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July 10, 2014

“Be Right Back”

I’m writing this as I quietly reorganize my closet. Eko is fast asleep, but if he hears the tell tale clink of my travel bag, the jig is up. He’ll pace and pout and do everything in his power to make me take him with me. I’m not even going
I’m writing this as I quietly reorganize my closet. Eko is fast asleep, but if he hears the tell tale clink of my travel bag, the jig is up. He’ll pace and pout and do everything in his power to make me take him with me. I’m not even going anywhere, but I would still inevitably feel guilty! Penny doesn’t know what my bag signifies yet, but I’m sure she would follow Eko’s lead. I don’t need the extra guilt!rhodesian ridgeback, puppy, marking our territory, adventure

Don’t give me those puppy eyes, I already feel bad

Guilt. Guilt is definitely at the top of the list of feelings I have about leaving the pups. Whether it’s for three hours or three days, I always feel at least a twinge of guilt as they stare at me when I walk out the door.rhodesian ridgeback, puppy, marking our territory, adventure

“You’re leaving us!?”

rhodesian ridgeback, puppy, marking our territory, adventure

“Look, I can come outside with you!”

Eko and Penny get lots of love and attention, but one thing they never get is an explanation. It’s one of the few downsides to being a dog. However, I’ve come up with a trick which has helps assuage both my guilt and the pups’ anxiety. Whether I’m just going to check the mail or if I’m going to be out for a few hours, I always give Eko and Penny a cheerful, quick “Be right back!”

Of course, sometimes I’m not right back. But the repetition of the phrase helps the pups calmly acclimate to my leaving and it reminds them no matter what, I’ll always come home to take care of them. And though leaving may still be tough, when I come back I always receive a royal welcome.

rhodesian ridgeback, puppy, marking our territory, adventure

 “I got you this! Never leave again!”

Anyone else have any tips, tricks or things they do when you have to leave your pet? I have a feeling there are some good ones out there!

Comments for “Be Right Back”

  1. I hope for a lot of good ideas via comments. I’m totally unable to leave the pup. I canceled a holiday and I changed my plans… just for such sad eyes…

  2. I also say “be right back”, “take care of your brother”, or “see you in a little bit!!!!!”

  3. Victoria says:

    I love the pic of the two of them just staring at you – it even makes me feel guilty. I don’t have any great secrets mainly because mine are never left alone (there is always someone home) but if i leave to go downstairs without them or upstairs (they get the main level and trips downstairs when we go out to play and are my shadows for sure) I have found not making a big deal about it and doing it at the same time nightly helps. They just lie down and wait for me to get back.

  4. Emmadog says:

    Mom always says be right back to us too and sometimes that means a minute, sometimes ten hours, but we know she is coming back. We actually are fine with her going as it means we can just rest up for the next adventure when she is back.

  5. Jeff says:

    When I go to work I say “I’m not sure when I’ll be back”. I trips to town that I can’t take Stryder with me I’ll say “be back in a few.” But before I close the door I always say “love you pup.”

  6. scarlybobs says:

    Wow Penny has grown! Both your pups are so beautiful 🙂

    Kasper used to have separation anxiety (to the point where he chewed halfway through a door in the weeks after we adopted him!!) so leaving was at one point pretty tricky for us. We crate trained him, which really seemed to help as he had a safe place, and built up the time we left him, starting off with just two seconds!! 😛

    Both pups get Kongs when we leave and, if we’re going for a while, we freeze them too. That keeps them busy for a chunk of time and, after a walk and a Kong, they’re usually pretty happy to sleep for a few hours 😉

  7. What beautiful pups you have.

    My cat sits in the suitcase on my bed. I don’t know if she expects to come along, or if she’s just sending the message that she’s not amused.

    I think part of the guilt is not in leaving, but in knowing they don’t understand the leaving, and take it so hard. Our cats are always well cared for in our absence, but since they’re attached to us, as your pups are attached to you, it will never be the same. Hence the anxiety when the suitcases appear: Eko doesn’t like the way it feels when you’re gone, and knows the discomfort that suitcase represents.

  8. We used to give Cody a tshirt that had our scents on it. It seemed to help. Keeping him busy and having someone he was familiar with also seemed to help.

  9. Best trick: Never leave. 🙂 But if you figure out how to do that and still be alive, let me know. I even hate going to the grocery store because of the “eyes”.

