I have a confession to make: I was scared, no, that’s not strong enough, terrified that our move would cause Maggie to have some sort of set back. I
obsessively read so many blogs, most of which are about (or at least heavily include) training, behavioral issues, etc. that I have admittedly lost some of my light-heartedness when it comes to dog ownership. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always put the well being of my dogs first and foremost, but now I actively think about what could go wrong, rather than just dealing with it if something happened–I like to think it helps me prepare and stay a step ahead of any potential issues.
All of that to say, I had a bajillion (very technical term) scenarios racing through my head on how the move could traumatize Maggie and send her straight back to her skittish, untrusting ways. I did my best to make sure she was in a good frame of mind before we dropped her off for the week of our honeymoon at daycare, but I couldn’t stop thinking, “What if she thinks we have left her forever?” or “What if she ends up hating it there, even though she’s loved it in the past?” or even (silly as it sounds) “What if she gets mad at us or doesn’t love us anymore or even forgets us!?” All of those things were going through my head when I went to pick her. She seemed her usual self when I picked her up but that wasn’t the end of things. Then she had to sit in the car for three hours just to arrive at a big, empty house that she had never seen before. You can see how I would be worried, right? That’s a whole lot for a dog, who you can’t just explain things to, to go through in just one day.
We got to the house and everything went surprisingly well. Of course, the dogs zoomed all around the house and yard, and appeared beside themselves with happiness. Cool. No problems here I guess. Well, I let my guard down and invited Rich’s family over that night to see the new house and visit, even though my gut told me it was too soon. While they were over, Maggie and Buddy got in a little tiff. Not a big deal, but notable because it was something that had never ever happened before. I clearly had pushed them all beyond their comfort zone that day and this was entirely my fault. We spent the next few days barely leaving the house and making sure everyone got plenty of exercise and stress was kept as close to nonexistent as possible.
After about that first day though, I began to notice something strange: Maggie kept wagging her tail. Randomly. This is new! Don’t get me wrong, Maggie wagged her tail before, but it was mostly when we first got home, were actively engaging her in play, or she was at a park or something running around. Now though, I just look over at her and she will be wagging, for no apparent reason at all. Just shear happiness. I literally can feel my heart swelling with joy. All that worry for nothing! My girl is good.