Leaving home

Leaving home

The past 10 years have gone really fast, and I've experienced more panic situations than the old "now and again" panic attack. It has gotten to the point where I am so attached to my little dog (I live alone, divorced) that I absolutely hate leaving him. Worse yet, he is a true lap dog that is like a baby, however extremely smart and knows my every move. He is at my heel, he cuddles with me on the sofa, he is childlike. What's worse is his anxiety when I leave but then he gets so upset in the car from fear, I can't decide whether it's best to leave him at home or take him. He has to be on my lap with his head under my arm pit or on my shoulder shaking the whole time from odd noises, rain and storms are worst. I won't board him ever unless a death occurs or other extreme emergency, I know he won't thrive without me. I don't know who's fear is the worse, mine or the dogs. Is is possible my panic anxiety disorder is rubbing off on him?


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6 Replies

  • Hi what a lovely dog,you are obviously inseperable from each other,its great that you look after him so well,as there are many out there who neglect animals,i do think animals can feel your emotions,i have a dog ,we have had her for 3 years and she seems to have anxiety issues,she is not very social,loves being at home ,does not like strangers,a bit like me,i have health anxiety and social anxiety and find new situations hard to handle,our dog will not get in a car,she stays in her cage with her favourite toy if we are out,im sure others will reply with some advice,

  • hello. It is highly likely that how you feel is rubbing off on your gorgeous dog 🐶 animals are very sensitive to our feelings. I rescue cats & dogs & have them myself. One of my cats knows when I'm not well or anxious & she doesn't leave my side. Ive had her 15yrs & we have been through a lot together. The help i can suggest which has worked for many is on a day you feel ok is to leave your dog at home. The car stresses him out so its unfair to leave him in that situation. Home is safer for him. Leave the TV or radio on for him whichever you normally have on leave him a treat & wherever he likes to chill out. Go for a very small trip, any noises he doesn't like will be drowned out by background noise. When you come back tell him how good he's been really praise him. (and yourself) it will take a few go's. Only do this on days or nights where you are feeling calm. I'm sorry this situation is happening to you both but it can be fixed. Leaving him in the car is stressful & dangerous ( could get stolen, hit anything while he's in there) if that happened it would be far worse than him being at home. Baby steps for you both. Hope you both get on good. Pls msg me if i can help further. It's good you have each other. I prefer my animals to people most days but I've been in this position & it really does work. Good luck. Keep me posted. Hugs to you both n lots of wet nose kisses to him. 💋🐾🐾

  • Thank you for your support and suggestions. Unfortunately I have done these things. He loves other people so when we do see a few people, my grandkids and only family he gets really excited and takes about 10 minutes for him to settle down. I feel bad I can't bring myself to take him out more. I was divorced about 31/2 years ago so I felt I should take him in the car to get him used to riding. We had 2 dogs, my ex took the other. So it's just me and "Cuba." He's 7 now but the Havanese is a perpetual puppy in appearance, it's hard to see him as a fully adult dog from his appearance and playful attitude. He also knows when I'm ill. He will stay with me and lays against my back all day if necessary. He's pretty amazing. But back to the anxiety, I read a lot of websites and articles on how dogs are so perceptive that they do pick up on your emotions. Oh, I'd never leave him in the car but a few minutes to grab some milk or a quick run and he is ok with that but only at one store. New places, like me, he doesn't like and starts whining and barking, jumping around. I do leave the tv on while I'm gone to my doctor or places he can't stay long. I've considered long and hard about another dog but I'm 65 so I don't want my pets to outlive me, I'd have to search for one about his age I think, and then I have 2 times the cost. Living on a fixed income is hard enough but animal care has become crazy also in terms of cost. It's a vicious circle for us, I fell guilty leaving him and I don't have the energy to play with him much, winters are bad here so we are confined a lot. I can see when he pouts, it's very obvious. I try to play a few games with him every day and we are ok to go outside, I'm thinking of doing the snow bird thing but haven't figured out how to arrange that yet. Lucky I have kids that are somewhat aware of my seclusion but not to the full extent. I don't want them to worry so I'm able to hide just long enough for a quick visit. I absolutely hate doing that, I'm missing a lot of time with them and grandkids but so far there has been nothing that has helped other than a mild sedative in the event of a panic attack. I'm to sensitive to the depression meds, the side effects are always full blown and I've tried more than 15 different ones of which I've lost up to 3 weeks or so waiting for results but living like a zombie only to know they aren't working or the side effects don't get better. I've even been able to hide it from my phycologist so they don't continue doling out those things. They only ask to see me ever 4-5 months once established. I wasn't always like that but have had to switch at least 4 times as one would leave, or one would retire from practice, etc. I always tried to stay with one.

    Isn't it strange that most people who suffer from anxiety, usually find solace in animals over humans?

    Thank you for your message, I see you have been there.

  • leaving101, "unconditional love" says it all about our furry friends. Like your dog "Cuba and You", my German Shepherd (Brandy) and I were in separable. She understood my bad days, my fears and my happiness. She truly was my best friend for 13 years.

    I've seen recently on commercials about a product for anxious dogs that is like a security vest that you strap around them. Supposedly giving them that comfort they need when fearful. I wish they had one for humans. They do have weighted blankets for us that is suppose to work in making us feel secure and safe. I would think a "hug" would be just as beneficial. :)

  • Yes, this is called a "thunder jacket" I believe. I've had people to tell me to try it. As I write, a storm is on the horizon and my dog is starting to get anxious. Yet I like the stormy weather as it is a good reason for me to stay home where it seems the only place I can function. My doctor/psychologist recently took me down 1/2 mg. on my anxiety medication as she feels it is too high. She is new. I have been on the same dose for 12 years and never had a problem or built up a tolerance. I always have a few pills left at the end of the month for emergency situations and rarely need them but I do keep them aside. I really felt the bump in the decreased dosage and she is strict, refills must last 30 days so I find myself trying to save up 1/2 every now and then but now I'm feeling less functional, less sleep, more worried etc. I'm not happy but she was the only one in my area to accept my insurance and behavioral health care is expensive especially to start over after that many years they make you jump through all the hoops. She did say that I seem to be "ok" so she won't fix what isn't broke, but she did feel I'd benefit from less. Less is not always better, 12 years and not a problem! Talk about rocking the boat.

  • leaving101, I understand what you are going through in reducing your dosage after 12 years. I came off my anti-anxiety medication almost 3 years ago. It was difficult but well worth it. I had been left on Xanax for 30 years. It no longer worked.

    I wish you well especially since you didn't have a problem.

    Just a little note; I too like the stormy weather making it justified to stay home :) Take care. x

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