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Thread: Feeling Guilty

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Feeling Guilty

    We brought Bailey home a week ago Saturday and he is just the best little guy you could ask for. Potty training is well on track, he has been sleeping through the night, and we discovered he loves to play hide-and-seek in the yard. Both my husband and I work, but I go home every day during lunch to feed him and play for a bit. He gets about 2 hours with us first thing in the morning, then he's home alone for 3-4 hours. Then I'm home for 45 minutes to an hour, and he's left again for another 3-4 hours. Once I'm home from work, he's with us for 3-4 hours, depending on when he falls asleep (usually on my lap).

    When he's home by himself, I followed what I read in Ian Dunbar's book -- Bailey is in a pen in the kitchen with his crate, water, toys and a wee wee pad (which he's been very good at using). So, practically speaking, I know he's in a safe area with everything he needs. We also use the pen at times when we are home -- when cooking dinner, weekends, etc. -- so he doesn't exclusively associate it with being left alone.

    But I am feeling very guilty when I have to leave him every morning and then again in the afternoon. I always toss a treat in his crate before I leave, but he does cry a bit as he watches me walk towards the door. I've stood outside the door for a few minutes to listen, and he does stop crying as soon as he can't see me anymore. It just breaks my heart every time I have to leave him and I'm hoping this is a lot harder on me than it is on him.

  2. #2
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    The feeling of guilt will probably never go away- it certainly hasnt for me.

    But dogs sleep alot and he most probably sleeps the majority of the time you are out- I know mine do.

    My two are alot older than your puppy but they have a long walk in the morning, I go to work and the dog walker comes in at lunch time for 40 mins then I walk them again in the evenng when I get home around 5-6pm.

    If you are unsure you can get a video camera set up to see if he is ok when you are gone- I did and all I got was a boring video of two dogs asleep!!

    But the feeling of guilt is still with me every single time I leave them!

    Karen

    Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
    Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play


  3. #3
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    I used to feel like that with Oliver, too... but, I waited about a year until he was trained and got another Cavalier to keep him company and it really helped. Eventually, you may consider getting a second one, but wait until he is fully trained. Until then, it seems like you have a good system down. Get a Kong toyand stuff it with good stuff that he has to work on to get out so it keeps him busy while you're gone.
    Holly, Oliver, Rosalita, and Scarlett

  4. #4
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    I was wracked with guilt every time we left Sophie, even if it was for a hour. Cavaliers have faces full of expression and I knew she didn't want me to go. Sophie's almost three, and most of the time as I'm leaving, I give her a Kong toy filled with kibble and plugged with a small Kong treat. She doesn't even care that I'm leaving, the hussy! LOL

  5. #5
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    Same here.. I buy my guilt free leaving moment by leaving a kong with peanut butter.
    She doesnt care anymore i am leaving at all...
    But i still feel guilty afterwards.. Mostly i wanna return so bad and be with her.
    Even when im out with friends.. Weird what those cavs do to u..
    Mom of Blondie aka The Monster, my furry daughter and loyal friend!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
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    I know the feeling, it's terribly heart-wrenching. My Belle is much better at us leaving (she loves her sleep) but our Bobby will cry a little, and let out a couple of heartbreaking HOWLS.
    But as others have said, they do sleep a lot and as long as you make some quality time with him- walks and playing, training exercises, etc. it will help. Dogs are such social creatures, it's the best thing for them to learn how to be alone, to entertain themselves and always know that when you walk out that door and leave... that you'll be back and even if it's for only 20 minutes, it will be a joyful reunion.
    Desrae, guardian of two tri-coloured cavaliers, Belle 3 years old and Bobby 1 year/8 months.

  7. #7
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    My dad lives in London. My mother sadly passed this year. Whenever we go to see my Dad, we have to leave Tess overnight, with my father-in-law to feed and walk Tess. Guilt feeling show you care, and should never go away. Guilt can sometimes be a good emotion.

  8. #8
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    Yup, what everyone else said!
    Kongs, feeding toys (for their brekkie or dinner), interactive treat balls...you name it I have bought it, and they have been my life saver!! Once those things go down, Brooklyn is fine. It's like "see ya mom!". But I am just like Lynn, all I want is to get back home to her ha! The other night my hubby and I were on a date and when we got the dessert menu, we were both just kinda like "lets go home and make ice cream sundaes so we can snuggle Brooky" ha!!

    I do always just try to ignore her a bit, pick up some toys and act really non-chellant for the first 5 minutes when I get home so she feels the whole thing is a bit "ho-hum" vs. a big event. I am not as good at that anymore now that she is growing up and more used to being alone, but when she was a puppy I was really careful about not indulging any 'me leaving/me coming back' excitement behavior to train her to be on her own better. I think it worked!

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE
    I do always just try to ignore her a bit, pick up some toys and act really non-chellant for the first 5 minutes when I get home so she feels the whole thing is a bit "ho-hum" vs. a big event. I am not as good at that anymore now that she is growing up and more used to being alone, but when she was a puppy I was really careful about not indulging any 'me leaving/me coming back' excitement behavior to train her to be on her own better. I think it worked![/QUOTE]

    I never thought about this. I always go straight for Sonny's crate and take him out. We have practiced making him calm down in the crate before we open the door, but I'm going to take it a step further and wait a couple of minutes before taking him out to try to help with the over excitement. Thanks for the suggestion!!!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portia View Post
    We brought Bailey home a week ago Saturday and he is just the best little guy you could ask for. Potty training is well on track, he has been sleeping through the night, and we discovered he loves to play hide-and-seek in the yard. Both my husband and I work, but I go home every day during lunch to feed him and play for a bit. He gets about 2 hours with us first thing in the morning, then he's home alone for 3-4 hours. Then I'm home for 45 minutes to an hour, and he's left again for another 3-4 hours. Once I'm home from work, he's with us for 3-4 hours, depending on when he falls asleep (usually on my lap).

    When he's home by himself, I followed what I read in Ian Dunbar's book -- Bailey is in a pen in the kitchen with his crate, water, toys and a wee wee pad (which he's been very good at using). So, practically speaking, I know he's in a safe area with everything he needs. We also use the pen at times when we are home -- when cooking dinner, weekends, etc. -- so he doesn't exclusively associate it with being left alone.

    But I am feeling very guilty when I have to leave him every morning and then again in the afternoon. I always toss a treat in his crate before I leave, but he does cry a bit as he watches me walk towards the door. I've stood outside the door for a few minutes to listen, and he does stop crying as soon as he can't see me anymore. It just breaks my heart every time I have to leave him and I'm hoping this is a lot harder on me than it is on him.

    You aren't alone with these feelings. I feel heartbroken every time I leave too. On the days where Sonny is in his crate for more of the day than usual I have been trying to take him on 3 walks. (however Sonny just became old enough to go on walks, so before that we would just try to really run around with him in our yard) I know little Bailey is probably too young for walks, but when he is old enough, I would definitely take him for a walk before you leave in the morning even if it's real short because that way he will have a little quality time with you and he will be ready for a little nap when you leave. Also on the days that I am home with Sonny all day I still try to put him in his crate for little naps through out the day that way he has a routine and doesn't get confused by being out of his crate ALL day on some days and then get really sad on the days where he does have to be crated more. On a positive note, Sonny definitely cries less when he goes in his crate . Sometimes it is just a single little whimper and sometimes he happily just prances in and waits for his special treat.

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