So yesterday, I left Spencer alone, snoring in his cage while I went and dumped a glass bottle in the recycling bin at the top of the hill. All told I was gone about 5 minutes. He didn’t seem to notice my departure, but since we don’t have a camera set up yet, it’s difficult for me to know exactly how he reacted. Also, since we ring the doorbell as we come in now, that would have gotten him out of bed, if nothing else did. Instead of coming straight into the house, I rolled the garbage bin back around to its storage place. By the time I got back around to the front door, Spencer was in the hallway, said hello and then headed back to bed. He barely seems to have noticed I was gone.
At lunchtime, I gave him his stuffed toy, made sure he was happily chomping away at it and then headed out to get the mail. I took a book with me and sat out by the mailbox until I heard him bark. It was about 6 minutes later. The bark was calm, and I didn’t want to give him time to get panicky, so I went back in. He was in the hallway, and his empty toy was there. So that explained the 6 minutes: it’s about the time he needs to finish his lunch. Clearly I need to learn stuffing techniques that will take him longer to get the food out of the toy.
I’m thinking that it’s also important for us to get the camera set up, because we don’t want him to get conditioned to think that if he barks, I’ll come back right away.
it was actually kind of miraculous that these seaprations went so well, when you consider his general mood as described in Ghosts.