Sunny On the Money

Sunny On the Money

By Abe Lerner

Addressing Separation Anxiety in Pets

Sunny entered our lives, on a gloomy January day. The ominous gray sky gave forewarning to the storm looming on the horizon. Predictions abound varied in snow accumulation totals. It appeared that our sleepy New Jersey village would descend into a deep slumber, as Mother Nature was revving up to unleash Her wrath on the region.

Yet, on this very day, a glimmer of light shone, as an abandoned cat made its way to our porch. His pleading eyes evoked our compassion; we knew we couldn’t allow him to brave the elements on his own. As they say, the rest is history. We subsequently named him Sunny, wishfully thinking that somehow a radiated moniker would alter the weather forecast. Debate raged in our home, concerning the spelling of his name. One faction contended that the traditional spelling was Sonny with an “o”, while others opined, that Sunny with a “u” was more apropos, as his entry into our home, had illuminated an otherwise dismal day. Ultimately, Team U prevailed, & his bowl was inscribed with Sunny in big letters. Sunny integrated beautifully into our family, as a mutual bond was formed between us. We relished the role of pet parents, as we had actually picked him up off the streets. The children were assembled on the floor, deeply engaged in a game of Monopoly. The peaceful game turned ugly (literally), as shrieks of horror began to emanate from the family room. Dollar bills regularly used to purchase properties on Vermont & Kentucky Avenues etc. had apparently been soiled by Sunny. Shades of pink & yellow, had become…well, you don’t need me to become graphic. Initially, we rendered it an aberration, as Sunny had successfully been trained. However, a disturbing trend began to emerge, as the Monopoly currency became Sunny’s daily target for eliminating. A visit to the veterinarian ruled out a medical condition. Sunny was diagnosed as suffering from Separation Anxiety, a common behavioral issue associated with pet parents leaving their pets home alone, often resulting in erratic conduct, such as urinating & defecating uncontrollably. Determined to address the matter, we researched the topic & charted a plan of action. We would employ a method intended to convince Sunny that when we exited the house, that he’d be rewarded, thus creating an illusion that separation was a special event. Prior to departure, we’d feed him unique food items in large portions that would preoccupy him for an extended period of time. We’d also provide him with special toys. Being meticulous about removing them upon returning home, would underscore the significance of the separation time. Although initially skeptical, we were willing to give it a shot. We utilized this strategy for a few weeks. Patience not being a virtue of mine, I anticipated immediate results. Frustrated that Sunny had an alternate timetable to recovery than I had projected, I was ready to throw in the proverbial towel. Persuaded by my family, I decided to stay the course & ultimately did see a marked improvement in Sunny’s demeanor. Sunny appeared to have associated separation time with cashing in on our benevolence. We have since incorporated this measure into our daily routine, & have completely eradicated the problem, as Sunny is now fully trained once again. Hard to believe, but Sunny actually looks forward to our leaving the home…We are happy to say that our perseverance paid off. Or better yet, we are on the money…

Abe Lerner is a member of the pack at NutralifePet, a division of Nutralife Health Products, Inc., which has been selling high quality dietary supplements since 1996. NutralifePet, the manufacturer of Ultra Joint & Liver Support with SAM-e for dogs and cats, caters to the individual needs of each pet. NutralifePet…caring about animals, one pet at a time…


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