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dog 001I’m sorry, I know this is not a nice thing to say – I’m prepared to blame the tactless nature of the title of this post on my self-induced regimen of skipping the “menopause” pill every other day (Tony: “Tell me again, why you are doing this?”), but the real culprit is clearly our lack of skills when it comes to “mastering” anything (that’s the problem with being wimpy worrywarts, one is never the alpha dog).

To make a long story short, the dog has somehow developed this intense separation anxiety (are we giving off some sort of “empty nest” pheromone that is causing him to overcompensate for our new found freedom?). We went out to dinner with Kelly and her boyfriend Alex and while we were out, according to our new neighbor, the dog (note his new name) barked for four hours. Our new neighbor is a Japanese exchange student with limited English skills, so what she actually said, “Dog very sad, he misses you, I go up to wave at him (which explains why everything in the window seat was on the floor), and he BARKED FOR FOUR HOURS!”

Last time we were out he tried to scratch his way through the door, this time he tried to open the door with his teeth. Twenty-two years of child rearing: baby safety classes, fear of leaving the baby with a sitter, years of hiring, paying for, and driving (in awkward silence) the babysitter home (“So how’s school?” – this was Tony’s job, hence, awkward silence), calling the LTPD to find out when it is legal to leave one’s child at home alone (age 13), discovering this home alone time has a short window (age 15 1/2), hiding all of the alcohol in the house, discovering the alcohol one hid has been replaced with water, graduation, empty nest, dog . . . Are you telling me we can’t walk down to the Mexican food place because of the dog!!!

One month later: We met with a dog trainer this week. I realized during the session that I should have met with a dog trainer before I had children.