Does anyone have experience with an older dog with severe separation anxiety? I have a 7-ish year old Brit we adopted through ABR. My son has a 10 year old Brit, Marley, that he's had since a puppy. That older dog may need to come live with us (my husband and I and OUR dog). My son, his wife, and 2 yr. old child + dog recently moved (about 6 weeks ago), after 7 years in the same house. Marley has never been able to be successfully crated (chews/digs his way out, cutting up his mouth and paws in the process), but was successfully confined to one room in the old house while they were gone. Since moving, he is destroying the woodwork of his new area, has been toileting in the house (wet on my daughter-in-law's clothing this morning), and if left in the yard alone (even briefly), barks frantically. He also is unable to settle...runs from room to room, follows the family frantically. They've been hoping that he will adapt, but now Marley is on anti-anxiety medication, and my son called today to say that he's afraid he's headed for a divorce if he doesn't find Marley a new home (or things don't improve rapidly). I have specified that he needs to get Marley thoroughly vetted, to be sure there isn't some underlying physical cause, before I take this on. Obviously, I have some concerns.
Marley would probably be fine if someone were able to stay home with him...I visited them last weekend, and he spent most of the visit lying at my feet, calmly (yes, medicated, but still, calm!). My work schedule is less erratic than theirs, so that might help, but my husband and I do still work. I know that a tired dog is a good dog, so would have to plan for Marley to get more exercise than he does currently. My other hope is that, with MY dog present, Marley would be less anxious. I'm trying to work out a good containment plan, while the two dogs adapt to living together, esp. since Marley can't be crated without damaging himself and the crate. Marley and George (my dog) have met on several occasions, but those have been of limited duration and there was a bit of posturing (mostly Marley harassed George until I brought one or the other into the house); I'm hoping that they would sort it out, given some supervision. I spoke to my vet this week, when my dog went in for his annual checkup, and he made some suggestions for the initial entry into the new home. I'm aware of the desensitization practices for separation anxiety, but may need something beyond that.
So, anyone? I'm trying to have a plan in place so that if things don't improve within the week, I can go forward with bringing Marley home with me. Marley lived with me for a summer as a young dog and I'm really hoping he would be calmer here. I would hate for Marley to have to be re-homed to someone besides me...I love him and really want this to work, but can't have George made miserable (or my husband!) or OUR house wrecked in the process (I got new carpeting within the last year...supposedly pet stain proof, but I'd rather not find out the hard way). I appreciate any help you all can give me!