The dreaded weekly visit to the vet

pouting black lab mix

Don’t need daycare. Perfectly comfortable right here.

About once a week, Charlie Machete goes to a neighborhood vet office for boarding.

Every time, without fail, he throws a fit in the lobby. As soon as I attempt to replace his Waggiwear collar with the temporary one he’s supposed to wear for the day, he gets a wild look in his eyes and starts flailing about and squealing. This continues after I hand him off to a member of the staff, as Charlie Machete twists his neck around to eye me until I’m out of sight.

I am told that he only behaves this way in the lobby.

One kennel attendant even said Charlie Machete is one of the best dogs that regularly comes to boarding. (To which I chirped: “You know, he’s adoptable.”)

I don’t believe they are lying to me, and I am incredibly appreciative for the patience the vet staff shows me as I struggle with my foster dog and his separation anxiety week after week.

However, when I recently left town for a whole weekend, I knew I didn’t want to leave him there.

Come back tomorrow to learn about a new place Charlie Machete checked into and how that went for him.

Does your dog have separation anxiety? How do you handle it?


About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on November 9, 2012, in Dogs, Dogtography, Fostering, Machete and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Poor CM – can’t wait to hear about the new place. We’re very lucky with our two – not a backward glance 😉

  2. Awwww, poor Charlie! Maybe he needs a handsome cowl and a few extra treats 😉 haha!

  3. Poor Charlie, I do feel bad for the guy. I hope he enjoyed his stay at this new place!

    Luckily we don’t have separation anxiety issues with Boomer and Dottie but my Mom’s dog Duke did so we would stay with family whenever she had to be away. However he got a little nervous here once and put his paw through our screen door and then clawed up the garage door pretty good.

  4. Aloha Crystal – I have a couple suggestions that may help you help charlie get over his issue over time. 1) do you ever put the “vet collar” on him anytime other than the vet? You could try putting this on him at home when you’re not going to leave him to help him disassociate the collar w/ being left. Leave it on for 10 or 15 min take it back off – always at different times on different days. 2) You can try taking him to the vet w/ that collar and NOT leaving him once in a while. Like a field trip – where he goes gets petted by the staff and comes back home. (I know it’s hard to find time for stuff like field trips…but it could help his anxiety) anyway, good luck w/ charlie, can’t wait to hear about the new place. 😉

    • Hey Rebecca, thanks for stopping by! This is great advice, and, in fact, I have been thinking about asking the vet’s office if I can have a few of those temporary collars to try out. I can understand why he is annoyed by them. They are like the wristbands you get at a concert, and because he squirms, I can never get them on quite straight, which, I’m sure, results in his neck hairs being pulled all day!

  5. Luckily our boys, Max Powers and Butters get to stay with my husbands grandma whenever we take off. Plus, we go there twice a week to help her with grocery shopping and chores. During these visits they play with her two dogs (one of which Max Power grew up with), and receive copious amounts of sausages and doggies biscuits. So, they are always excited to go over there. However, when we go on vacation Butters will sleep in the room we sleep in when we stay at her house instead of her bedroom with the rest of the dogs.

  6. Poor Charlie – very loyal and brave indeed! Have a Great Weekend:)

  7. Dogs with histories like Charlie Machete and Litchi very frequently suffer from separation anxiety. Over time, they can be trained to accept it but it is always more difficult than when you’ve had a dog from a puppy. Good luck with new place. I hope it works out well for him.

    • You’re totally right about the puppy thing. However, I wish more people would be willing to put in the work to reap the rewards of dogs like Litchi and Charlie Machete. It’s worth it.

  8. Eddie has separation anxiety but loves all people so it’s more an issue of being alone. If Gambit is home, he’s usually pretty good in his crate. He’s a bit more noisy if Gambit is gone too. What did seem to help a bit was not putting peanut butter in his Kong (he was associating peanut butter it with us leaving and it’s much quicker to toss in an empty Kong than have him watch me make one). He is only crated when we’re gone, and making him wait for dinner in his crate and putting his food in the Kong outside of the crate has helped. Before, we just had his food bowl in his crate.

    • Sounds like you’ve figured out how to manage well! Charlie Machete’s separation anxiety isn’t too bad at home. He used to freak out when I put him in our laundry room, but now he has accepted that room as “his.”

  1. Pingback: What’s Another Way to Say Charlie Machete? « Wayward Dogs

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