Although Dottie is almost the perfect dog, her one downfall is separation anxiety. As in, “do not leave my sight or I will have a meltdown like a 106 lb toddler” separation anxiety. She’s getting better every day, but it’s definitely a work in progress. She has gotten to where she is able to tolerate me being in a store for a few minutes while she waits in the car. So, after three weeks of having groceries and takeout delivered to my apartment, I decided that she could manage a short wait in the car while I picked up a few items at Aldi on our way home from the vet. This particular Aldi is tiny, more like a big convenience store, and I was picking up maybe 10 items. But, I had to wait a few minutes in line, and apparently Dottie’s threshold was crossed.
When I got back to the car, Dottie had somehow squirmed her way under the barrier that’s intended to keep her safely in the back half of the car (yes, 106 lb dog, Mini Cooper, metal gate barrier, I can’t make the math work on that either) and was sitting in the front passenger seat, coincidentally where I needed to put the groceries. After failing to convince her to squirm her way back, I let her jump out of the car, intending to walk her around and let her jump back in from the boot. Which we’ve done before with no problems, but the colossal flaw in my plan was to hold her collar instead of putting on her leash.
Before I could blink, Dottie wiggled away from me and took off, completely ignoring me calling her, dropping to the ground (seriously, the best trick ever for catching loose dogs), etc. She was on a mission, which I quickly realized was to see the inside of Aldi (definitely preferable to a busy street, her other option). I can only imagine having been another shopper picking up a few groceries after work and suddenly seeing a huge spotted dog flying through the door, tail wagging madly. I had noticed a cop car in the parking lot when we arrived, but had not seen an officer in the store. Until I apprehended Dottie near the checkout register, about two feet in front of the officer, who fortunately was laughing instead of arresting us. So, lesson learned, apparently this one has not just separation anxiety but also FOMO!