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Denali has a moving experience

My husband and I pulled out the rug from underneath Denali. Literally.

The area rug in our living room has been a place that he could call his own. He could take a nap, take a bone or run around in circles without disturbing our downstairs neighbor.

With a move in our very near future, though, we have been on a mission to pack, clean and organize. This past weekend, our efforts include a thorough vacuuming of the rug and rolling it up.

Poor Denali! He looked so confused when the rug went away and he's been sort of lost in the living room during down time, unsure where to lay or play. Sure, he's stood guard at the window, watching as families and runners enjoy the warmer weather. He's also taken advantage of the wood floor's cool feel after a good run. But, in the end, he moves from spot to spot as he tries to find out which place he likes best.

The mom in me worries that the confusion will only be exacerbated when he gets into his new digs. He will have a new space during the day when he's home alone (basement access as opposed to hanging out in the office); there will be a new spot for his food and water; and he'll have a new yard with new smells. There will be two floors to explore and two toilets from which to drink water.

It will be a whole new life for him. And while it seems natural to say, "Well, he's just a dog," there's still some care to take to make sure he adjusts.

Tips, from About.com (http://moving.about.com/od/movingwithpet1/a/settling_pets.htm):

*When taking Fido outside for the first time, keep him leashed and allow him the time to explore his neighborhood. Your dog should be introduced to the area around your home slowly. It's a good idea to explore it a block at a time, just to see who else lives in your neighborhood. Strange dogs can pose a threat and cause your pet unnecessary stress.

*During this period of adjustment, start spending time away from the house, doing so in small increments just to see how your dog will respond. Eventually, when you do start work and you have to spend all day away, your dog should be adjusted to the home and feel comfortable being alone there.

From Petco (http://www.petco.com/caresheets/dog/Dog_Moving.pdf):

*When you arrive at your destination, open the carrier as soon as you are in a safe place and examine your pet. Spend some time playing with your dog and reassure him that everything is okay and this is now his new home. Provide a treat or a new toy so that your dog will associate the new place with fun. If anything seems wrong, take your pet to a veterinarian immediately.

*Set up your dog's belongings so that he will immediately recognize the familiar items. With familiar furniture including his bed, crate, toys and food and water bowls, your dog should be able to settle quickly into his new home. Allow your dog to explore his new home and familiarize himself with the new sights and smells. Make sure that all doors, windows, and fences are secured so your dog will not accidentally wander away.

*Remove the old ID tag from your dog's collar and make sure the new ID is secured on his collar. Try to maintain your pet's normal routine as you unpack. Try not to disturb the location you have chosen for your dog. Having a secure place to go to is important for your dog in an unfamiliar place.

From me:

*Put out Denali's favorite rug and let him roll around on it. Even if he's blowing his coat and you'll need to vacuum it after just a few minutes.

critters@jg.net

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