Some of my dogs have had separation anxiety, and sometimes it has been a bit of a nuisance, but until I read a detailed article in Whole Dog Journal, I had very little idea what truly severe separation anxiety could mean to a dog who had it and to the people living with the dog. I was very impressed with how trainer Sandi Thompson worked through the issues that her dog Siam Sam showed. It wasn’t easy, and she even lost friends who thought she was being extreme in her choices about how much time she spent with the dog and how much with them.
I discovered that you can read the article online. Here is the link: Living With Dogs Who Suffer From Severe Separation Anxiety.
Sandi had taught literally hundreds of dog owners how to deal with mild separation anxiety (SA), but Sam was something else. He had been rescued in a city in Thailand where record flooding had forced humans to evacuate. Many dogs were left behind. Sandi went there to do relief work under very difficult conditions. Something about Sam really spoke to her, enough that she decided to adopt him. At that point she didn’t know about the seriousness of his SA. If she had known, would she have adopted him? She writes about that in the article.
Read it when you have enough time to really get into it! You’ll learn a lot about how separation anxiety manifests in dogs, and what to do if you encounter it. If you don’t want to learn any of that, it’s still a compelling story.