I can’t begin to tell you how much I miss my dog.
As mentioned yesterday, I’m in Arizona, and have been for a week, joining my brother and sister to help get my father settled in a place where he can get the care he needs.
Even though among loved ones, I’m pining for my significant other. Circumstances required Ace — a seasoned traveler — stay home for this trip, and this eight-day separation is the second longest in our seven years together.
It’s an empty feeling, not having him there when I wake up, or when I call his name (which I’ve only done about twice).
Fortunately for me, I have Roscoe, a yellow lab, to help fill the void. Meanwhile Roscoe’s owner, James has Ace.
Here’s how all this came to be — how we ended up in the company of each others dogs.
James, my brother’s partner, lived in Arizona but recently started working in Winston-Salem, N.C., where I currently reside. My brother, and their dog Roscoe, a yellow lab, haven’t made the move yet and are still in the Phoenix area.
Last week, when my presence in Arizona was required, James agreed to care for Ace while I was away. I, planning on staying with my brother, agreed to lavish Roscoe with attention, and — against James’s advice — give him at least one walk.
James ended up with the more labor intensive duty, between the feedings and the walks Ace demands. I don’t have to feed Roscoe (my brother does that), and one walk convinced me, and my shoulder, that Roscoe was more of an in-the-house, backyard kind of dog.
For Roscoe, it was just a matter of supplying treats and snuggling, and it was only a few days before it hit me that I had it backwards — James and I are not taking care of each other’s dogs, each other’s dogs are taking care of us.
James, who has been missing his dog something fierce since moving to North Carolina, seems to be enjoying Ace’s company. He posted the photo of him above on Facebook the other day, along with the words: “Thanks to Ace to keep me warm at night. I am dog-sitting Ace and he is such a wonderful boy!”
As Ace attends to James needs, Roscoe attends to mine.
The first few nights, he joined me on my floor mat, dividing his time between sleeping with me and my brother.
But when I got hit by a three-day bug, Roscoe turned it up a notch. He stayed by my side all night. He followed me to the bathroom — a frequent destination for a while there — waiting patiently outside the door for me to exit. He was at my side whenever I got up, generally carrying either his bone or a pillow in his mouth, tail wagging away.
He’s a totally different dog than Ace — a little more goofy, a little less needy, but equipped, it seems, with all the same sensors of human need.
Unlike Ace, who doesn’t like to get nudged in his sleep, Roscoe tolerates anything. A few times I woke up with both my legs atop him. He woke me up a few times sniffing my face, and a few more times by biting his toenails. Roscoe probably spends a couple of hours a day grooming his claws, and it can be a noisy affair.
But it was a small price to pay for all the attention he bestowed on me.
I was reminded, while scratching Roscoe’s big floppy ears, of the old Stephen Stills song, which had nothing to do with dogs at all: And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.
The lyrics always struck me as a tad slutty, but then that was probably just my dirty-minded interpetration. Maybe I never really understood it.
Dogs, on the other hand, totally get it.
(Photos: Ace photo by James Wong; Roscoe photo by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, arizona, away, dogs, home, lab, labrador retriever, pets, roscoe, senses, separation, travels with ace, trip, void, yellow lab
Firefighters in San Diego had to cut the wrought iron rails to free him.
“How in the world the dog got his head and shoulders through a 4-inch gap we’ll never know,” Dan DeSousa of the San Diego County Department of Animal Services, said of the Monday incident.
According to NBC 7 in San Diego, Cooper has separation anxiety and doesn’t like to be far from his owner. He’s reported to be doing fine.
(Photo: San Diego County Animal Services)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anxiety, california, chocolate lab, cooper, dogs, gate, lodged, pets, san diego, separation, separation anxiety, stuck, wedged
That was in early May, and McClain was temporarily living in his car in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with his eight-year-old sheltie/collie mix named Yurt.
A few days after sending paramedics away, McClain slipped into unconsciousness and the ambulance crew returned.
McClain was taken to Mercy Medical Center, and later transferred to the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy to receive end-of-life care. His dog was taken to Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control.
As he was being taken to his room at the hospice, McClain told the paramedic accompanying him, Jan Erceg, that he was concerned about his dog, Yurt. Erceg, who also volunteers at Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control, recognized the name.
“I told Kevin I knew his dog,” she told Eastern Iowa Health. ” I told him she was doing OK and I promised to bring Yurt to see him.”
Two days later the reunion took place in McClain’s room at the hospice.
“This dog, from the moment she got in the vehicle to the time we arrived, she was shrieking and howling. I think she sensed what was happening,” Erceg said. “When we got to the Hospice House she walked right through the doors and led us straight to his room as if she’d been there many times before.”
Yurt immediately jumped on McClain’s bed.
“Kevin was unconscious but I kept putting his hands on the dog’s head and guiding him to stroke her,” she said. Then Kevin started moving his fingers on his own, petting Yurt, who licked his face and neck and arms. Kevin’s eyes opened.
Two days later, on Friday, May 13, McClain died.
Yurt spent another month in foster care before getting adopted.
At the hospice, they still talk about her, and the reunion between a man and his dog.
“It was just an awesome thing to see, something that made both Kevin and Yurt so happy,” says Brandi Garrett, patient care coordinator at the hospice. “It was obvious they had such a special connection to one another.”
(Photos: Eastern Iowa Health)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ambulance, animals, bond, car, cedar rapids, cedar rapis animal care and control, collie, connection, dog, dogs, emotional, end of life, health, homeless, hospice, hospital, iowa, jan erceg, kevin mcclain, lung cancer, mercy medical center, mixed breed, oldorf hospice house of Mercy, paramedics, pets, reunion, separation, sheltie, yurt
Don’t look now, old chap, but England seems to be getting quite ahead of us in terms of progressive dog thinking.
For starters, they’re taking a hard and long-needed look at the questionable practices some breeders of show dogs use to meet arbitrary “ideals” of appearance. The Kennel Club and its big show, Crufts, have been put under the spotlight for breeding animals in a way that compromises not just the health of individual animals, but the future health of entire breeds.
Now comes news that Sainsbury’s, a renowned bank and insurance company, is offering insurance for dogs affected by what it calls “Master Separation Syndrome” — a behavioral disorder brought on by a pet’s owners splitting up.
Sainsbury’s estimates that over 60,000 cats and dogs in Britain could suffer from “Master Separation Syndrome,” and it offers a policy that pays benefits of up to £1,000 per condition for treatments and £250 a year for damage brought on by such behavioral problems.
Over the past year, Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance says it has seen a 28% increase in the number of claims linked to behavioral problems, and the company believes that Master Separation Syndrome is one of the reasons.
“If a couple separating have pets, their animals can also suffer from the anguish and stress caused by the breakdown,” said Neal Devine, Sainsbury’s pet insurance manager. “Cats and dogs can be very susceptible to their owner’s feelings and if they sense they are unhappy they can easily become agitated and depressed.”
“Also,” he adds, “if you suddenly become reliant on one income to look after a pet the need for pet insurance will usually be greater as it will help you to cope more easily with any large unexpected vet bills.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 26th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: behavior problems, breeders, crufts, divorce, kennel club, master separation syndrome, pet insurance, sainsbury's, separation