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Dog Won’t Leave Neighbor’s House, Dad Soon Discovers Why

A week passed with the dog running away in the morning and returning in the evening. The dad was using the computer when an urge made him check the camera.

He expected to see a clear cul-de-sac or his dog running around with the neighborhood kids or pets under the sun. But what he saw made him scramble for the front door. 

When Greg Alberts and his wife Elena decided to adopt a dog, they only wanted to expand their family while opening their doors to someone who needed it.

Milly, their golden retriever, had been that someone to them. They found her in a rescue shelter in town and immediately fell in love. They had no idea what torment would arise from their decision. 

Greg and Elena had been together for over seven years now. Already married and with their second baby on the way, the young couple were eager to build their family. 

Greg, in particular, had always wanted the American-style family that came with kids and pets. He’d always discussed this dream with Elena, finding out she wanted the same. They would soon learn how easily dreams could turn into nightmares.

Greg and Elena began their search for a pup after conceiving their second child. Their first, Henry, was a little over a year now, and the parents wanted a dog that would be his best friend, playmate, and protector.

Their search landed them in their small town in sunny North Carolina, where they met Milly. Their lives were about to change forever. 

The companionship between man and dogs is as old as time itself. For the Alberts family, Milly would transcend being a simple companion and pet into a full-fledged family member. 

But although the Alberts, including little Henry, loved her with all their hearts, they’d soon learn a terrible secret about her that would break their hearts.

Unknown to the Alberts, Milly had been grappling with noise anxiety or misophonia for most of her life. They only found out one night during a thunderstorm when the pup bolted to hide under the table. 

Greg thought Milly had a phobia of thunder, seeing it as harmless. He should’ve known how big the problem was.     

Life had been going great for the Alberts when everything took a sudden turn. The rainy season was over, and so Milly’s thunderstorm phobia died down. But then she started running off in the morning after breakfast, only to return in the evening. 

The first time she did so left the Alberts distraught. They feared she might’ve gotten lost in the neighborhood, stolen, or worse, hurt. But she returned in the evening, and all was well again. It would be too late when they’d figure out what was happening. 

The Alberts continued their life as usual, accommodating Milly’s new behavior. To Greg, his dog was making friends with the other pups and kids in the neighborhood.

He was more than glad that she was finally comfortable enough to go outside to play. But he had no idea what she was truly doing and with who. This thought made him install a camera outside the garage.

A week passed with Milly running away in the morning and returning in the evening. Greg was using the computer when an urge made him check the camera.

He expected to see a clear cul-de-sac or Milly running around with the neighborhood kids or pets under the sun. But what he saw made him scramble for the front door. 

Greg had expected to see Milly playing in the sun, but his eyes caught a hulking, bearded man cradling his dog as he strode past his driveway.

Greg shot to his feet, still trying to make sense of everything. Was the man trying to steal his dog? The dad sped for the garage door, stepping into the afternoon sun. He would get Milly back if it were the last thing he did. 

For the past week, Greg had been running some minor renovations in the house. He hadn’t been paying attention to who Milly was interacting with outside the house. He was glad he checked the camera when he did.  

“Excuse me, sir,” he called out mid-sprint, only realizing that the man before him was a foot taller and seemingly made entirely out of muscles. Greg took a shaky step back. 

“That’s my dog you have there,” Greg said, his chin held up. The man turned to face him fully, but the rigidness in his body suddenly melted away, and his face split into a warm smile.

“I know she is,” he said in a smooth voice, a proper contrast to what Greg expected him to sound like. “You’ve been renovating your house over the past week, correct?” What he’d say next would leave Greg speechless. 

“We have,” Greg concurred. “We’re changing some things in the kitchen, Mr?” “Jackson,” said the man. “Mr. Jackson.” He hurried over and shook Greg’s hand. 

“I am just moved here. I’m the new resident veterinarian.” He petted Milly’s head and said, “She’s been coming over to hang out in my yard for a few days now. Did you know she has severe misophonia?”

Greg’s lips parted. “Noise anxiety?” he asked with a tremor in his voice, recalling Milly’s ordeal during the rainy season. “Yes,” Mr. Jackson answered. “I’m guessing the house renovations have been getting to her.”

Greg took another step back before hurrying forward and asking if he could hold Milly, who was happy to jump into his arms. How could he have missed this?

“Is there something we can do about it?” he asked, petting Milly soothingly. “A few coping strategies should help her live a more comfortable life,” Mr. Jackson said with his unwavering smile.

“Creating some noise-free zones in the house, music therapy, or simple noise avoidance.” He booked Greg and Milly an appointment where they explored all the possible treatment options for the adorable puppy. Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental. 


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