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How long can dogs be separated from their master and still remember them?

How long can dogs be separated from their master and still remember them? | casaveneracion.com

When Alex began her national tour (she’s in Theater), one of her biggest worries was that Penny would forget her as a result of the separation. Penny had been with us for only a few weeks at the time and she was still getting familiar with her new home and new family. Most legs of the tour last for a week, others are as long as two weeks but, in between, Alex is home. What if those first few weeks weren’t enough for her to truly get attached to everyone in our family?

Curiously or not, Sam never worried although she went back to the condo in the city a mere week after we brought Penny home. But during that first week that we had Penny, she stayed in Sam’s room almost every night. Whenever she took Penny with her at bedtime, Alex would react but I told her that Sam had only a few days to spend with Penny. Besides, Penny spent most of her time with Alex during the day.

Then, it was time for Alex to leave. It was during the first couple of legs of the tour when Alex would call, ask me to switch to speaker mode so that she could “talk” to Penny. Although Penny at first appeared curious about the voice coming from a small black object, I’m not at all sure if she made the connection. People sound funny on speaker phone and, worse, the reception isn’t always good. It broke my heart to tell Alex that Penny didn’t exactly react the way she expected.

Over time, although Alex still calls almost everyday when she’s on the road, she didn’t ask to be put on speaker again. Not because she cared for Penny less but because she already knew that those separations did not make Penny forget her and her sister. The thing is, when the girls arrive home, as soon as Penny hears their voices and even before they enter the house, Penny goes into throes of excitement.

Penny, our beagle, and Alex

But how long does a dog remember its master? What if the separation lasts for months or years? I scoured pet forums and pet websites and there is no definite answer. It depends on the dog and on the circumstances surrounding the separation. One thing is certain though — Penny will not run away from home because Alex and Sam aren’t here. After all, she has Speedy and me to feed her, bathe her, pet her… and just love her. Oh, yes, I do love Penny even though she runs away my slippers all the time.

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