Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
When I was a child, my family always had pets. We had indoor cats, barn cats, dogs and a horse. My parents looked at the pets as just that… pets. They weren't considered family members. All of the pets, whether indoor or "outdoor" (when you live on a piece of property in the country with a barn people apparently feel it's fair game to drop off every unwanted kitten or cat at our doorstep and my parents were diligent in getting vet care including spaying for them all — for that I am eternally grateful.
Once I moved out and got my own place and my "very own dog and cat" they quickly became family members. I put their needs above my own at times, "Sorry, I can't go out tonight to see a movie, Zhaar hasn't been feeling well and I don't want to leave him home alone." That has continued with the Diva Poodle, Henrietta. When we take a vacation, if she can't come along, I don't go. If she can come along, then she comes along everywhere to everything (that's the beauty of a dog you can put into a purse and carry around!)
Along those lines, I saw an article this week in a local paper that mentioned that on August 1 DirectTV will launch a DogTV network. The programming on will be geared toward your beloved four legged friends. Imagine leaving your house for work and flipping on the television so Fido or Fluffy can watch "three to five minute relaxing videos." The videos DTV will be offering will include the relaxing content such as landscapes or content it deems "stimulating" that will include dogs frolicking and running around in the videos.
The channel also plans to offer "exposure" programming that will help introduce your pet to sounds he may typically be afraid of (thunder, fireworks, etc) As a side note… I wouldn't leave my fearful pet home alone with this exposure programming.
Back to when I was growing up… my family never considered what our pets were doing or whether they might be lonely or frightened; we made sure they had fresh food and water and that the doors of the house were locked, beyond that they were on their own. Today, Henrietta is surrounded by four cats and another large dog so she isn't alone, but I do worry when she is home by herself.
Times have certainly changed during my lifetime when it comes to how we embrace our pets and do our best to make certain they are well cared for and loved — even going so far as to offer television programming for them!
What do you do to help your pet with separation anxiety or take care of her when you have to leave for work?