Change is not always an easy thing for humans, much less our four-legged companions. As Jellybean and I prepare to embark on a new phase in our lives, a new home, I have been contemplating how to ensure that my little four-legged friend transitions successfully. Of course I have considered some of the obvious; routine, safety, and familiarity. I know there may be some things I have not considered. Therefore, I googled “How to prepare for a move with your dog” and found there were over 2 million sites I could check out. Obviously, I am not the only one who is a bit nervous about the impact that a move may have on a furry friend.
The research explains how to pack for your dog, making sure not to wash beds and blankets, as the familiarity of their former home will be an important factor in adjusting to the new home. They suggest recreating familiar spaces and routines to keep the environment as stress free as possible. Prior to moving in, it is important to explore the new home with safety in mind. Once there, introduce areas of the home a bit at a time and be sure to keep the same rules they followed at the old homestead. There are many things to think about as I prepare us for this move. I am happy to say that most of what I have researched has already been on my mental “how to keep my puppy happy and well-adjusted” list.
The thing that concerns me most is how Jellybean will adjust to having just me in her daily life, as it used to be. You see, we have spent the most incredible year and a half with my sister and brother-in-law. Not only do I think about how difficult it will be for me to go back to living as a widow, with Jellybean as my outlet for conversation and unconditional love, I also think of how difficult it will be for me to fill Jellybean’s very large bucket of neediness. Likewise for my sister and brother-in-law, as she has become a cherished part of their lives. Daily conversations generally consist of things like; “Did you see Jellybean chase her tail this morning?” “Jellybean fell asleep with her head on my lap this afternoon.” “Jellybean spent all morning hiding her treat, then, I sat with her and we watched squirrels playing in the yard.” “I sang the crunchies and chicken song to Jellybean today and she ate everything in her bowl.” “What is Jellybean’s schedule today?” Jellybean! Jellybean! Jellybean! The three of us cannot seem to have a conversation without including the antics of Jellybean. Although it will be a transition for all of us, we are not moving to another state. Quite the contrary, we are moving 30 minutes east. We have already talked about daily schedules and how Jellybean can spend the day with her aunt and uncle when I have to work. We have even gone as far as to talk about sleepovers. Crazy, isn’t it? But then, how wonderful it is to have a family that cares so much. Jellybean and I wouldn’t have it any other way!