Over the years, Phin and I have worked nearly every angle to help manage his separation anxiety—several trainers, numerous practice exercises, a serious amount of walking, toys to keep him occupied and busy, medications, aromatherapy, and even a few months with my mom in Florida. The one thing we never tried was a second dog. I was worried about taking on the expense and work of a second pup, and many people convinced me that a second dog wouldn’t help. “He’s just not a city dog,” they’d say. Or worse, “He was meant to be with a family that’s home all the time, not a single person who works.” I’ve shed a lot of tears and experienced a huge amount of anxiety because I was worried I just couldn’t help him.
It’s been two weeks since we moved to D.C., and my friends Matt and Alex whom we rent from have a sweet pup, Otis. Otis and Phin get along very well and they were immediate friends. We just open up the door between my apartment and their house, and Otis and Phin pal around together all day. It’s an incredible situation, and I’m so grateful for it. And Phin’s anxiety when I leave the house? Gone. Turns out what he needed all this time was a pal to be in the world with. And isn’t that what we all need? No matter how heavy life gets, as long as we’ve got a friend we’re okay. Another beautiful lesson from the world of canines.