Dwight the Beagle is something of a family superdog. Not only did he know I was pregnant before I did (both times), he is also amazingly good with the babies (see photographic evidence). He has some gross and annoying dog habits, as most dogs do, but still–he’s kind of a rock star. Again, I offer photographic proof.
Lately Dwight has fallen on hard times. Our dog Bella, Dwight’s only canine friend, died the same week that Grady was born. The combo of “new baby hogs attention” and “where’d my best friend go?” hit him like a Milkbone truck. Dwight now has the dreaded separation anxiety. Or, as I like to call it, Possessed by Howling Demons of Loneliness.
Separation Anxiety Sucks–for the Neighbors, Too
It started innocently enough. A chewed baby toy here, some peeing on the diaper bag there. Dwight, obviously not getting the results he wanted from us humans, stepped up his game. He added crying to his repertoire. Crying like I have never heard a dog cry. Every time we left the house and him behind, you would think Dwight was being murdered. Crying escalated to howling. Howling escalated to yelping, and then it all became one cacophony of dog sadness. Not only was it heartbreaking, it was LOUD. My neighbor across the street stopped me one afternoon to tell me that he could hear how upset Dwight was. Across the street. Inside another house. With the doors and windows shut.
Our vet recommended a doggie psychiatric drug to help him over the adjustment period. When that didn’t work, we tried another. The second one made him zoom around the house like a balloon without a knot. Pfffffffffffffffffft! I think he even made that noise.
The third drug was Prozac. While it didn’t seem to take the edge off the separation anxiety, it did prompt my mom to send me the following text message: “I think Dwight needs more Prozac. I caught him humping Cade.”
Enter the Thundershirt
The Thundershirt is a cool and hilarious solution for anyone with a dog that’s one kibble short of a Snausage. It works kind of like a straight jacket. It comes in stylish navy blue fabric, which is then covered in a network of velcro that allows you to squeeze man’s best friend into sanity. If the dog feels like he’s getting a big hug, the philosophy goes, then he won’t freak out during storms or when you leave him alone. I have family who have used the Thundershirt to great success. In our house, however, the current score is Dwight 2, Thundershirt 0. And now a significant corner of our living room carpet is missing. I expect to see remnants in our yard in two to three days.
Operation New Pal
Dwight needs a friend, and I’m on a mission to get him one. Petfinder has become my new hobby. Disclaimer: I am the only person advocating for this option. My husband has pointed out that this will add to the expense, dog hair, and general chaos in our house. He also kindly pointed out that we have two brand new children. He’s absolutely right. But come on — did you SEE these pics? I think he’s earned a new pal — don’t you?