We’ve all gotten ‘the look’ from our animal companions when we pull out the suitcase. Then the guilt arrives and we begin apologizing for leaving them… assuming they will be devastated without us.
If you relate to the above comment, you just might have a codependent relationship with your beloved companion. The reality is that your ego wants to be missed. Conscious or unconscious, there’s frequently a part of many animal lovers that needs to be needed by their pets. And that part is ‘talking’ –on some level, to their pets. Animals are frequently people’s first and only unconditional love. We let them hole up in our heart in places we never let people even know exists so it’s super easy to believe we won’t be happy without them in our lives. It truly does go both ways.
Are you willing to admit there might be a smidgen of codependency from your end? Just the acknowledgement of such will help your pets have an easier time while you’re away by your being more aware that you are an active participant in the dance.
The biggest tool to help them feel better while you are gone is feeling in your heart that they will be OK when you are not together. It’s not as if they have been left to fend for themselves in the wild. They will have all of their needs taken care of while you are gone.
How can you pivot and both have an easier go of things when you travel?
1) Drop the guilt. Please stop feeling guilty about leaving them. Be honest and up front about the trip by telling them about it+. Yes, I believe at some level they can read our energy and understand our words through the visuals we are sending them while talking. Pulling out your suitcase at the last minute might be feeding their anxiety. They know something is up and sense your guilt, so just bring the suitcase out and be open and honest about the fact that you are leaving them, well tended, and will be back. Send them mental images of the sun rising and setting however many days you’ll be gone as this will help too.
2) Assume they will have all of their needs taken care of and will be fine. Days after moving into my new home, I traveled out of town to a wedding and assumed my two companions would feel deserted in a new place. Upon my return they were surprisingly peaceful and calm. That’s when I realized it was ME that I was worried about adjusting. They were fine.
3) When you’re not with them, the best thing you can do for them is to send them love every time you think about them. Simple as that. Just send them love. They will receive it.
They will also feel if you are worried about them. Even in cases when they have exhibited negative behaviors while you are gone, sending them love versus worry will help them emotionally. Negative behaviors are rooted in unhealed emotional wounds but shifting your energy is key to them feeling safe when not with them. It will be the beginning of them becoming more independent as you both heal any unhealed abandonment issues. With separation anxiety, you see, it takes two to tango. Trust me, you are dancing with them even if it’s unconscious.
Sometimes big changes and shifts can occur more easily than you think.
Change your thoughts and expectations about how your animal will react to life without you for a few days and both of you will have a better experience while you travel!