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  1. Hello. Apologies in advance for the long post! There are kind of two parts to this. Firstly, my partner and I adopted a beautiful 1.5 yr old boy 2 weeks ago. He seemed fine being left for short periods for the first 3 days, but then at day 4 he became incredibly anxious whenever he thought either of us were leaving. He would pace and whine and follow us around. If either one of us left the house (even for a minute and even if someone else was still inside with him) he would cry and cry and work himself up into a bark. We live in an apartment unfortunately, so I anticipate noise complaints if this was to continue. I did a deep dive into online research (including Patricia McConnell's book) and decided to start alone training. For the past week we have been working on desensitisation, counter conditioning (up to about 5 minutes max, but with frequent relapses), calm greetings/leavings etc. He sleeps through the night fine on his own and he seems to enjoy spending time alone outdoors (he's been snoozing happily out there for the past 3 hours as I write this!). It is just indoors that is the problem. So, I'm not actually sure if I have just assumed that this is a separation anxiety/isolation distress issue, or if it is just him settling in a new environment? I haven't actually left for a long period to see if the whining/howling/barking continues, because if it is true separation anxiety then with alone training you are suppose to make sure you return before the dog becomes distressed (and I don't want to make the issue any worse for the poor boy!) Now the second part - I contacted the adoption group about this and they suggested leaving him alone outside for long periods. I originally had not done this because I thought that greyhounds could not cope too well with the temperatures outdoors. However they advised that he would be fine as long as he has good shelter and a coat if it is cold. He actually loves it outdoors too, he often wants to go and hang out there even when my parter and I are home so I think it is his preferred place to be! I live in Melbourne (Australia), so the temperatures here aren't too extreme, but I do think that on hot days he would have to be indoors. So now for the questions, thank you if you are still here after all of that! 1: Should I keep up alone training or should I just leave him for a longer period (while monitoring on video), and see how he goes? 2: What are your thoughts on greyhounds kept outdoors during the day? He has a huge kennel which is under shelter, warm bed/blankets, warm coats. For summer I was going to get a cooling bed, install a solar powered fan, have a paddle pool and lots of shade. I'm not too on what the max/min temp is that he should be left outside and couldn't find much about this online so any help would be greatly appreciated!. He sleeps inside in the living room. Basically we want him to be comfortable being inside, alone, on days when it is too hot/too cold for him to be outdoors, and also if my partner and I wanted to leave in the evenings. However I'm also not sure if it will be more difficult to train him to be ok with being indoors alone when he is mostly outdoors during the day (he might be confused by the changes in routine?) We could do the alone training in the evenings and weekends, or also on random days during the week (I am working from home at the moment). Any help/advise would be very much appreciated! Thank you!
  2. Hi - newbie here, and apologies if this is a topic that's been done to death (although I've searched the forums and not found anything that sounds just like our situation). Hoping someone has been through similar and can either give us some suggestions of things we haven't tried already or just some reassurance that things will get better with time! We've had our 4 year-old boy at home for just over two months. He came from a regular rescue charity (not grey-specific) and we were well warned he would need someone at home with him all the time at first, building up alone time gradually once he settled in. No problem, me and my partner both work from home and we our teenage son is around most of the time outside working hours so we were confident that one of us would always be around until he was settled. We don't have that much of a social life even outside pandemic times so we fully expected to just include him in our plans when we wanted to go somewhere together. The reality is that he velcro-attached himself to me almost immediately on day one. He mostly ignores my partner and son moving around in and out of the house, but he jumps up to follow me as soon as I move from a seat and gets distressed if I go out and leave him behind with other family members. He's not destructive, he doesn't toilet in the house or bark loudly. It's mostly just pacing and whining, but he is obviously stressed and it's also pretty distressing for the family members left in the house with him. The longest he's been in the house without me has been about 25 minutes for an emergency grocery run. At his worst point, he built himself up to a bit of a yelp / bark at the door; at his best, he settled on the sofa by himself for about 3 minutes with an occasional gentle whine (we have webcams downstairs and upstairs so I can see what he's been up to). Things we're already doing / trying to do: Read the books (Patricia McConnell / Julie Naismith) - all the SA advice seems to start with the assumption that your dog will be fine as long as they have 'a person, any person' with them Exercise - usually a 45-minute walk before and after work, with some scent games / training / zoomie time in the garden mid-morning & afternoon Sharing care-giving responsibilities around family members Adaptil collar & diffuser and calming treats Calm departures & returns Giving 'special' toys / treats when I leave and taking them away again when I come back (filled Kong, Lickimat, treat balls, Benebone) - he abandons them as soon as I leave and then I have to 'swap' them for a lower-value treat to get them back when I return. Then he loses interest in them next time around (because he associates it with being left??) Music (Through a Dog's Ear) / dog YouTube on the TV Using a movable gate / barrier to try and create some distance between us around the house (our home layout is somewhat lacking internal doors, so it's difficult to be in a 'different' room from him during the day) Using the gate / barrier to give him a safe / enclosed space rather than having free roam of the house (he's never been crated and it's something I'd prefer to avoid due to space issues) Working through Karen Overall's relaxation protocol, but we're stuck at the stage where I have to go out of sight for 5 seconds or more. The only thing that has worked so far is giving him a squeaky rubber ball when I leave. He will chew / squeak obsessively for up to 10 minutes (haven't tried this for longer without returning) - no pacing or whining, but just constant squeaking. This is great if no-one else is in the house, but no good if my partner is trying to work! And I'm not convinced that the obsessive chewing / squeaking isn't just another sign of stress. There are things he does well. He at least gives me some privacy and waits patiently outside the bathroom door. He sleeps outside our bedroom and has done from his first night. He's happy to go on walks with other family members while I stay in the house. He even went into the vet's surgery for a check-up with no fuss (we have to stay outside the building because Covid). We can't take on another dog, and none of us wants to return him - he was 'bounced' once already (possibly part of the problem), so his chances of adoption get slimmer every time; plus he's 'our' dog now and he's genuinely a joy to have around in every other way. I just need to be able to get out of the house by myself occasionally without worrying about him and the rest of my family.
