Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Do you really need to introduce your dog to a new home?

I'm getting ready to do some serious work on my house.  It will take at least two solid months of work.  So much that we had to pull permits on what will be done.  

While the floors need to be re-tiled, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM) has begun to campaign for me to put in a "fallout shelter" in the closet for storms and other hiding duty.  The underlying terrazzo is in too bad a state to be polished and restored, unfortunately.

The upshot is that we have to leave the place and de-camp to an apartment across the street.

Convenient location, we will be close enough to the place to be able to monitor the work on a daily basis.

I do know the history of this particular unit going back a few renters.  It's not a bad place, it was updated to a point where it is more modern than my own house for a lot of reasons.  New appliances, tile, furniture is reasonably new.

My own house was comfortable but the 1960s called and want their weird wood walls back and

the tiles are worn out.  When we moved in, the place had a "scent" to it that was reminiscent of Zinc Oxide medication with old Cigarette undertones.

We called it Eau De Old Owner when we are being kind.

Over the years of making fragrant dishes with recipes that I put on my blog, soap making, our dogs, the parrot, and time, the odor has diminished but on a damp day:  "Hey what's that?"

The worst of it is that the tiles and most of the appliances have worn out.  It's time.

The apartment was "Dog Friendly".  I saw two different people live in it with dogs.  The first was a companion dog that I don't really remember, the other one was a German Shepard, rather regal and obedient.  I remember that GSD being an Alpha Dog.  

This affected my own dog rather interestingly.  I found that I have to "expose" him to the apartment. 

No matter how clean you are, no matter how often you use cleaners on the floors, your dog will still know.  Accidents happen in the kitchen and sometimes on the floors.  Tiles are not completely non-porous, and grout never is.  

My own grout varies from café au lait in the bathroom to a black coffee color in the kitchen.  It started as café au lait.  It is also why we are re-tiling the place.

When I brought Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM) into this little apartment, he did not want to come in.  He caught the scent of another dog, most likely higher ranking in his own mind and stayed at the threshold.  

I had to nudge him inside.

He sat on the most neutral thing he could find, a new door mat that we got and had only been deployed the night before.

I sat down on the couch in clear view of him and the door and called him.  He looked left and right for that other dog and clung to me, his source of strength.

Realizing that this was going to be slower than expected, I closed the outer rooms so he only had access to places I could see and allowed him to move around.  This apartment got the most extreme search I have ever seen him do.  Every crevasse and nook and cranny got sniffed.  Watching him so he would not lift his leg and add his own scent to it, I allowed him to become accustomed to the surroundings.


The key is that you can't force a dog.  They live on a different level than you do, and they will have to do things on their own terms.

Signalling that he was done, he lay down on the only thing that looked like a dog bed he could find, the door mat and sighed. 

I now could open another room for him to explore, the bathroom which was in clear view of the door.    I made a mental note to keep the door closed down when it is in use, the bathroom is also in clear view of the windows that I prefer to keep open for sunlight.

That little room got another complete examination.  He walked into the shower, which he had never been exposed to, and sniffed every square inch, as well as under the counter and inside the area inside the vanity.

If there was anything left over from the other dogs, he sniffed it.  

I repeated that with the bedrooms one after another.

Finally he went back into the living room.  I guess he felt safer out there, I could now close the bedroom and bathroom doors and he would be comfortable as I turned on the TV and watched a mindless comedy for an hour.


It really is all about doing things on their own terms.  Otherwise you're in for messes and frustration.  We have a comfortable dog, and a few leftover dog toys that are new-to-us for Rack to ignore.

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