Looking for some advice or insights...
Finn has always been a velcro dog -- my shadow --and as sweet as his devotion is, I know it's not just love --there's some component of anxiety to it and that makes me sad for him, sometimes. I guess the correct term is hyper attachment or attachment dysfunction. BUT Finn has been well socialized and easy to train. Always happy to meet and greet new people in all sorts of settings - as long as I'm within sight. When he sees some of his favorite people, we still have to remind him to keep 4 paws on the floor. He's never had typical separation anxiety --never been destructive when left alone. He loves going places, seems to enjoy his therapy work - especially with the kids (although the children he had become so attached to over the past 2 years moved on to middle school and he's got a new group this year). On the flip side, he's territorial and protective when he's home but once he knows you're welcome, he's back to wagging his tail. So I have no explanation for his strange behavior last week when I took him to visit family and friends in VA.
He knows everyone, knows the house etc. He's been going there several times a year since puppyhood and always enjoys it. He doesn't feel he has to "watch over" their home (which I think must be a huge relief to him) and greets everyone who comes in or out. But this time he was:
Irrationally fearful as soon as we walked in the house.
Looked from side to side, behind him, up at the ceiling as if something was coming after him. This state of high anxiety/fear continued over 4 days. It was awful to see him so frightened and not be able to help him. He fell twice on the stairs trying to get away from...what???
Would not come to anyone including me. In fact, when I knelt down on the floor and tried to talk to him, he barked and barked at me, but would not approach me. We gave him his "space" and everyone put treats in their pockets that they would toss to him as he passed. I picked up a lot of treats.
Ran up to our room if anyone approached him. He seemed to feel safe on the bed. He spent a lot of time there over 4 days. I was able to to calm him in the bedroom.
He barely ate (despite us cooking up ground beef and chicken) for him. Nope, wouldn't touch it. Drank lots of water.
When he was with all of us, he avoided being touched by anyone, except once when he sought out my niece's husband.
I was about to take him to the emergency vet BUT he seemed to relax when we went for walks. Once back in the house though, his fear increased again and he acted like ghosts were chasing him. We were all concerned. One guest asked if he was blind! Someone else thought he was an abused rescue - not trying to be dramatic but that's how bizarre his behavior was.
Got him home, called his vet, but once home he was back to normal (thankfully). His therapy session with the kids this week (which I thought about canceling) went ok. We just returned from some errands this morning and he greeted everyone happily -customers and rescue pups -- as we shopped for Christmas treats. Several people remarked how sweet, friendly and well behaved he was. I'm thinking you should have seen him a week ago !!!!!! SO glad my boy is back because I don't know who that dog was in VA. The doc wants to run a panel of thyroid tests.
Medical or behavioral? Completely baffled.