  3. Hi All, We have a gorgeous girl, Sable, who has been with us for three months now. My partner and I work full time and have a dog walker come in to walk her for an hour at lunch time, then he pops by in the afternoon to let her out. We had a few issues early on, we initially had her roaming downstairs with an open crate, but we found she just paced and howled the whole day, as well as chewed things and pooped on the floor. So we then decided to crate her and she was much better in a confined space, but would still bark. A month ago she was a lot better and we got it down to literally barking for a minute once we left then would be quiet all day. However, she seems to have gone backwards a bit. She barks and howls for about an hour to an hour and a half after we leave her, and our neighbours sleep a room adjacent to where she is and the walls are very thin. We did have a complaint from her a few days ago. She will be quiet for the rest of the day though. We have tried so many things. We always feed her in her crate so it's a positive space, we've tried adaptil plug ins (which made a bit of difference to be fair), pet remedy plug ins, calming drops for her food, adaptil collar, adaptil spray for her bed, thunder shirt, we leave a kong filled with frozen peanut butter and she now wears a jumper in case she's cold but so far nothing seems to really help her. Getting a dog sitter every day just isn't an option for us, as she doesn't like other dogs when inside and there is no one around us who looks after single dogs. And we can't work from home. I know we can crack this, I just need some advice.
  4. Hi everyone, it has been a week since we adopted our Spirit. He is up to 5-10 minutes of being alone. Of course, he doesn't like it. The trouble is, he takes about 5 minutes to eat his kong because he doesn't like peanut butter, so instead he gets kibble and chicken in the kong but that takes him no time at all. The one time I packed the kong more tightly, he just licked at it for a few minutes and then gave up. Then we got him a bobble toy that distributes kibble, but that also takes him about 5-10 minutes, plus sometimes he gets it stuck underneath some piece of furniture and then he cries and goes away from it. Whenever we do the alone training, we do it when he's tired out from a walk. We make sure not to make a fuss when we leave or come back. When we come back into the house, we wait until he calms down before petting him. We are thinking of crate training him, but he is a big boy and a 54-inch crate will take up 1/4 of the living room or bedroom. If it's necessary, we can get the crate but we thought we'd check in here. Any thoughts? Thank you!
  5. Hi everybody, We've had our Arrow for about 8 months now and she's so wonderful. Things are going great. Her statue-ing was an issue at first, but it has improved quite dramatically. We have recently started to have a little issue with her whining in the middle of the night. One thing I should mention is that she will not go up the stairs, where our bedroom is. So she sleeps downstairs on her bed and we are upstairs. I've tried to work with her on the stairs, but she seems quite scared of them. When she whines in the middle of the night, I let her out but she mainly just eats a bit of grass and walks around a bit. It doesn't seem to be a bathroom emergency. Sometimes I give her a treat after she gets in and it seems to help get her back to sleep. She's been so great with no big signs of separation anxiety for 8 months, and we really hope this doesn't become a nightly thing. Any thoughts? Should be wait it out and let her whine until she gives up? Do you all think there could be a medical issue? Usually she goes through the night and is fine, but the issue does seem to be growing in frequency. Thank you all as always!
  6. I'm hoping to hear from some owners who've managed/treated/"beat" separation anxiety and can give us some perspective. I've read a lot about it, but have not really had first hand experience until this foster dog. I'd like to get my head wrapped around it a bit better, so we can do a better job at letting our adoption group and potential adopters know what this pup will likely need. We've had this 5yo hound for about a month now, he was surrendered by his owner (she'd had him for about a year) because he had developed separation anxiety - which manifested as howling/crying and chewing the entire time she would be gone at her new job. She made the tough, but probably right, choice, to surrender him. His first few days with us were rough, we were not aware of his SA when we agreed to take him on (we both work). Even though we have another hound, he cried and howled most of those first few days and had an accident or two during that time. But he seemed to adjust relatively quickly (our schedule is very consistent) and the crying during the day has decreased dramatically, but not completely. I can monitor them with a nanny cam while I'm at work, he makes it through the morning but then then the whining/crying starts up again after I've come home and left after their lunch time turn out. It doesn't start until after I've been gone a while and doesn't seem to be triggered by anything I can see/hear. He came to us on 80mg daily of Clomicalm, and had been on it for at least a month at that point (so it has now been another month). My understanding is that it should be well established in his system by now. I'm less sure about whether it works, mostly because we didn't experience what he was like before he started taking it, but also because he still does whine intermittently throughout the afternoon. If the medicine was working, would he still be whining/crying? Is 8 weeks long enough to know if it's working? Should we try splitting the dose - currently we give it all at breakfast, would it make sense to give half at breakfast and the other half at lunch time? Or does this mean he would maybe be better served by a different drug? With SA is there a certain amount of crying/distress that you just have to be ok with? There are 10 more days until the next adoption event, where he will hopefully find his forever home, but until then is there anything we should be trying to get him past this plateau point? Or, should we think of this plateau as success?
  7. Hi everyone! I just adopted my first greyhound, she is a fawn girl named Bambi! I've had her for a little over a week and I love her so much already! I do have some concerns as far as leaving her alone, though. The first day I left her alone in my apartment, she was confined to the living area. I felt comfortable leaving her outside of the crate because her 2 foster moms told me she was never destructive and they had no issues with her. I left her about 4 hours and came home to a disaster. She didn't destroy anything, but she peed and pooped EVERYWHERE. The next time I decided to crate her. She did fine for the next couple days. As of recently though, she has been peeing or pooping in her crate when I leave her. For about 2-3 hour intervals. I take her out to pee/poop before crating her EVERY TIME. She is positive for hookworm, so at first I was thinking it was because she couldn't hold her bowels due to diarrhea, but then she started urinating her crate as well. She doesn't show any signs of disliking the crate. She'll lay in it while i'm home without an issue. I also give her a frozen Kong full of peanut butter and yogurt so work on while i'm away, but I think she goes through it in a matter of 30 minutes. I live on a third floor and going up/down the stairs has been a challenge for her. She has finally learned to come up (with treats of course) and I will soon be training her on how to go down. For now, I have to carry her down. I don't know if maybe the stress of the stairs is also a factor. Whenever we finally get downstairs and close to some grass, she will statue for at least 10 minutes before she starts sniffing and finally moving closer to the grass to relieve herself. It never takes her less than 15 minutes. I try to get her to run/jog with me to tire her out, but like i mentioned, she will statue until I finally give in. The longest I've waited has been 30 minutes, where she will not move no matter what. Completely uninterested in sniffing, running, jogging, anything. Maybe she is getting some anxiety from being outside? Please help me with some suggestions/ideas! I hate for her to be so anxious, not only for myself, but I can imagine what she is going through.
