Thursday, February 18, 2016

What's Going On?

I've mentioned before that Barley is a dog that notices everything. When they added a new trail marker alongside one of our favorite trails at the Arboretum, Barley crouched and stared at it before slowly approaching it. When a car that isn't normally in a driveway we walk by regularly is in the driveway, her heckles raise and she starts to grumble. Change is not her favorite thing.

I knew there would be challenges with the moving process because of this. I'd created a plan for after the keys become mine. I won't be moving in immediately so that my mom, my aunt, and I can do a little wallpaper removal and painting before the pets and the furniture move in. For those few days, I plan to take Barley over for a couple hours a day and do some noseworks in the house and yard and play with some toys. We'll take a few walks in the new neighborhood and then she'll go home with her stuff for the rest of the day.

I figured she'd be a little stressed and probably pace a bit, but once she saw her crate and her 10,000 2 dog beds and 2 human beds were there, she'd settled down a bit. 

I didn't think she'd start spazzing out a month before the move. I've been trying to pack a few boxes a day, starting with books (English majors really shouldn't make a habit of moving often--I've already packed over 10 boxes of books!). Very little has changed in the apartment so far, except the shelves are almost empty and there are a few more boxes stacked around the apartment. None of the furniture has moved and none of her stuff has been touched. But Barley is not happy.

She moves from room to room with me and curls up on the love seat or a bed and stares at me. Or she puts her head between her front paws and just looks forlorn. 

I've tried curling up beside her and reassuring her. I've said, "Puppy, it's ok. You're coming with me." And she'll give one short wag of her tail. I've tried, "Puppy, you're getting a yard." Another short wag. "You're going to like this, I promise." Two short wags.

A few days ago, I was at Target and found a quilt with all of the colors that I want for my bedroom and it was 50% off, and there was a sheet set that matched that was also on clearance, and I still had some Christmas gift cards, so they came home with me--even though I'd decided that there would be no shopping until after the move. Barley is pretty sure she's not a fan of the new color scheme.

I prefer old flannel that's been patched because I dug holes in it.

Soth is the pet I was most worried about with his stress-related bladder issues and he's handling things like a champ. He loves that there are empty shelves he can crawl on and boxes that he can perch on. I've had to limit the number of boxes I stack on top of each other to make sure he doesn't accidentally knock them over and crush himself.

A new jungle gym--how fun! 

Soth's also happy that there are so many empty boxes that he can claim as his own. It's hindering the packing process a little bit since every time I take out a box that I've been storing in the closet or put together one of my moving boxes, he climbs in it, but if it makes him happy, it makes me happy.

It's officially less than a month until I close on the house, so hopefully as the piles of boxes grow, Barley will embrace them and quit moping around because right now all I can think of is that Barley is acting like "helper dog" from Hyperbole and a Half and I don't know if either of us can take another month of that.

Heart Like a Dog

Be sure to check out all of the great Barks and Bytes posts hosted by Heart Like a Dog and 2 Brown Dawgs.


  1. Poor Barley! I totally relate! We've moved a couple of times and the last one was very stressful. It took Zoe a couple of months to calm down and settle in. She was insanely anxious for a while!

    1. Poor Zoe! Barley's experienced my parents moving to a new house before and she was anxious the first visit, but once we were there for more than a couple days and got her crate out, she settled right back down. I'm hoping that's the case for us in our new place, too!

  2. Moving uggg. It is exciting but also exhausting. Have you tried making a game out of packing? Maybe do a little playing with Barley as you pack? :) Thanks so much for joining the hop!

    1. I've thought about doing some noseworks and hiding her odor container around the boxes, but she keeps trying to chew on the boxes every time I turn my back, so I don't know if drawing any more attention to them is a good idea or not! I've been trying to work in some play time between boxes, but she's trying her best to ignore me when I start putting together boxes ;)

  3. I have no words of wisdom for you. When we last moved I didn't put any thought into it, we'd traveled with the dogs before and they had always been okay, as long as we were with them. I just loaded them into the car and drove them to their new house. In my mind, you have a great plan in mind. Maybe as Linda suggested make a game of it with Barley. Does she pick things up? Maybe you could teach her to 'pack'?

    I do admit I was giggling a little at the approach of the new object. Delilah especially does that and I giggle at her too.

    Good luck and keep us posted. Thanks for joining the blog hop.

    1. Barley is definitely my little diva and tends to be a bit dramatic about most things. So far, we haven't had much luck training "put your toys away," but I do love the idea of having her help with the packing, so maybe we can use this as a good excuse to revisit that trick!

  4. I'm glad at least one of the pets is enjoying it! I don't think Maddux was even phased when we moved ha! Hopefully Bar will be back to her happy self soon!

  5. At least Soth is having fun! Like you, my plan has been to pack a little at a time so that hopefully the dogs wouldn't get too stressed. We've moved some smaller stuff into a storage unit so the house is emptying out more slowly, and that way we don't have to move everything all in one day.
    I think your plan to take Barley up there for a few hours at a time is perfect. I had hoped to do that but the owners of the house we're buying will be spending the last week there. But we do plan to at least take them up there and let them walk around and explore outside (the owners are in Florida).
    Oh gosh, that other post was so funny, yet scary,it made me very glad we're not moving far!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets