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A Pet Owner's Journey (Pt. 4)

Moving to a New Home

By Samantha ReidPublished 6 years ago 4 min read
Roxy - Age 3, move in day. 

My friends like to joke that I got a dog and then I bought a house to accommodate that dog. I mean, they wouldn't be completely wrong to assume that considering the purchase of the dog and the house was only a month apart.

It didn't take me long to realize that the three-bedroom place in Oshawa that I rented that had no fenced-in yard was not ideal for Roxy and me.

She would bark every time our downstairs neighbours came home. She would bark at the kids going to school in the morning. She would bark at the crossing guards. It was a sensory overload for her being on the busy corner we were on.

She got lots of exercise and we went for many walks, but there were also many other dogs in the neighbourhood. This didn't go over well with her dislike for other dogs, but we worked with it, and even in that first month she made improvements. Still, the place in Oshawa wasn't working out for her.

When I got Roxy, I knew that she'd spent the first three years of her life off-leash and on a farm. At least that was the story I'd been told. It explained her lack of leash training and it explained her high prey drive so I'm inclined to believe there is some truth to the narrative. Still, you have to take everything you get told about a rescue dog with a grain of salt. And you just figure it all out as you go really.

So, ultimately, I ended up getting a house in Belleville. Still no fenced-in yard but a lot more space for her in the house, a large park for us to walk in, and the Bay of Quinte for her to swim in. It seemed like the ideal location. But I had to account for one thing, moving with a dog.

Dogs can be strange when it comes to new places. It was interesting enough adjusting Roxy to the house in Oshawa. We learned one thing about her in particular: any floor that isn't carpeted is made of lava. She instinctually uses more claw than pad on laminate, hardwood, or ceramic tile and can never get a good grip. She essentially belly crawls her way across them until she gets used to them.

This did not bode well for my new house, which had no carpeted floors at all. The only carpets in sight were two area rugs in the two main floor rooms and a runner up the staircase. Roxy stayed mostly on those carpets for the first few days. Getting her to cross the "lava" hardwood was a chore and getting her across the laminate kitchen floor was almost impossible.

Still, she handled moving better than most people do. She was a trooper for the long car rides back and forth between cities as we moved small bits of furniture and possessions. She was okay with the constant change of environment. And she even did alright on final move-out day, though she was not a fan of everyone coming in and out of the house.

Roxy is an interesting dog. She surprises me all of the time with the things she likes and can handle, just as she surprises me with the things that she is terrified of. Your pets have a personality, and you will learn it well over the years you spend with them. They are part of your life, part of your family, and part of your home.

I'll never know for sure if I got the house because I got the dog or simply because it was a good time and price. Maybe the stars just all lined up that year for me. It's hard to say. But I am glad the Roxy did so well with the transition. It gives me hope for her ability to learn and grow with anything that comes her way in the future.

My advice to other pet owners, especially rescue dog owners, if you are considering moving is to make sure you know your dog well. Make sure you are aware if rapid changes in environment will upset them, cause them illness, or cause increased distress or temperament changes. Dogs don't always take change well and it is important to be aware of your pets' disposition before you change homes.

Also, keep your pet in mind when you move. Putting a large dog in a small apartment will make everyone sad. Ensure your rental properties accommodate pets if you are changing rental places. And look for areas close to parks, walking trails, dog parks, or not so busy roads to make walking easier for you and your pet.

So put some thought into your decision, plan ahead, and be considerate of your four-legged friend. There is nothing worse than having to give up your pet in order to change your place of residence.

As always, thanks for reading, and I hope you'll find us next time on "A Pet Owner's Journey."


About the Creator

Samantha Reid

I have been a creative writer for over 10 years, an academic for 7 years, and a blogger for 3 years. Writing is my passion and it's what I love.

Follow me on Instagram @samreid2992

Find me on Twitter @SgReid211

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