  8. Hi all, I adopted my sweet girl Ellie in late November of last year (2018). Since she’s been with me she's had trouble being alone. I’ve tried everything I can think of and that has been suggested to me. Here is a list: Consistent alone training; 30 seconds, 5 min, 2 min, etc, working up the time Calming chews Exercise (long walks, 1hr + brisk walk or until she didn’t want to walk anymore) Adaptil collar Special toy for absences Kong with peanut butter (only when she’s alone) A mirror and window near her crate Rescue remedy Melatonin A mannequin that I pretend is real to keep her company Leaving tv on, npr, country music, classical music, “dog separation anxiety calming music” A recording of my voice (only worked the first time I tried it) Techniques from “I’ll be home soon” Leaving her loose (she runs and paces) Babygating her to the kitchen/ bedroom area; she tried to break the gate down No dramatic goodbyes or hellos Obedience training with body blocks (wait, sit, stay, shake, down, spin etc) Crating while home Leaving my worn clothing w/ her Working with two behaviorists I’ve been very fortunate to have a great adoption group that has put me in contact with someone who is able to watch her during the day while I’m at work while we continue to work through this, but I feel like we have stopped making progress with the alone training. The weird part of the whole thing is that she appears to be fine for 10-15 minutes after I have left. She does not exhibit any symptoms of anxiety before or after I leave until that point. Then she will start what I call whistling and escalate to crying, then howling (you can hear it on the street), and then becoming more frantic (biting at the crate, trying to bust down the baby gate, running through the house, etc.) She does not seem particularly anxious about anything else. She also hangs out in her crate during the day and sleeps in there with the door open at night. I will also add she does not get particularly excited when I return, she just lays there quietly. My landlords will not allow me to get another dog, so that is not an option until at least August. I also live above them and one of them stays home all day. She is also in the middle of treatment for hookworms :-( so daycare is not an option right now either My current plan is to work on leaving her muzzled and loose with a ton of treats and puzzle toys throughout the house to keep her busy. Today it went alright, but she still periodically cried loudly by the door and then on her bed after she was done messing with the treats. I'm a bit homebound since she can't be left alone. I plan my grocery trips around the weather when she can be left in the car for short periods of time. Please if anyone has any methods or ideas for me to try, let me know. Thank you!
  9. New first-time grey owner and previous lurker on the forums (lots of great info from you folks!) I have been struggling with our new boy Tully having isolation distress/separation anxiety. Background: Tully came off a farm in TX as a failed racer, not quite 2 yrs old. Sweet disposition, the calmest 2 year old dog I've ever had. Big issues arose when I tried to leave him alone during the first week. Lot's of gentle, slow attempts at crate training. When I was able to get him crated, shut the door and leave the condo, Tully bent the steel crate bars with his teeth, destroyed an "indestructible" crate bed, and dragged a rug into the crate and tore it to pieces--all within 15 minutes. (I'd previously left him alone for just 5 minutes.) He shrieked the entire time, swayed, drooled, looked wild-eyed. I was actually just running to the library to p/u 2 books on Sep. Anxiety (McConnell's and Malena DeMartini-Price's.) I had a camera on him so was watching the video in the car. It was just awful to see and hear. I raced home quickly. Next step: I abandoned the crate in favor of a 4'x4' x-pen with his comfy bed placed inside. He took to that immediately and would come and go frequently. After speaking with our vet, Tully began taking Clomicalm (40 mg/ twice a day.) I also immediately started on a very conservative training protocol using the two books. I never left him alone aside from brief training sessions, and he was fine if a neighbor or friend stayed with him while I went shopping, etc. Any attempt at leaving the condo without him was a failure, though. Crying, pawing at the pen. I also tried leaving him with the pen door open and he would cry and paw at the exit door. During all of this I was also helping Tully to transition to life as a pet, thanks to the wonderful advice I read on this forum (let him take his time, don't push too hard, let him sleep, etc.) Next step: During week 7 of training (8 weeks with us) we got up to 11 minutes outside the house with Tully in his pen which felt like a huge step. I always started each session with a food-filled kong, always filmed the sessions. He would often cry or get frustrated when his kong finished but settle down afterward. Occasionally though, he would vocalize LOUDLY and bite at the pen for at least one minute. With condo neighbors, that was obviously a problem, but the bigger issue was seeing him be anxious. Lots of small steps forward and then back. Last week I really lost my confidence in my ability to help Tully through his isolation distress/SA on my own. I contacted Malena DeMartini-Price who phoned me to speak about Tully. She asked questions about what that morning's training session had been like and gave me some suggestions. I decided to take her SA online training course, Mission: Possible. (I'm not plugging for her, just telling you my process.) I've spent several days going through the materials and basically dialed way back on any training for Tully while I studied. Two things jumped out at me: Malena D-P no longer recommends using a kong or other food treats for SA training (different from her book.) She also suggested that I abandon the pen to see how Tully would do w/o it. My long-term plan was to allow Tully the run of the condo, so I could save a step of training him out of the pen by just starting SA training over with him out of it. (I'd only wanted the pen to prevent him from randomly chewing stuff, which he would try when we first got him home.) This morning I did Tully's first assessment (as part of the class.) His first time not being in a pen while I exited and first time without a kong. I sat on a bench outside the condo where he couldn't see or hear me (except when I dropped a book.) Tully was a champion! He came to the door twice (once when I dropped the book) and cried briefly and softly twice, but mostly he just relaxed in his bed and snoozed. I stayed outside for 60 minutes, all the while wondering, "Who is this dog and where is my fearful, anxious boy?" When I came back inside, he was happy but not clingy or needy. I can't begin to describe the rush of relief I feel. I know he will need to continue training to get to 4 hours alone (my goal) and that there will be regressions but I just want to celebrate this victory. For those of you struggling with a similar problem, I'd say get help sooner than later, keep a journal (to remind you how far you and your pup have come) and keep going. Thanks for listening!
