So yesterday afternoon was a little rough. I thought I’d see what would happen if I let Garnet out of the crate for the night. I put her pad next to my side of the bed and left my laundry pile out (that was Nelson’s bed of choice). She took a few minutes to find the best sleeping spots in the room and slept right through the night. This morning I crated both the pups as usual, and even with a full dose of Benadryl, Miss G was really stressed about being in the crate. She did pretty good while I was gone, but I started putting the pieces together…maybe it’s the confinement she’s stressed about. So this afternoon, I went to pick up more rice for her (she’s been on a bland diet for a couple days after her system didn’t respond well to a sudden diet change), and set up my place so she could have the whole front of the apartment. I baby-gated the back hallway so Galen could have essentially the same view as usual, raised the blinds (learned that the hard way as you can see) and put her pad by the window, and put up some cardboard to protect the front door in case she decided to try to dig out. *As much as I wanted to keep her crated for fear of my move out fees, I just had a feeling the lack of space was the issue. I was praying the whole time I was gone to come back to an intact apartment.*
I was gone for about half an hour and checked in on her a couple times while I was out (how great is technology, BTW?). In the first couple minutes, she stared at the door and did a couple laps from one end of her space to the other. She poked at the poor man’s door guard but didn’t bite or dig at it. I’m guessing she just laid on the pad and looked out the window after that, ’cause that’s where she was when I got home. So basically she was a normal dog. I’ll start teaching her “place” to go chill on the pad to establish a place where she knows to be calm when I leave. I’ll also probably do some desensitization around my leaving habits and the door closing so she doesn’t start getting worried about it (Galen could use more of that too). I’m really optimistic that what she was going through in the crate was 90% confinement anxiety, and a normal amount of separation anxiety. She might do even better in a place with a dog door. We’ll see how she does tomorrow.