Dogs: Their Secret Lives

 Last night, Mummy, Daddy and I watched a documentary called Dogs: Their Secret Lives, did any of you see it too?

If you’re in the UK and have access to the catch up service, its worth a watch. You can find out more about it here. Though you may need a tissue as some of it tugged at the heartstrings. It was a study of how dogs behave when left alone and to do this they rigged up cameras in the homes of 40 dog owners and monitored the results. The majority of dogs studied showed some form of stress, whether by pacing or howling. A few of the more severe cases were highlighted and a behaviourist suggested ways to help calm the dogs when left alone.

This show touched a sore spot for us: I’m left alone every morning until daddy gets in from work at lunchtime. In the past our neighbours have mentioned that I howl but when asked for more details they couldn’t give any, instead they said they turn the TV on which drowns me out. There are several other dogs closeby and we often hear them howling and barking, so there is a chance the neighbour is assuming the noise is from me when it’s not. On occasions when mummy’s trainline has been suspended and she’s been unable to get into work, she’s been back home within the hour and has listened outside the frontdoor to see if she can catch me at it, but hasn’t heard anything. I guess the only way for them to be sure is to set up a camera in our house. But I’m not sure I want them to know all my secrets!

One of the things that was pointed out in the show was that often dogs don’t eat when their owners are out, but by the time daddy gets in I’ve always finished my kong so mummy and daddy took that as a good sign. Though this morning mummy said she felt almost as guilty for leaving me as she did on that very first day she had to leave me when I was a pup.

Are you often left alone? And if so, how do you cope?


Just a quick reminder that the deadline for your ball photos is the 20th. We’ve had some fab entries so far and can’t wait for the big day!

halloween ball

If you are still in need of a date, let one of us know and we’ll play matchmaker. Don’t forget that you can use sites such as and picmonkey to put the picture of you and your date together. But if you are in need of help, please drop me or Mollie a line and we’ll put give you a helping paw. You can send you photos into either Mollie or me at


41 Comments on “Dogs: Their Secret Lives”

  1. Ruby’s in – will email you a photo (not a great one) and will need a date too if you can arrange that – no cats though 🙂

  2. Rachael says:

    Hi Misaki, we watched that show too. I was quite disappointed by it- I thought it was going to be a bit more fun. Instead I just felt even more guilty about having to leave Del when we go to work:( Although, it was good for creating awareness about separation anxiety.

    Del usually just curls up on the couch and sleeps when we’re out, and he does finish his breakfast which is a good sign. Del is left on his own around 3 times per week, and it’s really hard to leave him every time, even after nearly two years. It’s heartbreaking to think about your dog being anxious and stressed when you leave, but the good news is that you can do different training to try and overcome separation anxiety (or at least make it a bit better).

    • Misaki says:

      Guilt is definitely the feeling mummy and daddy came away with. Daddy even shed a little tear (but don’t tell anyone I told you!) It is hard cos at the end of the day the peeps have to work to pay for kibble and its not easy to find a job where you can work from home. Some of the techniques like the kong and the radio are things they already do. Though I think I’d like one of those treat dispensers set up 🙂

      • Rachael says:

        Exactly- people need to work to pay for all the food, treats and toys! I won’t tell anyone that your Daddy shed a tear, although I do think it’s super sweet 🙂 Del has never tried a Kong, but I’m definitely going to get one soon. Those treat dispensers were amazing! You’d have so much fun with one of those Misaki 🙂

      • Misaki says:

        Kongs are great, mummy puts yogurt and banana in mine and freezes it, though I liked the sound on frozen pate too:-)

  3. fozziemum says:

    Misaki we didn’t see it , when we go out we leave the pups inside due to the fact we haven’t got the really big fences up yet (so Forrest doesn’t jump out after roos and they will be snakeproof) They have always stayed in the laundry with their beds and their water and are quite settled,maybe because they have each other.We leave either the radio or tv on for some background noise.We did this at our old house too after Simba was shot,we couldn’t risk leaving them outside even in their own backyard,our neighbour said they were quiet and never made a peep.I think it depends maybe on breed,perhaps also the vibe the owner puts out maybe sets them off..have a great day sweet Misaki 🙂 hugs Fozziemum xx

    • Misaki says:

      You’re right about sending out the right vibe. One owner kept telling their dog to play with his teddy whenever she was going out, so the dog associated the teddy with being left and was making him stressed.
      I’m glad that Doc and Forrest have each other, I wish I had a brother or sister 😦

      • fozziemum says:

        Us peeps can be a bit dense sometimes Misaki 🙂 we just say ‘back soon” to the boys they go pop themselves in the laundry on their beds and off we go,no long drawn out mournful farewell to signal something is wrong..they do enjoy having each other there but when one has been sick and staying at the vet the other is fine…having said that when they go into boarding they share a pen..the peeps forgot and only realised when Forrest started howling for Doc..they were reunited and all was well…this I imagine because it wasn’t the familiarity of home. Misaki perhaps one day you can have a bro or sis 😉

  4. Misaki my friend…when SHE goes to work and I am left alone I always find something to do to entertain myself…HER big comfy bed is one of my favorite places…me and my Bo-Bos hang out, play for a while, hide under the pillows, sometimes I even bring a treat and enjoy it on HER bed…but when I hear HER car pull up in the evening….well you get the picture!