  10. Hey everyone, I've been lurking the forums quite a lot for the past few days, as my wife and I have adopted a 4yo ex racer for about a week and a half now. He's an AMAZING boy, super sweet and really likes a cuddle. But a bit too much - so yeah, it's yet another separation anxiety post. And a long one at that, so thanks to whoever reads through! My wife has dreamt of getting a dog for the past 5 years; we did a ton of research about breeds that would fit our lifestyle and the Greyhound was on the short list, especially because we moved to the UK and there's a lot of ex racers who need a home. Hindsight is 20-20, but we should have researched a lot more into ex-racing Greyhounds specifically (it was more of a broad breed research regarding health, temperament etc). The first day was a complete joy, but the following ones were hell: they hit us like a brick and showed how unprepared we were. A lot of despair and emotional rollercoasters (my wife actually got sick on the 3rd day out of sheer stress), but our sense of responsibility kicked in and we decided to power on to see if we could improve the situation. I work full time, which means she's the one who spends most of the days with him, doing the alone training during the week. Now, from what I've read around, his separation anxiety is relatively mild: he's a velcro dog and on the first nights he cried and clawed or bedroom doors - nowadays, we give him 2 t-shirts of ours, a stuffed kong with PB and it's around 20mins before he's walking around the house all night and whining every few minutes. We started from day one not allowing him to sleep with us because we knew that it would be way harder to separate later on. The rule is: as soon as we close the door, it doesn't open until the morning - we were going back and telling him to go to bed and giving him some treats when he did on the first couple of days, but stopped as we realized we were most likely getting him to think he'd be rewarded for scratching the door. Nowadays, he still pants and whines quite a bit and walks back and forth through the night, but no longer scratches the door. My wife today got him to around 6mins of alone time with the "I'll be home soon" technique (put on your jacket/shoe, grab keys, give the Kong, go outside, wait, come back, take the Kong, clothes off, leave the key, wait a minute, rinse, repeat). Unfortunately, he drops the kong very quickly if he doesn't get any treats, so we kind of reached the point where he eats the Kong before we can extend the time even if it's frozen, and he just stops paying attention to it if it's too hard to take whatever is inside, which reduces his time to around 3 minutes alone without whining. We now spend at least 10 minutes not giving him any contact when showing up in the morning and after returning from work. He unfortunately doesn't play with anything that isn't food (there's this plush toy he destroyed in about 5mins and he doesn't really touch it unless we incite him A LOT, but even that isn't working too much anymore). We do 2 pee breaks before meals to guarantee he doesn't have accidents, and we try to give him at least 2 40min walks a day. One is literally before bedtime, between 10 and 11pm, but there's a lot of foxes around the neighborhood so we're starting to consider if this is just getting him more amped up at bed time instead of tired from the exercise. One of the things that originally attracted us about Greyhounds is that we are pretty laid back, so even though we don't mind caring for him, our routine was very affected by turning into a clockwork bootcamp. Not being able to have some wiggle room or just say "let's go out to the supermarket together" in the middle of the day was way of a bigger burden than we expected. We live in a relatively small flat, with no garden, where both him and us are mostly on the living room. Even thought some Greyhounds will do well in that situation, we feel bad because the only thing he's interested in is food and cuddles, and we can't give him cuddles when he asks for it with all the independence training, which means he's probably bored most of the day (which in turn gets him less likely to sleep at night). It's also pretty heart breaking that we can't make a fuss with him when he comes to greet us. Here comes the hard part: we do love his eventual antics, and we were very emotional this Saturday when he managed to talk to some dog friends in the park (he gets INSANELY anxious at the park seeing a dog running and playing and it breaks our hearts that we're so far away from being able to leave him off the leash to run somewhere). But the hard truth is that we're not madly in love with him, at least not as much as we should have been, most likely because we constantly worry so much and have to ignore him when he's the most excited to avoid increasing his SA, that we're having a hard time bonding with him - right now, my wife feels like she's basically living for him, and not getting a lot of joy from the experience. Thinking this rationally, at the moment we're doing things way more because it's out responsibility to him than because we'd want to keep him even if his condition took many months to improve. The feeling is that, while he is much better in a not-so-good situation with us than waiting for adoption in a kennel, he'd be way better with people who have more experience, a garden, a dog buddy, or someone that is set to love him unconditionally (as we thought we were when we took him). We do know, however, if we were to return him, we'd have to do this as quickly as possible (as he's starting to get used to his routine and feeling a bit more relaxed at our place). It's been really crushing for us to take care of him, because it's been both emotionally and physically draining: the idea of living through months of this without any guarantees that it will improve is, to be honest, terrifying to us. So at the end of the day, my biggest questions are: do you think we're just not the right people/environment for him? Or is this just normal and our feelings also develop over time? I've read so many stories here of situations way, way worse than ours and people who really went above and beyond for over a year, and I simply don't see us being able to do that. Should we simply give up sooner rather than later to avoid turning a mild SA into an acute one? How long do you think we could keep on trying without risking ruining the dog for life? If it was me reading this post some time ago, I'd be judging us hard, but we truly just want what's best for the dog and, if we can't be happy with him, how can we expect him to be happy with us? We're fully aware that this is all on us and that we have probably made a mistake by thinking we were ready for a dog, so thank you to whoever reads the wall of text and provides some insight.
