Monday, January 9, 2017

Hostages to ten pounds of cuteness


    We made it to Florida.
The first day was interminable and the second included an hour and a half of white-knuckled navigation through the kind of rain so heavy you’re afraid to pull over because no one would see you, flashers or no flashers.

 And two days of driving do take their toll – e.g. Mamie’s newly developed foot-dragging now when we try to load her in the car. We had many stops for her to get out and snuffle through the foreign scents of New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolinia, etc. parking lots and tree belts, but a girl can only take so many hours in the car. 


Scars of previous entries?
Not a good sign when a faceplate is a luxury.

            Having our little bundle of fur along also limited our choice
of hotels, but surely we can find something a bit more upscale on our return trip north in the spring – hopefully somewhere I’m not afraid to take my socks off.

          Currently we’re challenged by life with a jumpy dog and separation anxiety in a condo. She’s absolutely perfect when we’re here, but after downloading a recording app to my iPad, we discovered that she’s capable of barking for 30 minutes straight if someone walks by the window when we're away.

          So far, we’ve been handing off dog-sitting to each other but if the two of us ever plan to see daylight together we’ll need to overcome this.

          Our neighbors on either side profess to be dog lovers. The next few days may be a test of either this or the sound-proofing in the walls.


  1. it took awhile for us to be able to leave Minnie alone for more than a half hour or so but little by little, gradually increasing the length of our outings, she does just fine now and is always very happy to see us return.

    1. Encouraging words, Ellen.

    2. Hi Marty, this is my first comment here. We adopted a dog in the summer. He had been very badly treated. He had major anxiety issues, but is now ok to leave for 3 hours. We have a camera in the house to check on him.

      It took a long time, but little by little day by day he has got better. So much so, we got a puppy.

      I agree with Ellen completely. We had a dog behaviourist from the rescue centre come to our house. We had to go out the front door, out of sight and then come back. Doing this for longer and longer times. So the first one, 1 minute. When coming back in, dont touch the dog. Dont talk to the dog. And do not make a fuss. Walk right by them and sit down. It has to be "this is normal". Hard work but so rewarding. Hang in there!

      To get over the going on holiday thing, we are buying a camper van/RV.

      Oh and the book Cesars Way, really stopped me from thinking about him as if I could reason with his behaviour. I was doing everything wrong. As I type this he is in his basket ignoring me on the other side of the room. 20 feet away... That is progress from the dog that pressed against me constantly.

      Good luck!


    3. Welcome, Sol, and thank you so much for your detailed suggestions. That's the route we'll take.

  2. Poor Maggie! Change is so stressful! I stayed in a scary looking motel in Turbeville, SC when I moved up to New York with my cats -- of course that was 17 years ago, so who knows what it looks like now, if it's even standing. You didn't stay in Turbeville, did you?!

  3. I think your neighbors would rather comfort your dog than listen to 30 minutes of barking. The dog can slowly get close to them by spending a night or two on a regular basis.

  4. Oh dear, you may have yourself a real problem. I'll be interested in how you solve it. I know a couple who take separate vacations because of their dog's separation anxiety.

  5. Poor Maggie. And poor you. It does get better. Really it does.
    And my toes are wincing in recollection as some of 'those' places to stay. And don't get me started on the bathrooms.

  6. Oh dear. I do hope that she settles down for you. Dogs are wonderful, but barking dogs are quite another thing. Best of luck! -Jenn

  7. I hope you get the anxiety barking sorted somehow, I have no clue how to help here.

  8. Oh my. What a trip this is turning out to be, for all concerned. I hope your next post tells me about how it all worked out great. Just my hope. :-)

  9. Driving with a dog is actually safer for those enforced dog walks are great for the driver also. Can you try crating her when you leave? That works for some dogs rather like a cover over a bird cage. Good luck.

  10. leave for short periods of time, standing just outside the door. If she barks go in and ignore her, If she doesn't bark then go in and give her a treat. Make the times longer and longer. Give it a whirl. Chance cries when we leave but we live in the country and hardly ever leave him home alone:)


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