A Champ 'separation anxiety' update
If you are not a dog person, feel free to look away now ...
Well after my temper had cooled I sent Battersea an email explaining that I felt disappointed in them (two days of frantic phone calls to the behaviour hotline not having produced any result), and they were immediately helpful. The story is that they thought the answerphone was working, after a period when it hadn't been, but maybe it wasn't. That is these days a pretty simple piece of technology, but anyway, these things do happen.
So I had a good long chat with a behaviour guy, and he broadly agreed with what I'm doing in terms of using the crate most of the time when I'm home (for no more than four hours at a time), spending time in the bedroom when he's in the living room, and trying going out for short periods.
What worried him, as it is worrying me, is that Champ doesn't seem to be happy about this at all, and is looking more stressed than before. The Battersea guy, unlike other sources, agrees with my view that separation anxiety isn't always (despite what most of the books say) about a dog that has put itself too high in the status hierarchy and therefore feels it has to protect the rest of its pack.
Instead it can just be a dog that is unhappy alone, nervous and insecure, which to my mind is Champ to a T. When we're out walking if something frightens him - and it doesn't have to be much, a flapping bit of tape will do it - he cowers into me for protection.
Anyway, I got the feeling he is expecting to see Champ back at Battersea soon, and it may well come to that, but I am going to give it another two weeks, in the hope Champ might suddenly decide to grin and bear it ...