  11. Hi guys, I'm having a little bit of an issue with my sister's greyhound - 5-yr old ex-racing male - that I'm going to be looking after for a few weeks soon while she's on holiday. My family originally had him as a foster dog, but we all fell head over heels in love with him and only last week he was officially adopted! He's had two minor issues with growling at my mum (when she tried to move him off my sister's bed, where he wasn't meant to be), and snapping at my sister when she tried to stop him licking his paws, but other than that he's been a sweetheart! That is, until he scared me today. The thing about our little guy is he shadows my sister EVERYWHERE - even into the toilet. He is extremely attached to her as she was the one who adopted him, took him away from the adoption centre, feeds him, lets him sleep in her room, etc. So when she's gone he flips out a little. So today I was alone in the house with him for around 4 hours. He was fine for the first three, reasonably independent - sometimes taking himself off to her room to have a lie down, drinking some water, or just lying on the ground while I watched TV from the couch. But on around hour three, he went and picked up one of our doorstops and started chewing on it - I then had to take it away from him as my parents had instructed me to make sure he doesn't take those. Everything goes back to normal, I'm lying down on the couch and he's far away from me lying on the floor. Then he suddenly starts breathing heavily and makes a strange, sort of howl-y vocalisation. When I got up to check on him because the noise concerned me (it was almost the same as when our old dog - not a greyhound - used to whine when she felt lonely) as I approached him, his neck swung back to look at me and he snapped his jaws a few times while wagging his tail. I hesitated, and he made this sort of growly noise which frightened me, so I ended up going into my bedroom and shutting the door. I feel like that was probably the wrong move, but to be honest I've seen Cujo and it flashed through my mind at that moment! Does anyone know what those particular behaviours might mean? My mum suggested he might have just been lonely and was trying to get me to pay attention to him, but it was scary! Cheers in advance, Glitter
  12. We adopted Maira two months ago and she has been doing great at settling in. Initially we had some fearfulness issues but most were easily corrected with counter conditioning. For instance, she was terrified of walking down the sidewalk. After about two weeks of using counter conditioning she came around and relaxed enough that we could walk her. Now, two months later, she walks down the sidewalk like she owns it. I did the same for her fear of the vacuum, her fear of crowded places, her fear of the stairs, etc, etc. None of these took longer than two weeks to counter condition. Leaving her alone has been a totally different ball game. From day one I've been doing alone training and it just does not seem to be working. If she thinks I am leaving the house she will not even follow me into the room where her crate is. If I try to lead her into the room she freezes and refuses to budge. She will not take any treats, even the most high value, so I can't bribe her or lure her. If I do get her into the crate and leave (by "leave" I mean for 5 minutes as we've been doing alone training) she pees in the crate. The crate itself doesn't seem to be the issue. If she's sure I'm not going to leave she has no problem going into the crate to sniff around for missed kibbles. She eats in her crate. For the first month she slept in the crate with no issue until I was sure we could trust her and then we started letting her sleep on a dog bed on the floor of our room. She didn't LOVE sleeping in her crate, but she did fine with it. She never peed in her crate overnight. Over the last two months things have only gotten worse and worse. Since she had no problem eating in her crate I started trying to do the alone training while she ate, but now she's fearful of eating in her crate. Before you say that means I took it too fast, I swear I did not. While she eats I close the door to the crate only if she looks comfortable. When I do she instantly stops eating and just stares at me waiting for the door to be reopened. It's like if she thinks I am going to leave she just shuts down. She freezes and does not move until I come back. And now that she has realized that I am using meal times to do alone training she has started being very skittish about mealtime. I feel like I am breaking her. So, this brings me to things I am already doing or have tried: I randomly scatter treats in the crate to heighten the association that the crate = good things. I bought a dog appeasement pheromone diffuser. This didn't seem to make a difference at all. I read Patricia McConnell's I'll be Home Soon and used her suggestions, including to start out with only a few seconds at a time. I followed a set of suggestions from our rescue that suggested increasing the frequency and reducing the length by doing 5 minutes at a time every hour. This seemed to make things even worse. The crate is in our bedroom, next to our bed, so there's plenty of our scent in there. I've tried a kong stuffed with liverwurst or cheese or peanut butter. She won't touch it while in the crate. Now the sight of the kong sends her into hiding as she knows the kong potentially means crate time. (I've tried letting her have kongs out of the crate to break the kong = crate association and she'll only eat them in other rooms, away from the crate.) I've tried varying my routine so that she shouldn't realize I'm leaving ahead of time. This doesn't seem to matter much as she doesn't exhibit symptoms when I pick up keys or put on shoes or anything, it's only when we enter the room with the crate in it. Per the rescue's suggestion I tried leaving her out of the crate in case it was just that she doesn't like being crated. She tried to dig through the door. I've tried leaving the radio on, turning on a white noise machine, etc. The rescue suggested just giving her a gentle shove to get her into the crate. If I do that she will literally sit down in place so that I can't get her in. My vet is suggesting anti-anxiety meds and I feel like I am at the point where I am ready to throw my hands up and try them because I feel like I've tried everything else. This is not my first dog, but it is my first greyhound and my first dog with anxiety issues. Does anyone have ANY ideas? How long is reasonable to dedicate to alone training before you start to see results? Am I just doing this wrong??
  13. Hi all. Thanks for reading this post. My husband and I have adopted a four and a half year-old female grey on 21st Oct this year. We thought she was settling in well but I started wondering if she has SA. Since I am currently looking for a casual work besides my own business, I spend lots of time at home at the moment. Here is my typical routine and how my grey goes; 6:10 Walk for 20 - 30 min. She does #1 and #2 7:00 Husband leaves - she used to follow him to the front door and whine a bit but not anymore. She quietly lays on her bed. 7:30 Breakfast! Then she sleeps till 1pm or even later while I do my work in a separate room. 13:00 Potty break for about 10 min - #1 and #2 (sometimes she holds #2 till evening walk) 14:00 I leave the house. She gets a frozen kong and one more treat. 14:30 She finishes all treats and goes to the front door. Whines for few seconds, then goes to either on the couch or bed. For the next half hour or so, she goes to the front door, whines for few seconds, and back to couch/bed about 3 times. (Maybe she reacts to sounds outside the front door/ communal corridor since we are in an apartment??) 15:00ish Starts sleeping till I come home in 2 - 4 hours 19:00 Evening walk for 20 - 30 min. #1 & #2 20:00 Dinner 22:00 Potty break 22:15 Sleep (she sleeps in living room. She does not whine at night time and sleeps well). She does not get too excited when we come home. I leave calm talk radio on for her whole day, blinds up, sufficient water and we both do not pay any attention to her 15 min before leave and after coming back. She sometimes does not whine at all and just starts sleeping after finishing treats. Is this SA? She used to whine a lot more during her alone time and it is getting less frequent but she does still whine. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  14. Hey Greytalk, its been a while! This was a tremendously greyt source of info when I got my first greyhound, Chance. Sadly, he passed this June, unexpectedly at age 12. I still cry all the time to this day. He was my first Grey and saw me though my Leukemia in 2010 (some of you may remember!) Anyway, I finally pulled the trigger and rescued another ex-racer, Milly. Milly is quite the Velcro dog which I love but is troublesome too bc of her SA. Chance never had this problem so Ive been researching and trying various methods. I searched the SA thread on here with not much to go on, so I figured a new thread was in order. Here are some stats... She barely 2 yrs old. Raced only 19 races (Road Gypsy if youre curious) Born in Iowa, I believe, and raced in Fl Decently fast learner...had her for almost 3 weeks now. Ive kept a log of her behavior when Im gone (recorded her). I teach so its 8-9 hrs alone. I know its long, but Im single and Chance adapted perfectly. She whines within minutes of my departure (crated) until I introduced the Kong. That occupies her for about 30 min. Tried crated by the window, with white noise, and a Kong treat...nope Tried no crate in my room for about 2.5 hrs...nope. She tried to rip out the window, paced, panted, peed. Today I tried about 2g of Melatonin an hour before I left (shes about 59 lbs) and did nothing. (This is along with Animal planet on and a Kong) Today she actually ripped apart the bed that was inside. My next idea is a thunder shirt which should be here by Thursday. Was gonna try 3g melatonin too before hand. Just to add....Ive done the whole leave for 5min, 15min, crate her while Im home, stare her down till she relaxes, etc. Shes a chewer too... I need more advice! Just not keen on jumping into meds from vet. Any thoughts on CBD oil for pets? Great reviews on Amazon but not 100% sold on that either.
