On August 10th, Maisy and I moved. This was the first time she's moved during her adult life, and a lot of thought went into transitioning her through this time. There are some definite good points about the new place (no off-leash dogs in our neighborhood!), there are some not-so-good points, too (shared living spaces and no fenced yard). Still, for the most part, she and I have settled in, and I'm thrilled with how well she's handled the change.
I didn't time moving very well, as Maisy and I had only been in our new place for about a week when we both went on vacation. I went to a week-long training seminar at the Shedd Aquarium, and Maisy went to A Dog Spot, a small boarding kennel in southern Minnesota.
Oh my gosh, you guys. We both had a great time. For my part, the Shedd was amazing. We spent 9-12 hours there each day for five days. About two-thirds of our time was spent in lecture (by none other than Ken Ramirez, one of my favorite presenters), during which we covered a 500+ page book on animal training. The remainder of the time was spent observing training sessions with penguins, dolphins, beluga whales, sea otters, California sea lions, birds, and lizards. We got to go behind the scenes and saw areas of the aquarium the public never sees. It was fascinating.
For her part, Maisy did wonderfully. We've used A Dog Spot before, and I love the staff there. They go out of their way to make the dogs comfortable, and since the staff are also dog trainers, they are very good at matching up dogs for play groups and interrupting before things if needed. It also helps that their outdoor play yard is huge. Since Maisy's best bud Trout was also staying there that week, she had tons of fun, and even got to meet some new friends.
|Photo by Lauren. I think.|
I've quit worrying about her so much lately, and have started to treat her like a “normal” dog (whatever that is). In her case, it means that I don't baby her as much as I used to. I'm still thoughtful about where I take her and what I do with her, but I also don't keep her in a bubble. She needed that once. She doesn't anymore. We're both taking some chances and stepping outside of our comfort zones, and while I won't hesitate to step in if she's struggling, I find that she needs me to do that less and less.
I'm working on a series of posts about my time at the Shedd Animal Training Seminar, and should hopefully have some up next week. I've also been keeping some notes about the process of moving with a reactive dog, so I'll probably do a few posts about that, too. Just so you guys know, I don't have internet access in my new place (and probably won't for awhile), so it will be a bit hard for me to respond to comments. I'll do my best, but because I'm depending on free wifi at the library, I can't get online very often!
Anyway, I'm looking forward to catching up with you all! Hope you're doing well!