Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Separation Anxiety: the Follow-up

I posted a while back about our need to start getting Freddie used to being left alone. Well, today, finally, was the day to start (I'm kind of embarrassed to say that Freddie came to us perfectly crate-trained and accustomed to spending stretches of time on his own in the crate; Paul and I just failed on the maintenance).

I prepared a frozen Kong, set out some toys, Freddie-proofed my office, where he spends a lot of his time, and cheerfully told him to watch the house as Paul and I got into our coats, closed the office door ... and left. I listened at the front door, and sure enough ... yelps. Not loud or relentless enough to disturb the neighbours, but certainly pitiful enough to make me feel like a rock-hard heart for carrying on down the hall (Paul was on an actual outing; I was simply staying away for 10 minutes — our starting point).

I went out to the building's tai-chi garden* and took these two photos before the camera battery died:

*I don't imagine it really is a tai-chi garden, but I can't figure out what its intended use could possibly be. Amid the plants and shrubs and trees are three small, sunken cement courtyards without seating of any kind — perfect for doing an upright, low-impact activity like, well, tai-chi (which I've never done, by the way).

I was gone for roughly ten minutes. On my return, I snuck down the hall and listened at the door, hoping for silence. It was a short hope. There were yelps; there were cries ... there was an emphatically unhappy-sounding, Kong-ignoring dog inside. I managed to stay cheerful and matter-of-fact as I greeted him and told him to wait while I took off my shoes and coat. I tried not to gush over him when I opened the office door.

I know what he was thinking — for all poor Freddie knew, I wasn't ever, ever coming back, and he'd have to make that chicken-filled Kong last the rest of his doomed little life! — and I hereby apologize to my mother for being the kid who bawled outside the classroom on the first day of Grade One at Beacon Hill Elementary. I'm living only a fraction of what I must have inflicted.

On that note, here are some seemingly well-adjusted primary school kiddies, whom Freddie and I watched this morning while waiting for random dogs to walk by and be subjected to an aloof snubbing from Freddie (that was the goal, anyway) ...

A couple of sights on our way to a "jacket outing" at London Drugs ...

 Very cute

And, finally, Freddie's impressions of the London Drugs laundry aisle ...

and the pet aisle ...

... where I noticed (and got seduced into buying) herbal "calming" treats.

May your day be low-anxiety!


  1. You know that plant is witch hazel right? It should have a nice smell...

    1. No, I had no idea (my plant identification skills are very poor)! Nor did I bother to smell it — but will next time I'm down there. Is there anything medicinal I can do with the flowers or other bits??


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