  15. Hi, Let me start off by saying I don't think my newly adopted greyhound has full blown separation anxiety, but he does seem to have isolation distress. At the foster's he broke out of a crate twice resulting in injury to himself (also at the vet they found metal deposits in his teeth, so he wasn't doing well crated at the track either), so the foster was leaving him loose where he would chew up pillow's, papers etc when she left. Her solution was to leave him with his e-collar on while she had to leave so he couldn't get into things. He wasn't chewing doors/windows and is perfectly content being left with any random person- thus why I don't think it's separation anxiety. I just finished reading "I'll be home soon" and it definitely has some good advice about building up time gone/taking away the high value treat when you return. I can put down a kong/bully type chew and "leave" (I pretend to leave the house but really sneak upstairs to listen to how he's doing. The bully stick he'll be content to chew until it's almost gone, but the kong he'll finish about half, I'm assuming because it gets to hard to get the food out, and will then start pacing/whining. Basically my question is- I don't have issues leaving as long as he's occupied with some sort of tasty high value food/chew, the problem arises when he finishes it, he'll start pacing the house and whining and then resort to chewing other things. How do I move past this so that he'll be comfortable being left alone for longer periods of time after his treat is gone? I'll also add that my partner and I work from home, but there are going to be times when we both need to be gone at the same time. But we also have the ability to do things gradually and set him up for success. Any advice is appreciated. I'll also add that we practice leaving the room several times a day- so that when he's relaxed and in bed, we'll leave for a few seconds to minute (depending on how tired he is- the more tired he is, the longer he'll stay in bed before getting up to look for us). We're up to about a 1:30 of being able to be out of the room as long as he's tired.
  16. I've had my four and a half year old greyhound for right at eight weeks now. It's been so tough! I was actually reflecting yesterday which will be harder, my first dog or my first child. I'm single and live in a one bedroom apartment. It's just the two of us here. Though there are many, these are the two newest problems I don't have answers for: (1) She wakes me up once or twice during the night to go out. UTI was treated a couple of weeks ago, secondary to chronic diarrhea caused by hookworms. Urine tests fine now. She does have crystals in her urine but no signs of stones according to ultrasound. She is on daily ivomec to treat that lingering hookworm infection while we wait on input from a parasitologist. She hasn't been completely healthy since I adopted her so I'm having a hard time determining what are medical issues and what are behavioral. (2) About two weeks ago she started peeing in her crate when I leave, no matter how long I'm gone. This is the newest iteration of her separation anxiety, I believe. I'm gone 4-5 hours max on my off days. On workdays, I must be gone for 10 hours since I commute far away. Be it 4 or 10 hours, she won't pee it if she's just on the plastic tray. If there's any kind of bedding (I've tried both plush and meager), she'll pee on it and push it to the side. My troubleshooting. I think I've exhausted all the advice that YouTube and Google has to offer: Regarding crate trainingHer crate isn't too big. She's a 64lb girl in a 42" crate. She can stand and turn and that's it. When the peeing started, I downsized her from the 48" crate she'd had originally. She has to be in her crate when I'm gone. I conservatively tried to leave her out but she gets destructive and pees on the carpet. Last night I tried to crate her and refused to take her out when she demanded. It was as rough and sleepless a night as all the nights previous. I don't want her to be in her bare crate but I don't trust her with any bedding in there. She has a bed at the foot of my bed. Bare crate is also in there. In the living room she has a bed that she prefers. At bedtime she starts sleeping there and sometimes will mosey into my room to sleep (or wake me up). She gets lots of walks and exercise. We go to the dog park usually twice a week. She gets to go out for four breaks on a work day: twice before work and twice after. Two of those outings are about 15-20 minute walks, one morning, one evening. On my off days, she gets an additional mid-day break of some kind and I try to take her along on my errands and outings if I'm able. She's on a fairly regular schedule. The first outing is right when we get up, no later than 5:00am, even on weekends. The second is a walk at 7:00, about an hour after she eats. The third is a few minutes after I get home from work. I get settled and then I get her out of her crate, about 5:30. The last is 8:00-8:30pm, which is 30-45minutes before bedtime and after her 6:00pm dinner. I've noticed she's generally more peaceful during the day (naps most of the day) and more restless after bedtime. Not sure why. Really, I'm getting to the end of my rope. It seems that when we work out one issue, there are two to follow. I adopted her because I wanted some company around here and I wanted to give a greyhound a good retirement but we're both suffering. She's got the plethora of issues you see above. I'm not eating well, sleeping, or working out like I used to. Thank you guys for any guidance. Did anyone have a similar beginning with their grey? How long should this last? When will she become comfortable and more of a companion than my canine patient?
