Off to take Buddyface to the vet for his last heartworm x-ray. The separation issues got way worse. Curtains torn down and dry wall totally tore up when we left him out for a little over an hour. Yikes. I was actually motivated enough to get my sewing machine out...for the first time in four years. (I think that's a good thing?)
So, we have to crate him and he's FREAKING out. We put him in for 3 hrs when we went to the movies and we put our video camera on. Pup barked, panted, dug at the bottom of the crate for THREE HOURS STRAIGHT. No joke. He was a mess when we got home. Whoa. We're getting a bit worried now, for HIS sake... we only have 2 more weeks before Matt goes back to work. I doubt he'll be ready for 4 hours, lunch break, 4 more hours in 2 weeks.
We're going to keep trying a little longer and have been reading a lot on separation anxiety in the meantime. New strategies are to do 10 minutes in his crate a couple times a day, adding on 15 minutes or so each day. We are also not going to talk about coming and going (spelling C-Y-A... yea that's us now) and not to make a fuss over him when we take him out. We are told normalizing the crate routine, as reassuring him in the smooshy voice just reinforces that he should have been worried in the first place. We also have to do more separation while we're home - we call him velcro dog, because right now he follows Matt ev-ery-where. So we've been making him sleep in the living room and then Matt will also make him stay when he gets up from the living room and goes anywhere else (bathroom, dining room, etc.) He is SO smart - we tell him to stay when we go to bed and at 6 am, he's still in the same spot. (he does lie down and go to sleep.) We're also trying to exhaust him - long walks, running, dog park, etc - whenever we can before crating. I just hope we can get him through this, I hate to think about him going through ANOTHER adjustment to go back to his foster mom's (although he will go back to a familiar environment.) What a mess this little pup is. I can't imagine what he went through before he went to the foster people's. I think he must have been crated and ignored all the time to be so insecure
And this is a dog? I can't imagine what kids who are abused, what it would take to foster, rehab or adopt them. So sad.