Anabelle away from home

Posted: March 19, 2012 in Dogs
Tags: , , , , ,

You never know how dogs and children will do away from home and last week, we had a chance to find out, at least for the former! Our younger daughter’s spring break came round and we were off to visit my husband/her dad. Unfortunately, our rental house has a no-pet rule so we needed to find someone to watch Anabelle. (Just FYI, Annabelle has morphed into Anabelle because that’s the spelling that Shana, who runs For the Love of Pits, http://www.fortheloveofpits.org/, prefers. Same sweet dog.) It’s hard to find someone to watch a dog because most people who like dogs already have one or more and boarding one not only costs a lot but the conditions are often less than ideal, especially for a dog who’s lived under emotional and physical deprivation as so many rescue dogs have.

We were fortunate because one of the other volunteers in FTLOP had a reportedly wonderful dog sitter who said she would watch Anabelle. We took Anabelle over on a Wednesday night to meet Pam and although it might not have been love at first sight, Anabelle got along fine with Pam and her children. Thus, when we went back a few days later, Anabelle felt pretty much at home, although she did pee on the floor a few times.  When we left, Pam was holding Anabelle’s collar while Anabelle stared after us. Serious guilt trip waiting to happen!!

When we emailed Pam a few days later, we felt a lot better. Everyone was doing well. It’s similar to finding out that your child is doing well at camp when he wanted to go initially, then didn’t want to go and you nipped out as soon as possible after dropping him off, then he loved camp and wanted to go again! Of course, Anabelle couldn’t tell us all that and I’m sure she didn’t want to go initially, but all was well. She followed Pam around a lot at first, but by the end of the week, was even content to stay on her own when Pam left the room. Great progress! While Anabelle was enjoying her prolonged sleepover, in the paradoxically way of many things, we both missed her and relished the freedom to come and go when and where we pleased.

Last night we got back to find a happy dog. Best of all was that although she was definitely happy to see us, it wasn’t the out-of-control happiness of “I really hated it here; why did you leave me??” It was the “I’m so glad to see you but I had a great time. Can I come back again?” happiness. She went back and forth between us and Pam, so we knew things had gone well.

And a good thing, too, since Pam had already agreed (before the first stay) to having Anabelle for a few more days while we made a flying art school visit! It would have been bad if they hadn’t gotten along. It was definitely a blessing that Pam’s had lots of experience taking care of a variety of dogs and was quite at ease with whatever needed to be done. She even gave Anabelle a bath, admirable woman! The report on what an excellent dog-sitter she was is confirmed.

We lumped all the dog paraphernalia back into the van, loaded both of us and Anabelle in (see picture) and headed home, surviving an enormous thunderstorm on the way. Anabelle’s back in her accustomed spot, lying in her dog bed at Megan’s feet, head resting on the edge. She’s enjoying being home, but we’re glad to know she’ll also enjoy visiting again later in the week.

P.S. Fortunately, Anabelle’s not bothered by thunder. Janie, our first foster dog, was terrified when, on the Fourth of July, firecrackers started going off around our neighborhood. She first went under the little side table next to my chair, then into our half bathroom, where she lay under the sink, the smaller space of the bathroom evidently more comforting to her. It was, although sad, not without a bit of humor.

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