  17. Good Afternoon, All! I am new to this forum, and a new Greyhound Parent. I adopted my Grey about 4 weeks ago and I will start by saying he is a very GOOD dog. He has been very easy to walk, have in the house, etc. He enjoys sleeping, and playing with a few squeak toys here and there. He has seemingly welcomed both me and my husband into his life very well. Upon arrival, we did everything “by the book” as far as welcoming him, letting him explore, practicing leaving, etc. All was seeming to go pretty well, until Week 2 (this is where I am seeking thoughts / advice). Previous to living with my husband and I, he was with a foster (around 3 weeks) and was crated in the day, not at night. The foster said she crated while at work, but did have other Greys (we only have the 1). In effort to keep things the same, we crated as well in the beginning. By day 3, it was clear that he had developed Separation Anxiety and would scream and howl when we left and start pawing at the cage / Chewing at his bedding. My husband and I setup a webcam, and we could see him get progressively more upset, until he finally maneuvered his way out of his crate and was free. Upon being free, he seemed to do okay. So, this leads to week 3… we decided rather than crate, we would baby gate off an area in our home and let him have more space to roam. Same thing happened, he got upset and would cry, then jumped the baby gate and was free to roam the entire house. Following him escaping and jumping the gate, we attempted to let him have free-roam of the house (main floor and upstairs). At first, that was appearing to work and he never destroyed anything (chewing, etc.) in the house. My husband and I thought, “well, maybe he just doesn’t want to be cooped up.” Although, he still voluntarily goes into his crate and doesn’t have any hesitance when entering, or exiting. Last week, unfortunately he started to pee on the rug in the living room. He was always more of a “crate trained” dog than a “house trained” dog so we knew this was a risk going in when letting him have free roam. I cleaned the pee up with Natures Miracle and we trekked on a few more days. By week end, he was peeing one time every day (different spots on the rug) every time we left him alone. He NEVER has accidents when we are not home, and had never soiled in his crate. Now, this leads me to the question(s)… Since his arrival, his anxiousness when we leave and come back has dramatically improved – do you think his SA has subsided just from us sticking to a routine and him getting more used to us? The adoption agency recommends that we try to crate him again (with reinforcements on the latches) until he learns he cannot pee in the house when we are gone. Their opinion is that since its only happening when we are gone, he isn’t learning not to and it will continue. How long do you typically crate with a new dog? My previous dogs (not Greys) were never really crated, so this is new to me. Here is a snapshot of the day routine: 5:30 – 6:15 He gets exercised (walk/jog) and typically relieves himself 2-3 times during the walk 7:15 – 7:20 He gets his morning food 8:00 – He gets taken outside again to relieve himself one more time in the AM 8:15 – Administer Melatonin with Peanut Butter and Crate Him, Turn a Radio On 8:30 – I leave for the day for work 4:15 – Husband returns home from work and walks him / potty 5:30 (or earlier) – I am home from work and we all hang out, etc. 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM Second Feeding 9:30 – 10:00 PM One more Potty Break (there may be one in between this time and his feeding if he has to go) Thank you very much for any thoughts, advice or comments. We are wondering if this is pretty normal for the first few weeks and if there is anything else we can try to do to help him through the transition. Lastly, if there are thoughts as to whether or not he is just not a dog that can be alone (i.e. needs to be rehomed to a house with other Greys, or people home all of the time).
  18. I'm a very new hound owner and I adopted my 2 year old greyhound on Saturday... i've had some settling in issues which id love some advice for. When he arrived home on Saturday he was super chilled out from the get go wasn't needy or whiney and slept the whole night with no disturbance. (He gets crated at night.) I'm currently keeping him confined to the living room using a baby gate as I have two cats and i'm trying to get them all used to each other. So far so good. On Saturday evening I noticed that the end of his tail looked black and rotten with blood coming out the tip, so i planned on taking him to the vets the following morning. The next day when i let him out the crate I noticed there was blood everywhere and the end of his tail had come off. We rushed him to the vets where he had about 8 inches of his tail amputated on Monday. They had to keep him in overnight as there where some complications from the morphine they gave him. I picked him up on Tuesday - he's now on a course of antibiotics and on an anti-inflammatory medication. Since coming back from the vets the past few days he has been pacing around the house and become super needy and has been whining, howling and barking when i'm not in the same room as him, when previously he was fine with this. i've tried ignoring him and he will settle for around 30 mins before starting up again. I've also tried giving him more exercise (he had two hours of walking today but it made no difference to how he behaved once he got home) He seems to be getting worse as the days progress. I've not even had him a week yet so i know its super early days and he's already been through a big trauma the poor boy I also don't want my neighbours to complain! Any advice on how to get him to settle and how to work up to leaving him in the house on his own? I can bring him to work most days but sometimes I'll have to leave him. Thanks!
  19. Hello, We have been dealing with separation anxiety for the past three weeks with our new rescued hound. He has two meltdowns a day barking and howling for about 15/20 minutes every time we leave and the walker leaves. Sometimes he whines even if we are in a different room than he is and cannot see/get to us. Our next door neighbor works from home and has started complaining ( we are in a loft condo building ) about the noise. More than assuring him that we are working on it, we really don't know what to do, let alone giving him a timeline of when he'll be calm. He never makes a sound from 6 pm to 9 am, so nobody is losing sleep, it's basically from 9 to 9.30 and from 1 to 1.30 that the howling might happen. But at a certain time me and my husband would like to go to the movies without the anxiety of him howling at 10 pm because we are not in the same room as him We have tried alone training, DAP collar, L-theanine, music, Kongs, nothing really reassures him to be alone wehn we leave. He gets plenty of exercise with 5 walks a day. We have consulted a trainer and she said we would need someone with him at all times once we start the SA training, which 1- sounds contradictory, 2- we cannot afford financially to have a dog nanny. Doggy daycare is not an option for several reasons. Is true in your experience, that once training for SA starts they cannot be left alone? Can I get any advice, experience, encouragement that it's solvable from anyone. I am feeling very lost on what to do next. Thank you
  20. Hi Greyhound Gurus! I was just curious, for those who have adopted/owned multiple greyhounds in your life, have you noticed a pattern of males or females being more/less prone to SA? As I understand, females tend to be (as a generalization, not a rule) a bit more bossy/aloof. Does this translate to being better as an only dog? I would love to hear your stories! From the owners I know (and admittedly, it's a relatively small sample size), the trend does seem to be that the males are more likely to struggle as an only dog, but I know, I know... YMMV
  21. Hi, We are planning on picking up our retired greyhound this coming Friday. How do we balance letting him get settled into his new home and giving him reassurance and letting him get to know us, with avoiding separation anxiety? 1) In the first few days, can we start doing SA training (e.g. going out the door and coming back in, leaving him for 10 mins etc.)? When do you recommend starting that training? 2) We do not plan on having him sleep in our bedroom long term. However many of the books/forums recommend letting him sleep in your bedroom at first to help him settle in and adjust to the new home. Should we start as we mean to go on (sleeping in different room), or allow him few days in our room until he's settled and knows us/the flat? Thanks!
  22. Hi there - I am a first time grey owner and have had my 3 year old boy for about 3 months. There has definitely been an adjustment period, but he is generally doing really well with me and my partner. He is currently crate trained and stays in his crate when we are not with him, but we would like to be able to start leaving him in the house not in the crate. I need some advice on beginning this process as I have just started and the barking is really bad. He even barks when one of us leaves the apartment (and the other is home with him) when he is not in his crate. He even barks if I go in another room and shut the door... To be clear, he is mostly fine in his crate when we are not home. We have a dog camera that sends us alerts when he barks and it's pretty rare that he barks in his crate now. Thanks in advance for your help!
  23. Last Sunday, I had to have a sleep study so I spent the night at the sleep lab. Lola stayed home with DH. I was gone less than 12 hours. When I got home, DH told me that Lola had a total meltdown; whining, pacing, leaping at the front door and even mouthing the doorknob. She just could not be comforted. This went on for hours. He crated her and she broke out of the crate twice. I have read Patricia McConnell's "I'll Be Home Soon!" and will begin intensive S.A. training immediately. Any advice will be supremely appreciated. I hate the thought of my sweet Lola suffering so much not to mention poor DH loosing a night's sleep and feeling so helpless to comfort his girl.
  24. Hi All! I haven't posted here too much but I wanted to give a brief overview of our experience with SA, because it seems a little different and I wish I had found a post like this back when we first started having issues. We've had our girl, Goose, for about a year. She's about to turn 5, and came to us with a broken leg from the track. I work from home, and having never had a Grey before, I stupidly didn't take the necessary precautions right away when it came to prepping her for being on her own. Part of this was because she didn't seem to care too much about us for the first several weeks. She would intentionally spend time away from us every day (rude, lol). Also, we have a cat, so leaving her alone was slightly complicated by wanting to monitor them together at all times. Her SA manifests basically only as whining/howling. There is some panting and occasional pacing, but that's about it. I felt pretty lucky that we weren't dealing with accidents or destructive behavior. However, the howling was a big problem since we live in an apartment and this became incredibly difficult over time as my fiance and I struggled to go out together. She loved her crate, but it seemed to make zero difference with her SA. We eventually got rid of it because she never wanted to come out, it was huge, and didn't really seem to help her at all. We read everything on SA and tried music, collars, plugins, clicker training, thundershirts, just waiting it out... everything. Our in/out/ignore routines that everyone recommends would work, and then very suddenly she'd be back to square one. It seemed completely random; sometimes she'd ignore us leaving, and other times she'd lose it immediately. We walk her, but were limited in our ability to wear her out completely due to her bad leg (she still can't handle super long walks). We were feeling incredibly lost until a few weeks ago when I came across a reddit comment from someone who had a similar situation (just howling while alone). This person described a routine of coming/going but reinforcing the good (quiet) behavior with pets/rewards, and coming back with a firm "no" if their Grey started to pitch a fit. This seems obvious now, but it goes against absolutely all SA advice I've read in the last year, so it kinda blew my mind. Sure enough, we've done only a small amount of training in this fashion (I'm talking only minutes at a time), and she's responding SO WELL. I just left her for an hour and a half with a recording device, and came home to find that she had only howled for about 10 seconds the entire time (she used to lose it roughly every 5 minutes). I feel like a ginormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I'm so excited that I just had to come here and share it with you guys. I don't want to seem preachy, because I know this doesn't apply to most people. I also don't know what it means for my dog. She's very smart so she seemed to understand right away what this training meant. Maybe this isn't true SA. She's very vocal in general, so maybe she's just been being a brat this whole time. It's hard to say for sure, but I really hope this can help someone else. Cheers
  25. Hi everybody, I have been using this forum as a resource for the entire time I have owned my grey and for a few months in preparation for adoption. I am finally going to make my first post! I adopted a 6 year old female named Remington last year in November 2016. She came straight from the track without foster. As of now, I have had her for almost 10 months. The first few months were definitely rough due to her separation anxiety. In the first 6 months, I had her crated when I was at work (~8 hours). She would bark and howl constantly all day long in the beginning. I had tried leaving her out of the crate and had the same result but with her jumping at the front door and scratching at the wall to the outside. Eventually she began to quiet down and would stay quiet for around 6 hours straight in the crate with minimal howling. This was in an apartment with neighbors on all sides and surprisingly I never heard a single complaint! Then about 4 months ago, I made a move to a new apartment complex and within a few weeks of living there the complaints rolled in. I spoke to management and explained the situation and what I was working on with her. The neighbors appear to be understanding but I don't want to risk getting any further complaints. I eventually moved her from the crate to being baby gated in my bedroom with the crate available to her. I have tried almost everything with her: Alone Training, DAP Collars, DAP Diffusers(still use this), Thundershirt, Kongs & Kongs & more Kongs, Busy Buddy Bristle Bones, Bully Sticks, Melatonin, L-Theanine, Rescue Remedy, nylabones, dental chews. I try to give her enough stuff during the day to keep her busy so that she does not focus on the fact that I am not there. I also take her on a 45 min- 1 hour walk every morning before I leave for work. My roommate just adopted a beagle puppy so she has a buddy during the day who sits right on the other side of the baby gate during the day. I have made some strides in her axniety which is that I can leave in the morning and by the time I get to work (20 minutes) she is asleep on my bed after a small amount of howling and whining. She also will stay relatively quiet during the day with around 7 hours straight sleeping(yay!). My only issue lately is that she will get up after that 7 hours and howl and whine constantly until I come home. She also has been biting at the baby gate and actually destroyed part of one and I had to replace it last week. She has also scratched part of the door frame in my bedroom and chewed on a door stop. I would leave her free to the apartment seeing as she has never gotten into any trouble at any other time, but she does jump at the door and I am worried she would bite the door handle and I don't want to pay the apartment complex for her destruction. When I am home, she literally lays on her bed and sleeps constantly so I know she is a lazy grey inside haha. I just want her to be that way when I am not around. She does wander into her crate in my bedroom when my roommate and I are in the living room and does not follow me to every room so she is not clingy when I am in the house. I also have a huge issue leaving her on weekends or for odd times. I had to step out to go move my car for 5 minutes the other day and I put her in the room and I could hear her the whole time I was out howling and barking. She also chewed on the baby gate that time also. I have tried my fair share of alone training with no luck. I need some advice on how to address this work day anxiety and some help with leaving for short periods without full on anxiety. I do record her during the day which is how I know she sleeps for 7 hours. My vet is aware of the problem but hesitant to put her on medication because of the progress she has made. I would like to hear your opinions on what should be the next step in the process. I apologize for the novel, but I wanted to give every detail! Thank you all for your help!
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