Zoey, our dog and name sake of this website, is a very special creature. We brought her home three years ago after rescuing her from a shelter (insert some kind of joke about how people who rescue pets will never let you forget it). We soon discovered simultaneously that she was very ill with Lymes disease, had an incredible parasite infestation, and contrary to what the shelter told us, she had NOT been spayed and she went into heat. So while diapering our dog and nursing her back to health, she formed an incredible bond to us that created the next challenge: an amazing case of separation anxiety.
After just a few months of being with us, she started to become hysterical if one of us left the house. She would run around howling and panting and scratching at the door. One morning I left for a run and about 10 minutes later my husband was getting ready to take Zoey for a walk. She managed to slip through the door and tracked me a mile from the house–I could hear her coming as she howled and ran down the street after me. Given this level of distress, you can imagine how well it worked when we tried to leave her at home while going to work or running errands…it didn’t take long before she became a master escape artist. You wouldn’t know it by looking at her, but she quickly became a master at destruction and would shred anything that kept her contained and ultimately away from us. It started with her plastic crate where she learned that if she rattled the door enough it would pop open. After we started securing it with a bungee cord, she started using her teeth and tore a Zoey-sized hold in the side of the crate in order to escape (luckily her method does not include eating the material she destroys with her teeth-she spits it all out!).
From there we moved to a wire Kong crate, but Zoey used her method of violent rattling to make the crate collapse so she could wiggle out. Knowing this wasn’t a safe option for her while we were away, we decided to give Zoey free range of our finished basement.
It didn’t stay finished for long. She slowly began a renovation project for us (thanks Zoey!) as she worked on shredding the basement door, the banister, the stairs, the carpet, and (my favorite) the wood paneling on the walls. Perhaps this was her way of telling us that she hated the decor (wood paneling, amiright?) because she was a perfect angel when we were home and she could roam freely around the house. We just never felt like we could take the risk of giving her free reign of our house knowing the kind of destruction she could cause.
But despite her destructive behavior brought on by her separation anxiety, Zoey is the sweetest, most cozy dog that anyone could ask for and she’s brought a lot of joy and laughter to our lives. Given that she likes to spend most of her free time curled up on one of her three beds throughout the house, we started calling her The Cozy Zoey.