Small but good progress. We've worked him up to 45 minutes in his crate and he doesn't come out and act totally wacko now when we take him out, so I think he's maybe getting used to it. We saw the vet on Monday and she gave me some good advice about slowly building up to time like we're doing, and also my friend Stef who has rescued 3 dogs who ALL have had separation anxiety (3?!?!) said they just ignored it (put them in the crate and let them bark) and she said the dogs just eventually accept that you'll be coming back and barking doesn't do them any good. In the meantime, she advised, invest in ear plugs.
We have gotten six different opinions on separation anxiety and google gives us even more. Is this just the start of "WHAT OH WHAT DO I DO" hand-wringing, advice-seeking in our life when it comes to creatures who are dependent upon us? Methinks yes.
We'd been putting him in the crate and then correcting him when he'd start to go crazy, but Stef told us that even negative attention reinforces the behavior - which makes sense now that I think about it. I mean, it's the same reason I don't make a big deal out of the days when a particpiant eats 3 krispy kremes. Reinforce the positive, ignore the negatives, right? Right.
Just hope we can get him up to a decent amount of time by the 29th when Matt starts back full time. He has been amazing with Buddy. Today he is going to doggy day care (the dog, that is) because we'll be both gone for about 13 hours. That's extreme for even a normal pup. So, he's going to this place that's like a big Gymboree for dogs. I can't really believe that we're paying fot this, but here we are.
How quickly we're becoming dog people.