By Ann Rodgers
Sometimes, it takes a Village to love a dog. In this case, my hearing dog, Bradley, and our Village.
Bradley recently developed serious separation anxiety. The first incident was his clean sweep of my refrigerator. How did he get the door open? How did he manage to pile all the food in a gooey mess? I must admit it was a bit funny. I did not know it was the beginning of separation anxiety syndrome.
Within two weeks, I had a traumatized dog. He stopped at nothing to find me. The moment he thought I might be leaving my apartment, he began a whole series of wild behavior. It was scary and puzzling and oh so sad.
What to do? Enter the “Friends of Bradley” plus my knowledgeable veterinarian and trainer from Dogs for the Deaf (http://www.dogsforthedeaf.org/).
All listened to my fears as I learned how to help Bradley. Kelly, Donna, Marisa, Judy, Cathy, Duncan, Heidi, Laurel—helpers all. Not only was Bradley in a panic, I was not doing well myself! We had a team from the Village and its volunteers. Dog sitters appeared.
We are both still a work in progress. Bradley has had his first two days of calming medication. He sleeps peacefully. I am the one who is relaxed! I am not surprised that we have a whole group of animal lovers in the Village. Somehow it just fits.
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More on separation anxiety in dogs: https://www.avma.org/News/Journals/Collections/Pages/AVMA-Collections-Canine-Anxiety-Disorders.aspx