This is what my friend wrote:
Tell me if this makes sense:
If this dog lived with the man for six months, and he was working and not spending time with her, could it be she is reliving kind of a "conditioned" sadness when he walks out the door? Only now, he doesn't come back, so the sadness lasts longer because the old ritual hasn't been completed.
Some people get their dogs all riled up and exicted before they walk out the door, rather than keep their comings and goings low-key. It's like they try to fill them up with "love", to last them through their hours alone.
It would be like you saying to Lyric "Are you ready?!", and then just turn and walk out the door with out him.
It sounds like this guy may have really indulged himself with the dog's love, but didn't put her needs at these formative years, very high on his list. He sure has no problem walking back into her life and gushing her up again, which just adds more to the old ritual.
She sounds like she is of a soft, sweet, and dependant personality type, too.
I may have some more thoughts, but this is what comes to mind right off the top.
Here was my reply...haven't gotten an answer back yet:
That makes sense to me. During those early, formative months while her personality is ACTUALLY developing, she is conditioned day in and day out to create this mood that she gets into from being left alone. It may even be almost a partial disassociative state of sorts. She may be sad, but she may not be. It might be a protective state she gets herself into...kind of like she's made a habit of "shutting down" a little bit when he leaves. And like you said, if he makes a big fuss over her right before he leaves, it sends her into that mood because there has been emotion, conditioned, from the beginning... created by this one extreme to the other...excitement when he's there and all of a sudden, he goes without enough emotional nurishment the rest of the time.
So, my thoughts...just to reiterate: The dog was conditioned.....or experienced a "learned helplessness." When the dog is moping around, are you making a fuss over her? Naturally you feel sorry for her, but a lot of attention and sympathy can further perpetuate this.
So, the idea is that when he comes over, he should not gush all over the dog and get her all excited. It should be a low key visit and when he leaves, he should just leave, not kiss and hug her good-bye. It's like getting her all excited and then...the let down. Keep comings and goings low key and don't make a lot of mushy stuff when she's displaying that mood. Try to convey that it's no big deal and you're not a bit worried. She'll feed off your mood too if you're feeling worried and sorry for her. That's how I interpret it anyhow. Good luck. I'll write if my friend thinks of something else.