Dog With Separation Anxiety Gets “Friend”

 | Grace Higgins
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A rescue dog names Sara loves her mom Colleen very much. So much so, Sara has severe separation anxiety whenever her owner leaves her alone. Even if Colleen just leaves for a short amount of time, Sara the dog panics. Sara’s anxiety started when she got older, and she began to get destructive and even injure herself. Colleen says Sara would pant, bark, chew furniture, and pace restlessly around the house trying to find her owner. Sara even rubbed her nose raw once on a door while Colleen was gone. It broke Colleen’s heart to know that Sara was so distraught while she was gone.

So, Colleen tried all sorts of things to comfort Sara. She tried training, giving her CBD oil, giving her vigorous exercise, and even resorted to prescriptions for Clomicalm, Prozac, and even tried tranquilizers from the vet. Nothing calm Sara, unfortunately. Colleen then just made sure Sara was never alone: she stayed with her constantly, or left her at another house or took her to doggy daycare. But then Colleen’s friend gave her an idea: why not leave a “dummy version” of herself with Sara? It seemed crazy, but she was willing to try anything. So, she ordered the dummy and started dressing it to look like her. She even gave it a name: Dolly. She dressed it with her clothes so it acquired her scent, then left it around for Sara to notice.

She used Dolly for trial runs while she left and Sara fell for it: one day she arrived home to see Sara sleeping at Dolly’s feet in the bathroom. While Sara doesn’t think that Dolly is her owner, she seems to be comforted by her presence while Colleen is away. It certainly works the best of any method she has tried in the past, so she is confident Sara will be comforted each time her owner has to leave her alone!

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