Have you ever gone to the vet or the groomer or doggie day care or something, left your pet there for a few hours, come back to get them and then heard this horrible yowling from the back room and thought “That’s my pet, isn’t it?” Yep. Twice now, it has been my pet.
The first time was a few years ago when we got Kuno spayed.
After this surgery, pets are supposed to be groggy and lethargic for at least the next day. Oh no, not Kuno. She sounded like an angry banshee back there, and lo and behold- she was. Well, in as much as a 10 pound cat with bad balance because her hips are still numb can be, anyway. We took her home, and as soon as I sat down on my parents’ floor: Velcro cat. She purred and meowed thrpughout the day once she got home, but man, she was not happy with us for bringing her to the vet, and she was jumping onto and off of furniture within two hours of being home. She healed fine and is still good.
Second time? You guessed it- today with Dora.
She’s been very smelly and quite interested in licking her bum, so of course, I’m thinking it’s the anal glands. (Why are pet owners ok with how desensitized we become to the gross physical needs of our pets? 😑) Anyway, if it’s happened to your dog before, you probably see where I’m coming from.
So I took her to a groomer because if the glands needed to be emptied, she may as well get a bath at the same time, and just be fresh and clean when she comes home. Dora is such a baby. A whiny little baby. I’m not sure if she just loves us enough to want to be close (always) or if she’s been left alone before. But… mild separation anxiety. Mostly crying and moving items, from what I’ve heard/seen.
I’d been gone for a little more than an hour, came back in, and there’s a dog crying in the back. 😳 That’s my pet. Being dramatic. Shhh. It’s ok. The groomer, the vet techs, and like, everyone I leave you with are nice. It’s ok. *sigh* The groomer was nice about it, and about me being distracted by Dora crying because I haven’t been separated from her much in the last month either.
It’s just… this is weird, ok? As a semi-working dog (currently) who is there for me, Dora is like part of me? I mean… how do I say this… if you invite me to something, you now have to anticipate that I may be bringing Dora along, because I may be at risk for panic attacks and such while we are out, and I need to get used to the idea of relying on her just as much as she will need to learn to observe and respond to me.
Later on, people will just have to assume that she’s coming. Because once she’s trained to actually break my stress overloads, to alert me to growing anxiety, to find me if I hide in closets, and so on… at that point, I’ll need her. Because sometimes, I’m in public when I fall apart. Or have flashbacks. Or get terrified. Or bolt. Sometimes, I’m not given the luxury of being a mess in private.
… Not looking forward to family gatherings with the relatives who don’t believe in mental illness, let alone psychiatric disabilities. That will suck.
Probably. But I don’t know that.
Don’t create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It might suck. It might be difficult. It might also be better than expected.
I’ll just have to wait and see.