May 30 / June 1 is the biggest moving long-weekend in North America. Raja has facilitated 10 moves. Nomadic dogs can weather moves very well, but they want to be part of the process, rather than to be kenneled away.
No wonder dogs often act up after moves- they didn’t get to help. By “help” I don’t mean they can move the dresser down 5 flights. Dogs are notoriously useless for that. But they can make you smile and express enthusiasm over the littlest things (a ball discovered behind the couch, the shrubbery outside the new apt. building). Also, having a dog overseeing logistics can create the nicest chance encounters- like Raja’s encounter with a lovely woman last weekend who came up to say, “Please tell me our neighborhood is not losing a resident Shih Tzu?”- which was so gracious, it made us want to move IN.
So, if you have a dog and you are moving, keep him safe, but let him take part. If your dog sees everything going into a box and onto a truck, if he makes the drive to the new destination and sees everything put in the new den, his sense of participation and security will be reinforced. We have some advice: Make sure……..
to watch he doesn’t wander outside and get lost.
to keep him well out of the way of people carrying heavy things.
to consider health and exposure at all times. (Raja’s wearing boots to keep his feet safe from any random glass shards, splinters, carpet tacks or mystery germs.)
to feed him regularly. He’ll probably need more water than usual because the expected elevated heart rate and respiration will make him thirsty.
to talk to him so he knows he’s important and respected.
to take time to make a space for one of his beds and bowls in the new place right away.
to help him walk the new beat and lead him toward good places to sniff.
One of our friends made a move from Texas to California, by herself and by plane with her three dogs (one in cabin, 2 in hold) and about 13 pieces of luggage. I’m hoping she’ll guest blog and tell us about that saga! It has to have been a doozie!
If any of you have moving stories to share or questions to ask, please use the comments section. We hope all your moves of the future are to happy places and are facilitated by canine foremen.