Spencer’s reactions to our absences are uneven. But I suppose that’s normal since the conditions are never quite the same.
Yesterday, I gave him his lunch in a stuffed toy and left, taking my purse and all. In fact, I was just gong to get the mail, so I was gone just over two minutes. In that time, he had come to the front door and barked once, but as soon as he heard me coming back up the walk, he turned around and was munching on his toy again by the time I was in the house.
In the evening, shortly before Greg’s return, Spencer was lounging out in the yard without me, so I decided to capitalize on that and see how he would react if I left him in the garden. I bumped into some neighbours, so I was gone longer than planned: about 17 minutes in all. He had barked quite a bit in this time and was right behind the garden gate when I came in, but he quickly calmed back down. However, I got the distinct impression that 15 minutes is the limit of his comfort zone before he starts to get panicky.
Today, I went out twice to run errands while Greg was in the house. The first time I left, Spencer barked and cried before I had even gotten into the car, but Greg said he calmed down quickly after my departure. I was gone an hour, and he didn’t even get up right away when I came back into the yard. The second time, I was gone a half hour, and he did come to meet me at the gate, but that also might have been spurred by curiosity about what was in the shopping bags I was carrying.
In the evening, we thought it was important that we both go out. Since Spencer was hanging out in the garden, we decided to leave him outside. He barked as soon as we closed the gate and continued intermittently the entire time we were gone (about 6.5 minutes). He was panting heavily when we returned, so seeing us both go together seems to be quite stressful for him. However, he calmed down very quickly and wanted to play.