Family, Pets

About that anxiety, Nikki…

Nikki is avoiding me.

I tried to take his picture for this blog post but he eluded me.

I think he’s mad because he saw my empty suitcase being filled again.

I can’t help it, Nikki. I have places to go.

Last time I went away, Ginger, our amazing dog sitter, sent me an urgent message.

“I’m very worried about Nikki.  Since about 2 this morning he has been pacing all over the house, panting, and chewing on his back leg.  It is now bloody looking.  I think he is in pain but I don’t know what I should do. Is there anything I can give him?”

Nikki, what are you doing to poor Ginger, waking her up at 2 in the morning?

I told her to give him a Benadryl because sometimes his skin gets itchy and then he can’t leave it alone.

This is a common problem with Bichons because they have sensitive skin and sometimes scratch until they break the skin.

Doug said, “I think he’s just missing you.”

He says that all the time, but I refuse to believe Nikki is that attached to me.

(As I write this I can feel his fur on my foot because he is so close to me.)

Doug said when I leave town, Nikki roams around the house looking for me the entire time I’m away.

He’s restless and nervous until I get home.

If I go across the street, he sits in the front window and waits for me and then jumps excitedly all over me when I come home because five minutes is like a month to him.

I took him to the vet after I got home last time because his skin was so irritated.

Guess what the doctor said?

“I think it’s a combination of his dry skin and the separation anxiety he feels when you go out of town.”

Separation anxiety?

This is not acceptable, Nikki.

Ginger is so good to you and you wag your tail at a dizzying speed with happiness when we go there so why so much anxiety?

Well, the experts say, he spends too much time with me.

I’m not sure how to solve that problem.  Take him to doggie day care?

I did a little research about Bichon Frises and separation anxiety.  Apparently, that’s another issue with this breed.

A possible remedy? Sending him to Ginger’s house with pieces of my unwashed clothing.

I’ve heard this about puppies but Nikki is an old man by now.  Still, my very scent can calm him down.

It’s worth a try.

I’m sure Ginger will be thrilled when I show up with bits of my worn-out pajamas to store in his crate.

I’m going to experiment this weekend while I’m away for a wedding.

I’ll leave a piece of clothing in his crate and see if he acts calmer for Doug.

Then when we go to the beach soon, I’ll arm Ginger with my worn-out pajamas, some children’s Benadryl and some Benadryl spray and instruct her to use them at the first sign of an impending situation.

And if that doesn’t work…

I will have to order the cone of shame.

I think Nikki is afraid just hearing the rhythm of the keys that just typed out those words.

Like I’ve said before, we have a sweet deal with Ginger and her family and we can’t afford to mess it up.

You hear me Nikki, snoring there beside me? We can’t afford to mess this up!




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