Separation Anxiety and Our Quest for a New Dog

Once upon a time, we had a dog. . .

He was an awesome dog.  Awesome?!  Pretty lofty to describe our 4-footed friend, but awesome he was!

His name was Gus.

6 months after Mark and I married, we rescued him from the pound.

He was awesome!  (I guess I said that already)

I admit . . . it was not all happy cozy times with our mutt. . .

  • We dealt with mange.
  • He had food allergies and had to eat raw meat.
  • He chewed up my Birkenstocks.
  • We got a $500 vet bill for Canine Bloat.
  • He had an overactive scent gland!  Oh my word!  If you know anything about this, it is absolutely horrible!  Horrible!
  • His extreme separation anxiety resulted in $400 in window repairs (I’m serious).

Of all the not so fun things about Gus, it was really the last one that was the kicker.

The Evil Separation Anxiety

He could not stand to be left at home alone.  He had broken out our home through the window 6 or 7 times and was an expert escape artist.

It all came to light when one day I came home from the store to find the front window busted out.

Gus was gone.

Knowing how loyal our dog was, I figured he must have chased after the would-be robber.  I called the police and they got word that a stray dog was about a mile down the road, sitting in the parking lot.  It was Gus.  Hmmmmm….interesting.

We poured out all sorts of love and affection on our guard dog and were so happy to get him back.  The only problem was the fact that this happened several more times.

So we set up a video camera.

We found that Gus became a ragging lunatic when we left.  Our docile and calm dog was VICIOUS!  He was howling, barking, and biting at the window frame.  HE was busting the window out.

Our Attempts to Deal with It

We tried a muzzle, but were scared he’d pass out from trying to breath.

We put him in a back room so he couldn’t see the neighboring chihuahua being walked and freak out.  He was a Houdini and got out of the room several times Other times he chewed on the door frame.

Clearly he wasn’t safe to roam free in our house.

So we resorted to getting him a large wire kennel and crated him when we left the house.  He chewed at the metal and mangled it beyond repair.


We tried to find him a new home for about a year.  We were frustrated and had given up.

We Gave Him Away

My Mom, (who was dog sitting for us) called one day to say that she found a new family for Gus.  They had kids and another dog to keep Gus company.

This family lived in a VERY small town, (population 15 or so).  It seemed like the perfect home for Gus.  He had more roaming ability and wouldn’t need to be kenneled.

My heart sorta fell into my stomach.

I hesitated, but said yes.

As soon as I hung up the phone, I bawled like a baby.  Why wasn’t I happy?!  We finally found him a new home!  But we’d had him for 8 years!

It’s been about a year and a half since we re-homed Gus and I still get choked up when I think about him.  I miss him.  In fact, a few months ago I texted my mom and asked her if we could get Gus back.  She said she would see.  But we decided he was probably in a better place and with the RV thing, it just wasn’t ideal.

If you’ve made it through this story, (which is entirely too long) bravo!  🙂

All this to say. . .

We are Considering Getting Another Dog

Months and months of Ellie and Eli asking for a dog have started to wear on our resolve.

Gus really did a number on me and I still get sad about him.  I wonder if we’ll ever have another dog that could possibly compare.

You might be thinking, “What in the world was so great about that dog?”

I don’t think I can explain it…the thrust of this post has been his negatives, but he really was a wonderful dog 95% of the time.

Still we are considering it.  Mark said we should be crazy and get a Great Dane.  🙂

I still wish we could get Gus back.  I really do.

Are we nutso?  I’m thinking so.

Figuring out the Right Breed

Today we’re looking for a small, non-shedding type.  And we welcome your suggestions!  I’d rather not get a poodle or a yippie dog.  Whatever dog we get, I know we’ll get attached and love him/her.

We’d like to get a rescue dog again, but the shedding thing is really our biggest concern so we’ll have to look for either a pure bred or a shelter dog with that breed in it.

So what do you think?  We have several wish list items.

  • small
  • kid-friendly
  • non-shedding
  • not yippie

Think it’s possible?



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