Our two year old dog, Molly was acting kind of weird a couple of weeks ago. She seemed a little sad…she just wasn’t herself. I found her lying in the front yard, holding Madison’s shoe in her paw, the way a small child sleeping on her tummy would hold her favourite teddy bear. I told Mike about it and he said that Molly was probably chewing on her shoe. Madison and I had both left a pair of running shoes on the front porch to dry out after a day of river rafting with Madison’s hockey team. Molly thinks that shoes left outside are free game. She leaves the ones inside alone, but has destroyed most of those that have been left outside. I took another look to make sure Molly wasn’t eating Madison’s shoe. I saw her holding it, rubbing her head against it, sticking her nose in it and laying her cheek on it…she definitely wasn’t chewing it. I’m not an animal psychologist, but I’m pretty sure Molly was experiencing separation anxiety. Madison had just gone back to school and Molly was having some difficulty adjusting to Madison’s new schedule.
I think I have been experiencing separation anxiety as well. I’m not rubbing my face up against Mike’s shoes, but I do find I become anxious when apart from him. Eight months ago, Mike was working full time at Riverview Hospital in Port Coquitlam and part time at Sunrise in Abbotsford. They were short staffed at Sunrise, so he was picking up extra shifts to help out. Needless to say he wasn’t home very much and when he did come home, it wasn’t for long. Apart from doing his laundry, I didn’t have to worry much about him. He ate at work and mostly fended for himself. Now, Mike is home full time and dealing with some limitations. With my part time job and a few other commitments, I have to go out without Mike almost every day. I find I worry a little after an hour and a half or two hours go by. What if he needs me to fix him a snack, or help him put on a shirt, or scratch his back or open a can of spaghetti sauce? What if he loses his footing and slips on the stairs, or trips over the shoe Molly dropped in the middle of the living room floor? Mike says he is fine…not to worry, but adjusting to my ‘half handicapped’ husband’s new limitations is challenging and sometimes a little stressful. ('Half Handicapped' - see last blog)
I am happy to report, Molly is doing much better. She waits patiently for Madison to come home from school now that she knows Madison will be back soon. I am doing okay as well…Mike waited patiently for me today to come home so I could open a can of spaghetti sauce. He had the noodles cooked and the beef browned and a big smile on his face. He assured me he didn’t mind waiting…he knew I’d be back soon.