History never really says goodbye. History says, ‘See you later.’
– Eduardo Galeano
It’s summer time finally! Which means vacations, weekend getaways, and all around exploring. We’ve been cooped up for so long that we feel like it’s time to go see some great sights and visit friends and family. Some of these adventures our four legged friends can join us. There are also some trips where they just can’t come along. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
We all have different places our dogs go when they aren’t able to participate on our vacations. Some are lucky enough to have friends or family, you may have a house sitter or use a boarding service. Any of these are viable options. Whatever makes you and your dog the most comfortable is the most important factor.
However, let’s talk about when you get to that point where the suitcases are packed, the car has a full tank of gas, and you’re saying see you later to your pup. Now, as much as you may want to hug them to pieces, squish their faces and say “Don’t worry, I’m coming back for you. I’m going miss you so much. Don’t pee on anything you shouldn’t” and all that other mushiness, take a minute, breath, and don’t do that.
When a dog’s Pilot leaves, it can be stressful. However, coddling and making a big deal out of it is only going to make it worse. Your dog will pick up on your uneasy energy and feel as though there really are some serious concerns. You want to make leaving your dog as normal as possible. You were the one that chose who would be their caretaker, so you have nothing to worry about.
A quick pet and a goodbye in your normal tone is as good as it needs to be. Making a huge scene will only increase their anxiety and make their time away from you anxiety ridden for both parties.
When Porter has to go to “sleep away camp” as I call it, the goodbyes are quick. It’s a quick pet on the head and a “see you later bud”. The last thing I want to do is stress him out even more. However, I have to admit, when we show up at his sleep away camp he can barely contain himself he’s so excited. But, I don’t take away from that excitement. The last thing I want to do is make a big deal out of me leaving. There is no need to put any of my anxieties on him. I trust who he’s with and he should be able to sense that from me as well.
Next time you have to leave your pup for a little bit of time, just remember, no yelling “STELLLLLAAAAAA” for long periods outside the door. Just a quick pat and a nonchalant walk out the door. You’ll both have fun, just separately. So, go enjoy your adventures and know that your four legged friend will be happy to see you when you get back.
Darwin Dogs LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio