Monday, November 22, 2010

Consistency

You don't really realize how important the routine is to your dog until it gets completely tossed out the window.

Koji's been in boarding before, he's been over at friends' for the weekend, we've had fosters and guests come and go and both Jeff and I have left for a few days while the other stays at home with the dog. Apparently this last time completely threw our dog off his mojo.

I was invited to join my mom out at DisneyWorld for 4 fun filled days, and of course I jumped at the chance. Jeff had to stay home, on account of him student teaching, so nothing else out of the ordinary would have to happen except dropping me off and picking me up from the airport.

I guess with me being gone, his whole world flipped upside down this time. As reported by my husband, he'd race out of the bedroom in the mornings to look for me at the front door or living room, then sulk back off to bed when I wasn't there. And when I did get home, not only did I get the lovely parting gift of food poisoning, but I had to go right back into work for the next four days. My dog turned into a shaking, unsure, almost neurotic mess. Every time it looked as though we were going to leave, he'd get up, hide behind the chair in the living room, and shake. If i was home, he'd shake. If the ice maker was dispensing ice, if the rice cooker was making noise, if someone walked up the stairs on the other side of the living room wall, he'd shake. Of course I couldn't coddle him, pet him, or tell him things were gong to be okay. He's a dog. He'd think that shaking would keep me here and give him lovin's.

So we went about our normal routine, continuing to feed, walk and play with him as normal, and as he was getting even when I was gone. After about a week back into the normal swing of things with everyone home, he's finally starting to settle down, his leg will barely tremor and he's back on track to being the dog that "doesn't give a f**k". I suppose some good that has come out of it was the tactic I used on my days off to distract him from his neuroses of training. I was able to get his nails dremmeled with less panic and we're on our way to a new trick (though so far only if I have treats. Of course.) Also, he is continuing to be my velcro dog and has to be in the same room as me more than ever. I must admit I do enjoy the attention, but only if he continues to be confident. I don't need him to be a broken mess every time I have to step out to do something.

3 comments:

Zuko's mom said...

Awww... he wuvs you! ;-)

Zuko does pretty well with change, but when the whole pack is back together we notice he sleeps more (he must not sleep well w/o us) and he tends to follow us around the house, well, like a dog, instead of our aloof little Shiba.

I wonder if you being sick when you returned contributed to his being "off"?

Masako said...

Wow... Yes, routine is what they seem to strive for!

PupChow said...

It's actually kind of cute how extremely attached he is to you -- although probably not in the healthiest sense. =b