DO DOGS ADAPT BETTER TO CHANGE? As most of my loyal blog readers know we recently made a move to a new home. As a mortal, I had many reservations and the changes it created. It has taken me several weeks to feel like myself and to become comfortable in my new surroundings. Greg has adapted a lot faster but even he had some adjustments to make. We have two dogs, one is Buster, a Papillon mix that we rescued as a puppy and is now 4 1/2 years old. The other one acquired about a month before the move, Duchess who is a Rat Terrier and Long Hair Chihuahua mix and according the vet, she is close to 3 years old. I have watched them before, during and after the move. It has become clear that animals have to adjust to the new surroundings like humans. I decided to share some of their experiences rather than ours on this blog.
First, I noticed the confusion and the curiosity about the packing prior to the move. Both dogs seemed to be out of sorts when they saw boxes and packing supplies enter. They sniffed and touched. They would back away quickly at sudden sounds more than usual. When the regular people who Buster knew more than Duchess, he seemed to be on the alert more. As items began to disappear from cabinets and shelves, they both watched with somewhat of an anxious eye. Animals instinctively recognize change and even though they cannot express through words, their barks tell a lot and their actions speak volumes. Each one seemed more possessive over their toys and treats. Buster, especially would parade around with his treat in his mouth for all to see it was his and dared them to try to get it and pack it with all the other disappearing items.
Then came the move and what an ordeal that was with the animals. It was enlightening to watch Duchess who may have learned some tricks while she was abandoned and alone on the streets. We locked all of the dogs, including my daughter Missy’s Yorkie Poo and is a wonder dog herself into the second bathroom. The doors are pocket doors but apparently Duchess figured out how to open the doors and out came all three dogs with every outside door in the house open and with 6 guys going in all directions. The chase was on. The dogs could hear but not see while in the bathroom and it seemed they didn’t want to get left behind so they planned their escape. I am happy to say we got a lot of exercise but they were only interested in locating me, Greg and Missy.
Next was the moving in our home in Tifton and we had taken the liberty of having the fence installed prior to the move to ensure a place the dogs could watch. The doggie door had been installed by Greg and that was probably the saving grace. What I found amazing was the difference in Duchess and Buster’s relationship after the movers left and things quietened down. Yes, there were mountains of boxes, but it was the change between the two fur babies that was the highlight but taught me a lesson of how animals think and react. In our former home, Buster had been raised from a 3 pound “bear looking cub” so that is the only home he remembered. He was very territorial with his man cave which is all of the area under our bed. Duchess was not allowed unless she sneaked when he was out of the room. They began to play together before the move but it was obvious that Buster treated Duchess like a guest in his home. The beauty of this move was it was a new home for both of them, not only Duchess but Buster too and the dynamics changed dramatically. This was now their home with equal rights. They tumble together and play together and even though Buster sleeps under the bed as always but he seems to not have any problem with Duchess sleeping with us. Both of them try to go out the doggie door together and they are checking out the neighbors’ dogs like a tag team.
An interesting event happened this morning that our back door neighbor posted a message about his dog Lucy which was Buster’s friend (seemed like a love hate relationship but apparently it might have been puppy love). Lucy’s owner Craig posted that Lucy must be missing Buster because when the new neighbor’s dog barks, Lucy doesn’t bark back. Craig said he thinks Lucy liked talking with Buster. On the flip side, we have neighbors with dogs on each side of us and one which our dogs can see and they bark together. The other side is a large dog behind a wooden fence. Buster has more curiosity especially when we moved in. Lucy was behind the wooden fence in our yard so I wondered if Buster was trying to see if Lucy had moved with us. After he heard the bigger dog’s bark, he goes over with Duchess to explore but nothing like he did with his gal Lucy.
Finally, Buster loves to go to Lowes with Greg. All Greg has to say is Lowes and Buster goes to the garage and off they go. He went so often the cashiers knew him by his name or called him Baby so he loved the attention. This morning Greg took him to Lowes and it is not critical as they haven’t seen Buster as much as the other Lowes staff. Buster seemed to be searching for familiar faces. It is so intriguing to me to observe animals with their instincts and reactions. It made me aware that we humans should recognize those feelings animals have when their world is upside down.
All in all, Buster and Duchess love it here and most importantly they love the back yard. It is shady with trees they can explore and romp and stomp while being safe in the fenced yard and with their ever faithful doggie door that they can go in and out without asking permission. Adjustments have been made and tails are wagging at our new home.
Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest by recognizing the need to make others as comfortable as you are.
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