OR Sometimes You Don’t Know Your Dog as Well as You Think You Do
One of the things I am most worried about when it comes to moving is how the dogs are going to react to a new house. After all, they have lived in this house all of their lives. I worry most about Luke since he is such a fearful dog and new things can be very scary for him.
We are all homebodies, though the girls used to go more places when they were younger. When we got up to four dogs in the household it was difficult to take them all anywhere, so mostly we just didn’t take any of them. In retrospect, it would have been better to just take a couple of them and leave a couple home; but I can’t change that now.
We took Luke places when he was younger but when he started reacting fearfully everywhere, that mostly stopped as well. The one place we have been occasionally though is my sister’s house – the only other person in the world he loves. But our visits are infrequent.
Yesterday, the potential buyers for our home had the building inspections set up, so I had to take the dogs and get them out of there. We’ve been going for nice drives when we had showings, but inspections can take up to a few hours, so that wasn’t an option. My sister was happy to let me bring the dogs over to her house. I thought bringing them to a mostly unfamiliar place would be a good trial run for how they might do in a new home.
I packed up my computer, some bookkeeping work for myself, and some toys and treats for the dogs. We had gone there one other time when we had a showing, and they would not settle down – they nervously ran around and just wanted to go back to the car. Thus you can see why I’m nervous about how they’ll be at a new house. That is one of the reasons we’ve been trying to crate train Luke again, so that he’d have a place to go in the new house where he felt comfortable.
With my sister’s cat safely tucked away in her bedroom, we saw my sister off to work. The dogs were about as nervous as I expected to start with – Cricket wouldn’t even take a treat at first. Luke was the one that surprised me, because other than jumping on my sister (um, humping) in excitement; he settled down the quickest.
Cricket kept going to the door and Sheba paced around some panting, but Luke wanted to play with the toys I brought, and he only went to the doors when I went there. He was even so great he tried to get Sheba to play – it was almost like he was encouraging her to relax. I was surprised and pleased at how well he did.
Sometimes you think you know your dogs; but I’ve found I am not always right. The girls did settle down as well eventually and I got some work done. The inspection ended up taking about 3 hours and overall I thought all of them did very well. I am no longer so worried about Luke; and I know the girls will settle in once they see they have a nice yard to run around in just like they do here.
Oh, and one other good thing! I’ve been giving the dogs Anxiety Relief from PL360 before taking them for these rides. It really helps Cricket a lot. I forgot yesterday morning, yet she laid right down on the car seat; no shaking or panting like she usually does, and she even snoozed a bit. I think she is finally getting used to riding in the car! We have a new product coming soon to try out as well for her in the car and I think it’s going to help her even more (and we’ll be giving one away too!).
There are times I think they are going to take all of this way better than I am. Actually, I am looking forward to the actual physical move. I am ready to move, and it’s the things that are out of my control that are driving me crazy. I hate the waiting to see if every step goes as it should; I hate not knowing yet if we actually will be moving. I was not prepared for just how stressful selling a house could be; probably because I’ve never done it before! I lose my focus on everything when I am stressing about whether the next step will take place; and I don’t like having my routine disrupted either.
Anyway, hopefully the last hurdles are out of the way soon. I’m already packing; I thought it would be helpful for the dogs if they started getting used to things being moved around here, with lots of boxes strewn around. They’ve been fine with it. I’m sure there will still be some stressful times for all of us with all of the changes; but sometimes change is good and soon all of this part will be behind us. It’s just good to feel a bit more relaxed about how they might settle into our new home.
How about you? Can you accurately predict how your dogs will respond to new situations?