  10. Sam always gives me the “are you serious?” look when I leave him behind but he doesn’t want to go with me ANYWAY (he hates being in the car) so it’s purely manipulation on his part not a desire to go. I think Eko and Penny really ARE up for an adventure but if they hear you say the same thing about “being right back” they will truly learn that you always do return.


  11. They do pick up on subtle clues. They know when I close my puter were going to bed. I have to tricks for you.

  12. I have no tips – I’m relying on you to help me out. I have just managed to have a shower without either a whining pup trying to get in with me, or a whining pup sitting outside the bathroom door. It’s a minor miracle that I can be in another room with a door between us and he lay down and patiently waited 🙂 He can be left in the car – he has his blanket, a cuddly toy and a chew and seems to be quite happy waiting there for my return……… can’t park the car inside though….. he still doesn’t like his crate and I have been lax in the training – must remedy that!

  13. pawedblog says:

    Haha aww … oh yes! the guilt. It’s not often I leave the pets for any long time, but they do seem to know the difference when I tell them ‘I’m going to the shops’ that means I am going to return with a bag and I won’t be long!
    Hugs, Carrie and pups x

  14. Anytime I’m leaving Cupcake, whether to take out the garbage or for the day, she goes on her chair, gets a “big” cookie treat, and I also say, “I’m coming right back.” I’m pretty sure she has no idea what I’m saying, but I hope the rhythm of it makes her feel secure. When I come home whether it’s been 5 minutes or 5 hours, she seems surprised to see me.

  15. fozziemum says:

    Aww those eyes…right in the heart…I have always since the boys were young (so 12 years now) said ‘back soon’..might be 30 minutes or sometimes 2 weeks..when we go away we take them to boarding and apart from Forrest slipping his collar and doing a nudie run through their offices..a ritual…they are fine..we still say ‘back soon’ and they know..the cats…hmmm stink eye turned to turbo and they won’t hear a word..not happening…simply unacceptable hahhaahah 🙂 hugs Fozziemum x

  16. The best tip I can give is to not make a big deal about leaving and arriving, this way bad feelings or overly positive ones aren’t formed.

    Now that I’ve given you my advice I’d just like to say that I think when I leave I miss the figs more than they miss me!

  17. I just don’t make a big deal of it. Everyone gets a treat and “be good girls”. Then they run off and eat their treats. No big deal made by me, no big deal made by them 🙂

  18. Kyla says:

    We know e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

  19. We have a routine that involves taking them out for a quick potty break before we leave and then a quick good bye. That doesn’t mean that Flattery isn’t going to stand by the back door and guilt trip me, but I do know that nobody is terribly upset. They just take advantage of the extra space to stretch out on the couch.

  20. For some reason mom read this entire post to us in a whisper…we think she was trying to help you keep quiet…she can be very “special” sometimes.
    Wally & Sammy

  21. fredrieka says:

    when momwithoutpaws and I go to do our therapy work and Old Cissy can not go , Old Cissy gets a treat and when I get in the car I get one also. It seems to help Old CIssy she likes care rides

  22. There is no calming Chancy when I leave. I always tell him I won’t be gone long but that does not help. To keep him safe I put him in his kennel with a treat before I leave for a short time. He does not eat the treat until I return though. If the weather is nice I leave him out to play in the yard if I won’t be gone long. He always gets a special treat when I return. The excitement he displays when I get back home is unbelievable. Hubby can go and come anytime and Chancy doesn’t show any concern, but when I leave it is a whole different issue. I have the guilt issue too, so I know exactly how you feel. Hugs and nose kisses

  23. Julia M says:

    Oh dear, they’re master emotional blackmailers, huh? I always feel a bit silly, but whenever I leave the house I call out to Oscar “I’m just going out for a bit, I’ll be back soon, I love you”. Somewhat unnecessary considering Oscar has already figuring out I’m leaving him and is hiding elsewhere plotting his revenge. The guilt never really goes away, does it? 🙁

  24. Funny, I say the exact same thing…I say: “be good doggies, I’ll be right back”…
    That guilt is terrible.

  25. Caitlin says:

    It’s like you read my mind with this post!

  26. Jorie says:

    Those eyessss. So sad. I love the “Be right back!” I usually say, “Be a good girl!” on my way out, which is somehow more threatening. Haha. Maybe I’ll have to institute the BRB.

  27. Gail Simburger says:

    I always give Leo a treat when I leave after making him earn it by practicing a number of commands. He actually is happy to see me get my things and prepare to leave! No guilt here!

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