The strength of a community.

Any other ideas to assist Lisa?

So many times this old blog of mine seems like one great family! Which is why I am sharing an exchange between Lisa and me.

For last Friday in came the following email from Lisa (republished with Lisa’s permission.):

Hi Paul,

I still receive your blog every day and love it! I contributed a couple of blogs to you about our Sabrina which you published on Learning from Dogs.

I have a question for you and perhaps your community.

A picture of Sabrina from an earlier guest post written by Lisa.

Sabrina is experiencing some anxiety at breakfast time. She begins whimpering and crawling on the floor. It happens a few times a week. She usually doesn’t eat her breakfast right away after these episodes. Her behavior is normal the rest of the day.

I’ve told our vet about it and she thinks it’s some kind of anxiety and is willing to prescribe medication. I’d rather not medicate her all the time as this episode happens infrequently.

We may have some blood test taken as our next approach.

Have you ever experienced this kind of thing with one of your dogs or heard of it happening with someone else’s dog?

Also, another question I’ve been meaning to ask you writer-to-writer. I recall you telling me you are from a small town near Cornwall or Devon? I’d love to find some type of writer’s residency in that area and wondering if you know any association or grant available? It’s difficult for me to learn of residency opportunities in the UK being in the USA. No big deal, just thought I’d ask you.

Hope all is well with you and glad to hear you and Jean are going vegan! I’m a former vegan/vegetarian. We are eating more vegetarian these days and I especially love to COOK vegan. I am going to look into the Halo Garden of Vegan dog food too. Great tip.

Thank you!!



I discussed this with Jean and then sent the following reply to Lisa:


Jean is recommending changing Sabrina’s routine. Such as feeding her in a different place. Plus, trying a proprietary stress relief medicine. We used Bach Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic formula, for our dogs when we moved from Arizona to Oregon back in 2012.

Keep us in the loop with this!

Best wishes,


Back came Lisa:

Hi Paul!

Thank you to you and Jean for your two emails. Dennis and I were just talking about Sabrina’s behavior and it occurred to me it could be separation anxiety. Dennis gets up at 4:30, feeds her, gets ready for work and is out of the house by 5:30. Sabrina favors him and I’m thinking as much as she loves to eat, it means he’s about to leave and be gone from her all day.

I will pick definitely pick up the Bach’s Rescue Remedy and have Dennis feed her in a different area of the house.

Oh, yes, and please, if interested make the subject of Sabrina’s behavior a post and yes, yes, yes on soliciting for a writer’s retreat in the UK for me 🙂

Thanks a million!


To which I then responded, thus:

I think you may have solved Sabrina’s behaviour issue. An easy thing to try out is to ask Dennis not to feed Sabrina at that time and you to feed her instead. Would take a few days for her to get accustomed to the change but within a week you would know if this was the fix!

And, thanks for the permission. It will be coming out next week.

So, good people, any other ideas to add to assist Lisa in settling down Sabrina in the morning? And what about that writer’s retreat in the UK?

Any thoughts?

Finally, I am going to be pretty distracted these next 48 hours so apologies if I am not very attentive to your responses. Plus there will be no post tomorrow.

13 thoughts on “The strength of a community.

  1. I think the changing of routine and place of feeding will be a great help for Sabrina. Also, perhaps just a short fuss session from Derek before he leaves for work. If he can put a picture in Sabrina’s mind that he will be back at the end of the day… (A picture of him arriving home to greet her) will help her cope with him leaving. I am a great believer in animal communication. I think it goes a long way to understanding behaviour. Even if we have difficulty understanding our animal’s thoughts, they do not seem to have the same difficulty. Also if Derek is experiencing his own stressful thoughts (workwise, or otherwise), he should do his best not to think of them first thing in the morning. Sabrina will pick up on them and empathise.

    Good luck.


  2. I was going to recommend the same, a change in routine. If she is associating him leaving with her breakfast, it might be good to leave that as play time and feed her after he has gone. That’s breaks the connection between the two. Good luck and hope she is doing better soon

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rescue Remedy is a lifesaver. And I like the idea of moving her feeding time. 4:30 is Very early. Dogs are much more attuned to their Circadean rhythms than are humans. Her body language seems to be pleading for this change. So good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Like all who have chimed in, a change in routine seems like a good strategy. I also have had better results with administering CBD oil for anxious dogs but know well that many prefer Rescue Remedy. It’s just a thought but one that’s been quite effective for dealing with all manner of anxiety.


  5. I would often give my cats rescue remedy especially on bonfire nights and leading up to and New Years eve.. the difference was astounding as it calmed them down to take their anxiety so I agree its benefits


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