As an animal communicator, I’ve talked to many dogs during the last ten years. I really enjoy talking to dogs because they are very straightforward. They generally describe their lives and their people in very loving and affectionate terms. Dogs adore their people, and they want to be with us all the time.
But, as we all know, taking our dogs with us everywhere we go is just not possible. When we leave for work or we need to run an errand, we have to leave our dogs at home. If we’re going to be away for an extended period of time, we leave our dogs with a friend or have them go to a kennel. This separation can be very hard on our furry friends. Some dogs will suffer from separation anxiety, some will lay in their kennels and wait patiently, still others will sit and watch the door for our return. What goes on in our dogs’ minds while they’re waiting for their families to come back to them? What does “time” mean to them?
Dogs don’t think about time in terms of a minute, an hour or a day. They don’t have inside clocks that tell them their humans have been gone for two weeks. Rather, dogs think about time in terms of what they’re doing or what happens to them. For instance, when I’m asked to tell a dog that their family is going to be away for a few days, I will describe the family’s absence in terms of “sleeps.” I’ll use words such as “your family will be home after you’ve had three big sleeps.” Or a dog will say to me “my mama came back when daddy was giving me a bath.” Time is action in their minds.
Also, a dog does not differentiate between mama going to work or mama going to the mailbox. Gone is gone. When mama returns, “Bingo” will understand the separation from mama in terms of what he was doing when she came back to him… “mama was gone but then she came back when I was done with my treat.”
So the next time you need to leave your dog behind, try telling your loving faithful friend that you’ll be back when the light goes away or when he’s had three “little sleeps” or whatever you feel comfortable with. Keep it simple. Your dog will thank you for it.