What do you like most about your new home?
Being able to run in the fields
Investigating all the wonderful smells
The balls, rope toy and treats
walks and exploring
being told I’m a ‘Good girl’
What do you like least about your new home?
The change of moving to a new place where I don’t know the communication or routines
having to adjust – again – to a new environment and people
being worried about all the new things and what’s going to happen to me
I also don’t like being touched around my neck or paws, but they do much less of that now, only to clip my lead on and off.
Do you have any recommendations for others going through this process?
Look for hoomans with a gentle, light energy, who you get a sense will be patient and kind
Be patient with yourself – change is a Big Thing, particularly if you’ve lost your pack, gone into a shelter with lots of noise, activity and other dogs, and then been moved to a new home. A lot of the time you don’t get to choose where you go or what happens to you, but hopefully you’ll get a new pack that will give you the time and space you need to settle in and learn each other’s ways.
It can help to take a Time Out if it all gets overwhelming – go to your crate, if you have one, or to a quiet corner (maybe another room, upstairs or outside) where you can be alone and do your own thing for a while.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself sleeping more than usual, at least initially. A move like this is a lot to process and sleep helps you to do this. You might also find that your appetite changes. Initially I wasn’t able to eat as much as usual but now I’m more hungry than before! Luckily I get lots of tasty food and some snacks in between. Sometimes I put them away for later, in case I get peckish before my next mealtime.
Try to be patient with your new pack too. These hoomans sometimes aren’t as good as us dogs at learning to read our body language and facial expressions. They tend to do a lot of talking in their language, and in time you’ll pick up on their voices and words, but you can also use your own signals and maybe create some just for your pack as well, like how to tell them you want out, or you’re hungry. (I’ll add some information below that might help with this).
Most of all I’d just like to reassure you that things do get better with time. You start to get to know each other – your habits and routines, likes and dislikes – and then you have a clearer picture of where you fit in to pack life. Over time communication improves too so that you understand each other more easily and can begin to use fewer / smaller signals, no longer having to repeat or exaggerate in order for the message to be understood.
The move might feel overwhelming at first – so many new things, maybe a large pack with other animals – and you can feel quite isolated and lonely initially, but trust that, with time, this will change, and you’ll come to see that your new pack isn’t so bad after all and you’re even starting to feel at home 😊