Further emails between Jane and me resulted in the following.
After I published the post about Molly last Thursday, there were further emails between Jane and me.
When I went to bed after I sent you Molly’s story I thought of some other points.
Separation anxiety: presumably the result of, over a period of time, seeing her friends disappear and the family leave her owner. He would feed her, let her out for a run round the garden put her away again. And then leave till some unspecified time.
If – rarely- I’m out for more than a few hours she doesn’t want to know Alan. She waits on the chair by the door looking bereft. Then I come home and …. whoo hoo it’s like the 4th July and she suddenly comes to life; runs and jumps around like a wind-up toy. The obvious joy and relief at seeing me is humbling.
Or if I go out of the room she might follow.
But even letting her out in the garden has been a trauma for her. She rushes out but if I don’t immediately follow she comes back to check where I am – but if she sees me putting my garden shoes on – hey Mum’s coming! and off she scoots. She does go out and stay on her own but likes to know we’re there. That fear of being left is obviously too entrenched to ever leave her.
BUT the most amazing thing is that when my friend boarded her she said she doesn’t bark – they thought they might have heard her bark once. And when we went to look at her, the owner told me ‘she doesn’t bark’.
But she barks now! I talk to her so she talks back! She is a brilliant guard dog. If there’s anyone at the front door she barks and can’t wait to get there. As people often don’t see our bell we wouldn’t have known they were there. And if the phone rings (think the ringtone must hurt her ears) she barks till I answer it.
And despite her traumas she is the nicest little girl I’ve ever known. Not a nasty bone in her body.
Jane also sent a further photograph.
Then in a further email that came through shorty afterwords in reply to mine:
That’s wonderful. I may publish an addendum, so to speak, sometime next week and incorporate some of your remarks. (Paul)
That would be terrific and perhaps I could add the question: Do others have experience of dogs sucking their blanket?
I assume this an anxiety or comfort habit but then again – is it to do with indigestion – considering what she scavenges? It happens when she’s had a feed and is almost like a child sucking their blanket but also reminds me of horses wind-sucking and/or crib-biting.
Obviously she couldn’t do this in her kennel ( she slept on newspaper covered board) but seems to derive comfort from it but does have a penchant for eating paper (my requisition for a chest X-ray to name but one!) and hence the photo of her with toilet roll! Also she had puppies but we don’t know old she was.
Actually the sucking reminds me of cats sucking and kneading.
She will be 11 next month so unlikely to stop now. We got her on 31 December 2016.
Best Christmas present ever.
Can someone answer Jane’s question about dogs sucking their blankets?