Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Separation Anxiety, Then and Now

Aw, crap. Something is wrong with my camera AND with my iPhoto, and one or both of those problems has resulted in the vaporization of all photos taken since yesterday afternoon, including some lovely shots from our latest real-estate exile, which we spent in a photogenic café over on Granville St. (Phoscao), and a photo of a fantastic "bicycle RV" that Freddie and I spotted on our morning walk.

Oh, well ... hardly a crisis. It's not as if I don't have oodles of other photos on my computer. Including this one, taken about one year ago, near La Paz, Mexico, where Paul and I spent our last pre-Freddie writing retreat. Beautiful land/sea-scape, non

And yet ... the whole two months we were away, I couldn't help eyeing my calendar and noting the remaining weeks/days before our return to Winter ... not with the usual holiday-sense of dwindling time but rather with excited anticipation.

Since the previous June, we'd been paying regular visits to our new family member, who was completing several months of public access training in Washington State. We visited him one last time en route to Mexico. The weather in the Seattle area was disgusting — torrential rain, temperatures hovering just a micrometer above zero. Mexico should have felt like the promised land. And it did — almost. For although I had this vista to contemplate from my work desk, morning after morning ...

I spent just as much time staring at this photo (among others), taken in the dingy but pet-friendly Westwynd Motel in Gig Harbor, WA.

I hate wishing away time — even time spent doing tedious, unpleasant things. I try hard not to do it. But I couldn't help myself: one month to Freddie ... two weeks to Freddie ... five days to Freddie ... twelve hours ... three, two, one ...

In all the furry frenzy, we failed to get any shots of the exact reunion moment, but Freddie's trainer, Shari, posted a few good ones in her blog entry for that day.

This picture below was taken a few days after our return to Vancouver and the start of our life with the Little Doctor.

Since that February reunion, Freddie and I have rarely been apart. He came to work with me during the summer teaching term. He's been to shops and restaurants. He rides public transit and generally hangs out wherever I am in the apartment. This togetherness has been an intentional part of the service dog - handler bonding process ... and it's been a great success. Freddie is extremely attached and attentive to me.

A bit too much, I fear. Yes ... for his own sake and mine (and Paul's!), he needs to be able to hang out alone sometimes. And, to be honest, this is a part of his training that we've crapped out on. Monday evening I went out for dinner with my friend Andrea and left Freddie with Paul. For me, it was a welcome respite from leash-handling, treat-dispensing, behaviour-monitoring etc. etc. For Freddie? Well, he was fine because he was with Paul. But he scratched at the door after I left and moped around a bit ... and generally did a solid job of increasing my anxiety about leaving him alone-alone.

We know what we need to do: start small (i.e. leave together for very short periods) and work up from there. We just need to do it. And now that I've 'fessed up to this problem here, feel free to badger me for progress reports.

Hoping the photo situation will be remedied soon. In the meantime, check out this post, or this one, or this one. They're feeling lonely and abandoned!

No comments:

Post a Comment

What say you?