Saturday, April 2, 2016

Lobo Is A Sensitive Boy And He Remembers...

For the first six months, when Lobo joined our family, he had extreme anxiety. If we were out of his range of vision, he'd bark. If we went outside, he'd bark. At times, I was tempted to jam earplugs in. His bark is high pitched. However, we understood the reasons behind his anxiety and it all had to do with the nightmare he was rescued from. We were patient and worked diligently on easing his anxiety and building trust. For the most part, Lobo's anxiety subsided and we were able to leave him home alone for a few hours.

In the past couple of months, it's gotten worse. I observed when and where. He's fine during the day and very seldom barks unless he hears something outside or our upstairs neighbors use the back stairs or when there is excessive noise. After a few days of mentally noting stuff, I realized his trigger is Lisa.

I was stumped.

Why, all of a sudden, was his anxiety returning? My brain turned like a hamster wheel. Then, one afternoon, Lisa mentioned something she noticed.

"His anxiety flared up again after I got back from being away overnight."

She was right. When Lisa traveled to New Hampshire to visit her parents, that was the first time, since Lobo had joined our family, Lisa had been gone for over 24 hours. Since then, Lobo's anxiety is triggered when Lisa makes any indication she's leaving the house.

Putting on a coat. Lacing up her sneakers. Grabbing baskets of biscuits. Fetching her wallet and phone from the drawer or counter.

It made sense. The night Lisa wasn't here, I had fallen asleep on the sofa with Lobo. Sophie was in the chair across from the sofa. Coco went to bed, crawled under the blankets and relished having the entire bed to himself.

At some point, in the wee hours of the morning, Lobo woke me up. He was nudging my hand. He wanted me to hold him.

He's used to sleeping in bed on the overnight with his brother and sister and Lisa.

Now that we've figured out his trigger, we're working with him again to ease his fears. It's improving slowly. He's a sensitive boy.

I don't like it when our kids are afraid or get anxious because of this or that. It happens on occasion. With each occurrence, it makes me wonder why they're so afraid and anxious. I get a little weepy because, like with us humans, there's always a reason why we respond to things the way we do. Our kids are no exception.

With each and every time, we hold them tight and do whatever it takes to comfort them. They trust we're going to be there.

Sophie used to run and take cover behind the sofa or love seat when she heard thunder. Now, she runs to wherever we are and whimpers. She knows we're going to hold her until the storm is over.

Who knows when Lobo will trust that when Lisa leaves, she's coming back. Regardless of how long it takes, we're with him every step of the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment