The Power of a Wet Nose (and bunny poop)
If you’ve been one of my blog buddies for a while, then you already know that I’m all about my fur babies. Rigby, Penny, and Luna—two dogs and a cat—offer unconditional love and comic relief to our home, and we take great pains to ensure their health and comfort. But sometimes life happens, and when it does, other than providing extra treats and lots of love, there is no way to fully ease their anxiety over the disruption.
After we accepted an offer on our house in Georgia, the packing began in earnest. Clothes went into boxes; pictures came off the walls; furniture grew legs and walked from the house.
Luna, though curious about the bizarre activities of her humans, maintained her cattitude. She did seek more attention than usual, but seemed okay with the goings on. In particular, she was thrilled to have so many boxes in which to sit.
Rigby and Penny were a different matter. Our two Lab mixes became increasingly agitated as the household shifted into disarray. About a week prior to our moving from the house for good, both dogs took to howling whenever we left the house. Both are 11-years-old, and separation anxiety was never a problem before. They let us know, the only way they knew how, that they were in distress.
It broke my heart, because there was no way to explain the situation to them, no way to calm their fears. Even when we were present they remained a little nervous and agitated.
After we moved into the condo here in Florida, we figured the dogs would settle down. And they did, but not overnight. It took the passing of several weeks and the setting of new routines. It took the delivery of our own furniture and time for all the new sights and scents of the home and neighborhood to become familiar. It took the realization that this neighborhood is home to millions, possibly billions of bunnies, and bunnies leave behind so many small snack-a-licious delights buried in the grass! Oh, yum!
In addition to these newfound treats, there is enough wildlife to keep the dogs’ noses twitching from sunup to sundown. They’ve never been so excited to stand at a window or hear the leashes come out.
(For the record, we do our best to discourage the bunny poop buffet, but egad, buttercup! Those little pellets are hidden in the grass everywhere! Undetectable to the human eye, but a magnet for doggy snouts.)
Rigby and Penny aren’t agitated or nervous anymore, except during storms—there have been some major thunder-boomers!—and they don’t howl or whine when we leave, thank goodness. They do expect a walk when we get home though, and if that includes a chance to burrow their snouts into the grass in search of a bunny trail, well, those tails are a-waggin’.
Luna is fine when the dogs are here, but when we walk the dogs and she is alone, we return home to find her at the front door waiting for us, meowing. She doesn’t like to be alone in the new place. Either that, or she’s throwing wild parties while we’re out and the whole meowing-at-the-door thing is a ruse to distract us while her friends climb out a window.
Overall, Luna and her canine companions have settled in quite nicely. I’m relieved that they are all back to being calm and comfy. And perhaps they were taking their cues from us. The last months have been crazy, and I’m sure the hubster and I were spreading our own internal stress out to the furry kids. But they hung in there with us, offering comfort and stress relief to us in their own ways.
As it is with people, every pet is different. How we handle our pets’ distress may vary depending on the dog or cat itself. I’m sure you may have some ideas or anecdotes of your own to share in the comments, but here are a few links that also offer advice:
Here are pics of my furry kids taken just a few moments ago. They look none the worse for wear, right?
Do you have a dog, cat, or other pet? Please share in the comments how you help them when they’re stressed.
Thanks for reading. See you next week!
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