Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

The Power of a Wet Nose (and bunny poop)

Posted on Jul 19, 2017 by Lisa Ricard Claro   14 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

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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.

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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?

Rigby & Penny, sacked out after a walk. Hunting bunny poop really takes it out of you.


Luna, sacked out because sitting at the window watching egrets was exhausting.

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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14 Responses to "The Power of a Wet Nose (and bunny poop)"

  1. Comment by Pat Wahler
    July 19, 2017 at 11:04 am  

    I have no doubt our pets pick up on it when we’re stressed or upset. Sometimes a simple cuddle can bring down my angst level by several degrees.

    The fur kids certainly look happy. I’m glad everyone is settling nicely into the new place.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 20, 2017 at 8:41 am  

      Yes, Pat, we’re all finally starting to feel at home. 🙂

  2. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    July 19, 2017 at 4:22 pm  

    We are lucky that Buttons doesn’t really get stressed by much. He loves to ride in the car and we’d been bringing him to Florida on vacation for several years before we made the final move.

    He does show signs of stress when it’s time for his saline infusion three times a week, but as soon as it’s over he’s back to his cheerful self.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 20, 2017 at 8:43 am  

      Those saline infusions are stressful for everyone. We had to do that for our Bailey cat a few years ago, and I don’t blame Buttons for being anxious about that. It isn’t a horrible experience, but it isn’t fun either.

      He’s lucky he’s small enough to travel with you. Our two are just too big to come along everywhere. We bring them when we can, and it might be easier with only one, but two changes the dynamic a bit. And with the heat, of course, we won’t leave them in the car, so they have to stay home more until the weather cools off a bit.

  3. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    July 19, 2017 at 6:09 pm  

    Our cat knew when either of us arrived home before the other one did. He’d run to the back door and wait. Animals feed off our enthusiasm and react to our stress. Your fur babies look right at home these days.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 20, 2017 at 8:46 am  

      And everyone says cats are so aloof! They aren’t, they’re just choosy. 🙂 I agree that our furry kids react to our stress/relaxation levels. Fortunately, it’s starting to settle down around here.

  4. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    July 19, 2017 at 11:23 pm  

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around your dogs eating bunny poop. Um…ew.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 20, 2017 at 8:48 am  

      Haha . . . yeah, dogs are gross. No way around it. We do our best to stop it before it happens, but it isn’t always easy to catch them right at that moment between an innocent sniff and a grab for the bunny nuggets.

  5. Comment by Sioux Roslawski
    July 20, 2017 at 2:47 am  

    Lisa–There’s only one thing better than the chance to eat bunny poop: the chance to roll around on a bunny carcass. 😉

    Radar never gets distressed. He has the perfect life. I’m glad your three furbabies got acclimated. (And Florida storms scare me, too. I remember driving home in one, white-knuckling it the whole way.)

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 20, 2017 at 8:50 am  

      Oh, wow. Isn’t that the truth?!

      The storms! Thunder, lightning, and downpours so heavy it is impossible to see ten feet ahead. Scary to drive in, yes. The upside is that it lasts about 20 minutes and then it’s sunny the rest of the day.

      Radar certainly lives the life of a Golden Retriever, that’s for sure. Blissful acceptance in a loving home. Really, it doesn’t get much better than that.

  6. Comment by Donna Volkenannt
    July 20, 2017 at 4:02 am  

    Our lab has separation anxiety and a healthy fear of storms and fireworks. When hubby is gone, Harley lays in front of the door waiting for him. And when he thinks no one is home he howls; our granddaughter caught him on video when he didn’t know she was in her room.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 20, 2017 at 8:53 am  

      Poor Harley! Well, he certainly loves his people.

  7. Comment by Robert Robinson
    July 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm  

    Bottle the rabbit pellets and sell them to your friends as dietary supplements. 100% organic.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 21, 2017 at 8:22 am  

      Haha! That’s one of the things I love best about you, Rob—you have so many creative ideas! 😉

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