It's hard to believe, but it's been two weeks since I left behind my cute brick bungalow and moved into my parents' new house in the suburbs. And by "hard to believe," I mean it's been pretty much a chaotic mess.
You know how I told you this was going to be my 15th move? Well, it doesn't get any easier the 15th time. Just so you guys know. There have been several challenges along the way, some that I expected, others that are new this time. I know a lot of you have been looking for an update, so I thought I would share a few of these road bumps I've hit in the past couple of weeks. Today I want to bring up one of the biggest worries I had pre-move, and that is how my dog Petunia would react.
In the last month or two of living in the bungalow, Tuney was just a barking machine. I mean, she would go ballistic at the slightest inkling of movement outside. My bed was right by a front window, so all day she would just perch on the bed and wait for something to appear. When she got in the "barking zone," it was nearly impossible to get her out of it. This caused a lot of anxiety and stress for the both of us, and usually resulted in her leaping on my bed in a feverish rush, sliding the bed all over the floor, knocking the blankets everywhere... It was just madness. And it definitely made me cry and worry.
I believe the environment of my old house had a lot to do with it. It was kind of a constant shuffle of people and loud noises and late hours. She probably sensed my anxiety and lack of peace and fed off of it. That was the main reason why I moved out, if I'm being honest.
So when I did move, I was really worried about her. I didn't know if she would take to accidents in the house, chewing things, separation anxiety, or something worse.
The good news is, for the most part, Tuney has been adjusting really well to the move. Maybe it's the more serene environment, the relaxing atmosphere (and no more band practices in my living room), or the woodsy views of the backyard--but she seems a lot. less. neurotic. Tuney has been more obedient here than she ever was in my city house. She stops barking when I ask her to. She sits and stays when I open the door instead of bolting outside. She's even focusing more and looking to me for approval and guidance.
It wasn't easy right away. At first, I could tell she was stressed out. She followed me everywhere, and she wasn't eating more than maybe a 1/3 cup of food every day. I think she was sensing that things were going to be different from now on, and she didn't know what to make of it. For the first week of being there, my mom was with me, and was home with Tuney during the day while I was at work. Those few days, when I would return home, Tuney was so overly happy and excited to see me that it seemed like she felt I would never come back!
The only issue we have had so far was the other day when I tried something new with her during my work day. Instead of crating her, I tried to recreate the same atmosphere she used to have in my upstairs bedroom by gating her in the basement during the day. The basement at this new house is huge, and there is a big area rug, walk-out door with a nice view, and a bed for Tuney to sleep in. I tried keeping her down there because I thought maybe she would like the space, but I was also thinking it might be too big... I had a feeling she would find a corner to poop in. I was correct, of course.
So I think she will be crated during my work hours, when no one else is home. Luckily for a month or so my sister will be living with me, and at times my mom and dad will be there too. For now I think we are getting in the swing of things! I have especially loved our twice-daily walks around the neighborhood, when we get to soak up the newly appearing sunshine (it has been a looooong winter here in Cleveland).
I'm really looking forward to the completion of our back deck, which will include a gate, so I can let her outside on nice days. I'm also excited for grass to be installed in the yard too, because right now it's a muddy mess! Overall I'm really happy with my new living space, and I think Tuney is too. As always, we will face this new set of challenges together!
Have you ever moved with a pet? What were some issues that you had during the transition? Did you have a successful tactic that helped ease your dog or cat's anxiety?