The Dog Owner Files: Moving Blues

This is the first in a series “The Dog Owner Files,” where CLE dog owners tell their stories. This post is contributed by Destiny Simcic, owner of a 14-year-old shih tzu/pekingese mix named Sampson.

Recently I found myself in a situation where I needed to temporarily relocate. Unfortunately, my 14-year-old, deaf, cranky and anti-social dog was forced to go with me, and I’m pretty sure it’s been far more stressful for him than it’s been for me. My wonderful* friend (and owner of this site) Ann, graciously allowed Sampson and I to move into her tiny second bedroom and share the living space she occupies with her over-sized** Pomeranian, Hunter. Hunter’s personality is what I would describe as the exact opposite of Sampson’s personality. When Sampson is silent, Hunter is barking. When Sampson is lying peacefully on the floor, Hunter is jumping around trying to get his attention. Sampson is a beggar, and Hunter doesn’t even seem to notice when a piece of delicious pulled pork drops to the floor. Both dogs are great; they are just different, and this transition has been noticeably tough on both. Neither dog is sleeping very well, and when nobody is home they are confined to separate halves of the house.

The two dogs having a rare moment of quiet time together (Hunter, left; Sampson, right)

 

It’s now a month later, and luckily the mood of the house is seemingly becoming less stressful – I think Sampson is getting used to Hunter’s presence and Hunter is slowly learning that Sampson is never going to give him the time of day. Just in time for us to relocate once more, to our new home…

The point to all of this is that I don’t think anyone really realizes how something that is disruptive to you as a human can also have an equally disruptive effect on your canine – or feline – companion. I’ve done what I can to make my little man comfortable and stick to his routine, but the bottom line is that I yanked him away from what was familiar and it’s taking him a decent amount of time to get settled and act like himself. It been hard to be patient and took a while to realize that my life isn’t the only one that’s been turned upside down.

Next time you go through a life-changing event while in the company of a furry loved one, you may want to read up on ways to prepare him or her for the change. Here’s a good article I’ve found to prepare me for my next move! http://www.petco.com/caresheets/dog/Dog_Moving.pdf

Editor’s notes:
* No edits were made, those were her original choice of words

**By “over-sized,” Destiny does not mean “fat.” Hunter wanted me to point that out. She just meant he is a bigger than normal Pomeranian.