida, but it is one more thing I wish I wasn’t worrying about! I just have to keep reminding myself that things will be fine, and I will enjoy myself much more if I can let this go.

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5 responses to “Pet Separation Anxiety

  1. I found a doggie daycare that actually has a webcam and takes pictures everyday of the pups, it has reduced my anxiety from not having my pup around during the day or when we go on trips.

    I like to do calming exercises to reassure myself that horrible things aren’t happening to my loved ones when I haven’t heard or seen them. Good luck and try to enjoy your trip!

  2. Captain Poppin

    Hiya, I can only imagine how hard this is looking for you. I’ve not suffered from anxiety before this episode, which has had me housebound for the last six months. But I think that leaving the dog behind is going to be one of the hardest things when I do get better. I’ve actually had a little idea. A webcam set up pointing at his/her most favourite spot to snooze. There are services that let you access your webcam remotely, and you could simply log onto the website and see if afore mentioned dog was having a nice little snooze. Of course, this DOES open up the gateway to filling the house with cameras just so you can see the pup at all times, which is just unhealthy.

    Actually, on reflection, maybe it’s not such a great idea. But I’ve written it down now, so I’m gonna leave it out there as an idea, but and idea that needs improvement.

  3. Have your pet sitter text you updates and pictures of your Luna. That is what I do and it seems to ease the tension. Good luck!

  4. I certainly say that I have anxiety about leaving my dog with a kennel. But I have found a few good friends who my dog has stayed with just on my visits, who I trust. I know that their time there is comforting and “like home”, which really lowers the guilt and anxiety. I make sure I really offer fantastic thank you gifts when i come back.

  5. Completely understandable. That’s your baby! I have a cat and she’s as laid back as most cats. I mostly leave her at the vets and she does well. But I couldn’t imagine having a dog and having to leave him/her to go on vacation. Ugggghhhh! But the folks here have some pretty good ideas. Hoefully you can find something to help you ease your anxieties and take that vacation; sounds like it would be a nice getaway.

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