    • Misaki says:

      Hehehe Dante, sounds like you have it all sorted out. I like to sleep on the big bed too. A few times I left a stuffie on there and got caught out BOL

  5. I get left alone too Misaki… silly humans with their ‘jobs’, their job is to look after me!!! My humans work long shifts which is why they say they couldn’t have a dog… hello I need just as much if not more attention! I have hundreds of toys that I play with including the sofa and the headboard of the bed… i don’t want to mess up MY scratch post so I use theirs as a punishment! I would never scratch my beautiful boat though… I always find something fun to do on her! Bisous Bailey

  6. Nikitaland says:

    Hi Misaki! Both Bella and I get to stay home with Mommy every day, so I guess we are two of the lucky dogs around. But when Mommy walks to the store or bank, Bella gets into so much trouble around the house. For me, I just curl up under the front window and listen for Mommy’s return. I think that Bella gets mad that she is being left alone, because all that she knows from a little pup, is that someone is always here. So when Mommy has to do errands, Bella gets upset and sometimes rips up things or gets into the garbage. Man, I did not even do that when I was little, but Mommy always tells me that I am a good girl! Hugs from, Nikita & Bella

    P.S. – I wish we could have watched that show as it would have been very interesting. Our Mommy has mentioned that she would love to set up a camera to see what we do when she does her errands.

  7. Pip was a rescue and from day one she suffered separation anxiety. When she threw herself against the glass in the kitchen door once we gave up and she went everywhere with us. We are lucky we work from home. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  8. I haven’t seen it, but I’m intrigued now!

    ~ Amy

  9. mollieandalfie says:

    We missed that, I’m not left very often but Mommy thinks I am a good girl when she is out ( Little does she know Bawahwhahwha ) Will check that program out 🙂 xxoxx

    Mollie and Alfie

  10. Mom would love to watch us when she is gone. Usually we are in the same place when she gets home that we were when she left. My tattle tale neighbors have also told Mom that I sit in my window and howl when she is gone. How embarrassing but I do miss her even though I have my two dog sisters and two cats to keep me company. I’m happy to hear that you howl too!

  11. We are left home alone sometimes, not often as the peeps work from home. We have each other which is the very best. Before Torrey came along, I was alone by myself and didn’t really like it.

  12. I will have to see if I can find this online. So sad that people don’t realize how stressed their pets can be without them. Did it touch on the fact that some people crate their dogs? I know a few people do it to keep them from being destructive.

  13. Frankie and Ernie says:

    We would not want to watch that… if if makes everybuddy feel SAD…

    WE have our pictures in fur the BALL. It is gonna be EPIC.

  14. I’d love to see what Doggy does all the time he’s alone.
    He’s usually 6-8 hours alone, I think he sleeps most of the time but the lady that sells lottery tkts across my building tells me she sees him looking down the street.

  15. Kyla says:

    OK, I have an assignment for you. Sometimes you can watch shows on the Internet. Here, the TV networks put it on their site. I couldn’t and didn’t watch it. Please see if it is on the Internet-I wouldn’t know where to start to look.

  16. Kuruk says:

    Mama works from home, so we are not left alone for very long very often. But, I always have my Nalle and kitties. Misaki, you should ask for a brofur or sisfur. We Mals definitely need to be with a pack member at all times! 😀 woooooowooooooo!

  17. My momma works full-time, so Cinderella and I stay home alone a LOT. Momma is usually able to come home at lunchtime to let us out, which makes us feel a lot better. We get a nommy treat and a toy in our rooms before Momma leaves, and we usually just chill out and nap until she gets home. I used to get a lot more anxious, but then I figured out she always comes back again so it’s okay!

  18. Will and Eko says:

    My shoes mysteriously walk themselves around the house when Eko’s alone…or at least that’s the story he tells me! One of these days I’m going to set up a camera.

  19. I bet you don’t howl when your mum and dad are out,the neighbour have it confused,My mum helped a couple of friends with their costumes too and said she could help out with that too,xx Speedy

  20. Shiner used to get left home alone a lot, but not anymore now that I stay home. If I put her out in the laundry room sometimes she will howl and whine to come inside. She also won’t really eat if she’s home alone.

  21. The neighbors said I am quiet when Mom is gone. I catch up on my sleep. When she comes home I am all groggy and stretching. If the mailman comes and tries to kill me, I sound the alarm, though. That always scares him away.

    Love and licks,

  22. We get left alone quite a bit. We just mostly sleep. No problem.

  23. We get left alone all day some days. Lady feels bad about it, but she needs to work and so does Man. Lady has some flexibility to her schedule so she tries to limit our time. Sometimes we get into mischief. Lady is sure we are stressed sometimes. This is why she doesn’t want to video us. Tell your mum that she isn’t alone with her guilt and give her the sad eyes to get extra treats. Lee and Phod

  24. Miss Misaki, I am often left alone since my brudder went to the Bridge. It’s hard, but I do OK. I don’t always like to eat my dinner unless Mom is home. I am usually more stressed when Mom is just outside than when everyone is all gone, I howl at Mom when I see her unloading the groceries or going to the mailbox. That sure sounds like an interesting show. We will try to find it here.


  25. Dalton says:

    Typist watched it with one eye, she was a bit distracted with other stuff. She hates leaving her dog in a morning for work. I am so lucky I get to go to work with dad so I don’t have to worry about that!

  26. This sounds fascinating. I’d love to see it.

    I assumed that most dogs spend most of their time sleeping. It’s very sad to hear that many of the dogs on the show were anxious.

    We’ve always made arrangements for one of us to come home for lunch to spend some time with Honey. I’ve never had any reason to believe she’s anxious without us but I bet she’s very happy that I now work from home most of the time.

    Okay, Misaki, spill the beans. Is it you howling when your family goes away? Or is it another dog in the neighborhood?

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