The Five Stages Of Dog Parent Guilt

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. You know, I am all about the arresting.  That is the name of the game for me, and I play it well if I do say so myself.  And sometimes?  Well, you persons deserve to be arrested. Especially when you leave us…for five minutes, for ten minutes or forbid an hour or two.  Seriously though.  Why do you do it when you know that you are going to feel guilty about it?


Everybody needs a little time away
I heard her say
From each other
Even lovers need a holiday
Far away
From each other

Saying you’re sorry?  Not about to hear it.

I have been going thru this routine for years now.  Girl Person says that it is just as hard for her to leave us to go to the grocery store as it is for us to wait for her.

Hold me now
It’s hard for me to say I’m sorry
I just want you to stay
After all that we’ve been through
I will make it up to you
I promise to
And after all that’s been said and done
You’re just the part of me I can’t let go



Even when she leaves us with Boy Person, she goes thru turmoil.  I have labeled them the five stages of her dog parent guilt.  Why did I label them?  I had nothing to do for an hour and a half.

  1. First of all, she thinks about going to the store.  She sees that we all need food, but then she goes back and forth in her mind.  Does she really need food, or can we last one more day? Can she put it off?  Really though.  Why.  Food.  Why.

2.  After she decides that she can’t put off going to the store, she tries not to let us see that she is preparing to go to the store.  She tries not to let us see her face so that we can’t hear what she is thinking.  Then, she tries to quietly brush her hair and get ready.  Why.

3.  After she tries to sneak her purse by the door to go and tries not to let us hear the keys, she stands there for a moment.  Should she tell us goodbye or should she slip out?  If she slips out, will we be traumatized?  If she says goodbye, is that harder?  Why.

4.  After she decides that there is no option but to leave us to go to the store, she calculates in her mind how long we will be left alone, and if we can handle it.  Or if she can handle it.  Half an hour to drive to the store, an hour at the store, another half hour drive back home.  What if there is traffic?  How much time wiggle room does she have to be gone before she starts to panic that we have been left too long?

Couldn’t stand to kept away (baby, I can’t live without you, not even day)

Wouldn’t want to be swept away

Far away from the one that I love

5.  On her ride home, she starts to wonder if we still love her.  Was she gone too long?  Should she put the groceries up before she takes us for a walk?  Should she give us our treats she bought us as a peace offering now or later?  Always now.

After all that we’ve been through

I will make it up to you, I promise you
And after all that’s been said and done
You’re just a part of me I can’t let go

After all of these stages of dog parent guilt, the obvious question is why do you go in the first place?  What are our stages of guilt?  Sleep.  Waiting.  Sleep.  Waiting.  Sleep.  And do we know how long you are gone? Well, I don’t mean to add to your guilt, but I think when persons say we can’t tell time, that they are trying to make themselves feel better about their guilt.


The fact is persons, we love you and we miss you.  We want you to miss us too.  Because we both need each other.  Should you feel guilty about leaving?  Yes.  And if Girl Person leaves us again with Boy Persons, she.  Is.  Arrested.

-Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

The last shirt campaign of our trip, 48 states, 48 rescues is now available, but only for a few more days! We hope you love it!  


6 thoughts on “The Five Stages Of Dog Parent Guilt

  1. Carolyn Finch

    It is amazing how much dogs understand our language. I always stop and pet my dog before leaving, and tell her “I’ll be right back.” I know she understands those words, because she had heard them so often, and I always come back.

  2. Jacqueline

    Oh, Sheriff LOVES his Girl Person!!!! Through all of his attitude~! I’m pretty sure The Deputy is just waiting for his pancakes!!!! I so relate….!!!!! But people don’t need any more reasons to feel guilty!!!!
    P.S. I hate to break it to you, boys, but she will HAVE to leave you again, IN GOOD HANDS, and you will survive, so please, cut her some slack. It sounds like it’s worse for her than for you boys!!!! Love you all to the moon and back!!! xoxoxoxox <3 <3 <3 <3 😉

  3. Barbara Sevrens

    Whenever I leave the house I always tell Scarlett O’hara I’ll be back soon and to wait for me. Then when I come through the Dior she always greets me. Oh I forgot I give her lots of kisses

  4. Victoria Brown

    I have 3 pups and a cat. When my husband was alive, I worked midnight’s and he worked days so one of us was always home with our babies. After he passed away, I was sick to my stomach with guilt when I had to leave for work at night. They were not used to being alone. I asked my mother to come over and stay with them while I was at work. Eventually, she agreed to move in with me. I REALLY love my dogs a lot to ask my mother to move in.

  5. Jane Gajewski

    Before I retired our dog and cat were alone 4 1/2 hours before I would come home on my lunch hour and then my husband would be home 3 hours after I went back to work and I always felt bad for them. Now that we’re retired and with the dogs and cat 24/7 I’ve found that they sleep A lot. I don’t think they knew how long I was gone.

  6. Jan

    We go through this with our guy, too. He is a master of sad faces and laying on guilt trips. He sees us getting ready to leave and goes to the closet and shivers and shakes. Most of the time we wake him up when we come back home, tho!

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