What Obsessive Dog Owners Do

She howled. She barked. We heard her paws scratching the door to the garage. All this from a dog who’s usually silent.

Helaine and I went out to dinner tonight. We didn’t go far, Sergios down on Whitney. That meant leaving Doppler home.

We’ve decided Doppler will be a ‘free range puppy.’ She seems very trustworthy and has shown no desire to be destructive. She’s licky, not chewy!

In order to keep tabs I went online and bought a FOSCAM wireless network camera. It’s got IR LEDs for night viewing and can be panned and tilted directly from my smartphone. It was easy for me to configure though you might need the help of your favorite nerd.

There’s sound too. At the moment I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

As we ate dinner we watched Doppler walking back and forth through the family room and into the mud room. She howled. She barked. We heard her paws scratching the door to the garage. All this from a dog who’s usually silent.

This is not the right way to have a relaxing dinner!

We weren’t gone an hour. I’m not sure she ever relaxed.

We can’t be tethered to the house. Doppler is going to have to understand from time-to-time she’ll be on her own and we’ll be back.

She’ll learn.

22 thoughts on “What Obsessive Dog Owners Do”

  1. Geoff -the dog still needs time to adjust. send back the camera, and let it be. all will be fine.

    I’m more interested in whether we’ll see Doppler on TV like you used to do w/ Ivy.

  2. After everything she’s been through, this is probably the first time she was alone. I’m sure she was a little scared. A Thundershirt can probably help with this anxiety also. You really should check them out.

  3. She’ll be fine! My dog is a free-range dog- he’s always been well-behaved! Got him as a rescue. He got more and more secure when he realized that even though I was going out, I’d be home a couple of hours later without fail. I think I fare worse when I’m away from him than vice versa.

  4. I like to leave the radio on for my dogs. I have heard it makes them think someone is home and they don’t feel alone which reduces their anxiety.

  5. Oh my goodness…that is so awesome that you could watch from another location. I would LOVE to be able to do that. (I think). Very funny though…makes you wonder how all dogs act when we are not there…we think we know them well enough 🙂 I really got a kick out of this story about Doppler.

  6. Leave the radio and a light on while you are away from the house — works for my rescue Beagle, Romeo. I found in the beginning leaving an article of worn clothing out where he sleeps was comforting for him, too (familiar scents). It takes time for the dog and parents to get used to the new situation. In Doppler’s case, it may take even longer due to her abandonment. I agree with Webguygary — lose the camera. Doppler will adjust before you know it. No sense making yourselves feel worse while you’re enjoying some quiet time away from home. Believe it or not, there are actually CDs for dogs on the market. I bought one recently at Ocean State Job Lot to calm your dog’s anxiety while driving in the car — it seems to work well for Romeo while he’s home alone. It is very soothing piano music. If it continues to be a problem, you may want to look into the Thunder Shirt (available on line). It was suggested at obedience class that I invest in the Thunder Shirt to relieve his anxiety around the other dogs in class. Worked well (it is for more than just thunder storms). Good luck to you all. And keep us posted — it is so nice to hear the stories of your adoption. This fellow dog lover really appreciates it!

    PS: Never leave a library book unattended… that was Romeo’s first misadventure. $27.00 later and the librarians were happy. Then he was on to my checkbook 🙁

  7. I want, I want, I want! I didn’t want to leave my pup today, so called each place I had to go and begged to be able to bring him. Obsessed mom. I get it.

  8. Our dog, Daisy (long gone), ate a hole through the louvered basement door where we kept her at first and greeted us at the front door when we came home from our daughter’s open school night in Jr. HS. After that, we let her have the run of the house and never regretted it. Hopefully Doppler will be as appreciative. 🙂

  9. That is priceless! Our Lhasa Bailey had issues when I would go out at first, so I would leave a tv on or a radio. She got better and better after a while! Geoff, you crack me up!!! If I had the nerd brain you have I would have done the same thing!

  10. Are you sure, Geoff, that this wasn’t just a good excuse to buy a new tech-toy? Well worth it, I’m sure. But I think maybe you wanted the camera anyway. 🙂

  11. Maybe Doppler would feel more safe in the crate when you go out. It isn’t always needed because a dog misbehaves. It is also a secure place for them to feel safe and secure.

  12. Separation anxiety. A well-known phenomenon. Beverly has a good point about her feeling more secure in her crate at the beginning and then she can work towards an open door in the crate, etc.?

  13. Given that she was locked up and abandoned, I’m not so sure about locking her into a crate – could make it worse. I would leave the tv or radio on – or better yet, make a video tape of you and/or your wife and leave it playing on a loop while you’re gone.

  14. That’s why you should have taken both the pups together.
    She would have had company and you’d probably have quite the mess from the two getting into trouble. 🙂

  15. Doppler needs a pet of her own to keep her company! (Named Radar, no less!) That’s why our three cats have two other cats as pets. I know, it’s insane, but they’re never lonely.

  16. Doppler may well get used to her surroundings without aid, but she may require crating (even if door open and a few toys) to make her feel more secure when you’re not at home.
    Lisa (Wlfd Shelter) has the most ADORABLE rescue this week, Bailey, (named from “It’s a wonderful life”), I have photos-as I go there to list postings…he’d be perfect for a quiet home, or even for commercials..he’s very special. No barking, a lover, lap dog, color of shih tzu, but some kind of great mix. Doesn’t seem to shed…eyes and a face that will melt your heart. He was picked up in the last terrible rain storm, and no one claimed him. If I didn’t already have 7 rescues, I would’ve brought him home with me.

  17. My pack of dogs has been trained to relax and nap in their crates when we are away. Typically they den up on command, get a treat, and we can leave them for 8-10 hours if need be. ALL the crates have water bottles installed on them so the dogs can be comfortable. It takes time for them to build confidence that you will return–a fresh rescue dog will have a few issues. What you describe does not sound that bad, really.

    And yes, a companion dog for Doppler might be a good idea. Choose carefully, however, and introduce them to each other carefully.

    My pair of Pomeranian/Chihuahuas are brothers from the same litter, and stay in the same crate, usually intertwined with each other to stay warm and close–it’s one of the cuter things they do. They keep each other company. The other older dogs have their own crates, although they have been known to den up together when we are traveling somewhere. The only time they bark when we are out is if someone rattles the front door, or we come home.

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