Sunday, February 13, 2011
Traveling for the First Time
Ferguson and I went to visit Eric's parent's house Friday-Saturday, and I got to see how he did traveling with his collapsible oasis. If you can gather anything from the picture above, Ferguson was great. He even put up with Jasper/Rusty, the most annoying, thick, and aggressively friendly dog ever (though we did keep them apart during the day, they walked fine together on walks).
We then went to visit the house in College Park, where Ferguson and I may move to in the future (six months or so). For Ferguson, it is probably the best option compared to apartments; the yard is decent sized and fenced in, he has a whole house to wander about in, and he has NO PET RENT to live there. Financially, it's looking like a pretty good option...but we'll see what happens. Nothing is set in stone.
This morning, I fed Ferguson and tried the calming spray for the first time. I left him while I went to work, as I was only there for a four hour shift, and figured he'd sleep most of the time anyway. It's difficult to tell how he'd do, however, because my dad was sleeping on the couch, so while Ferguson whined a tiny bit, he was instantly aware of the fact that he was not, in fact, alone.
So the alone training continues, and now we're moving forward in this fashion: The "oasis" soft crate that he adores shall be moved upstairs into my room where we currently sleep at night. We will continue practicing alone training from here, increasing the challenge. As of now, he can stay in the oasis crate happily for 45 minutes without making a sound, and it is more secluded than the other crate right in the family room. If we move it upstairs to be even more secluded, he will no longer be able to see or hear things that trigger his anxiety (or at least not as well), so "slipping out the back door" will be much easier (I hope). This way, he truly will be alone, and won't be reminded as much of the people that are around. It is a gradual process.
I am doing this because a) he has been doing so well with the oasis crate and loves being in there, and b) he will be kenneled in my bedroom should I move, and needs to get used to it. Additionally, he is used to my bedroom as a place where we relax and sleep...not a room of activity. So today, I will take him on a two mile walk to make him dead tired, will spray on some calming spray to his soft crate (we have yet to do this), and then will practice leaving him alone several times.