This move has been especially tough on my pets. It started quite awhile ago with the decision to put my old beagle down. This put my other dog into a funk, which it’s hard to tell if he recovered from honestly.
Sadly, our pets can’t tell us what we are feeling, so when I decided to make this monumental change in my life which would require moving so far away, I could not explain anything to them. It wasn’t possible to tell them that being near a Mother that I had spent so little time with for most of my life was important, that my home (their home) was becoming a financial and physical burden, my job was incredibly stressful and an unhappy place for me and finally the weather was unbearable. They couldn’t understand a human’s need for a new start, a change and a re-do. Gosh, there were days I barely understood it myself.
So when the process started: the packing, throwing things away, rearranging, people tromping in and out–they did know something was up. It made me feel like a heel, that I was about to pull something over on them–something huge and awful. Something that wouldn’t necessarily benefit them in the least.
The trip across country, crammed in a car, with my two cats stuffed into their little carrying cases was a disaster. My dog was sick, the cats miserable. And the nights in the hotels with the cats locked into a bathroom together so they wouldn’t run under anything and never come out, or run out a door took a toll that I would later come to regret.
Now that we’ve been here for a while, it seems that they all are still pretty unsettled. While the two cats had always been friends, this doesn’t seem to be the case any longer. One cat picks on the other–terrorizing it. I hear those awful yowling sounds and find bits of fur. It’s heartbreaking. And then there’s the pee just outside the cat box! Lovely. I got a second one (they always used two before), so maybe this will stop??
But to top it off, last night my poor dog was attacked by a neighbor dog. It seems down here most people have very unfriendly dogs. This neighbor is a nice neighbor too. She has two dogs and one was being friendly. I am always so reluctant to let my dog near another dog because of the kind of thing that happened last night. My dog is so friendly and sweet: tail wagging all the time. He just wants to love everyone. But sadly her boxer went for him and when I brought him in from the dark, I saw he was bleeding and his front tooth was loose.
My neighbor had said when it happened (my dog had yelped), that her dog ‘head butts’ other dogs. Maybe so…or maybe he nipped him? I’m not sure why my dog had a loose tooth. I kind of pushed it back (which made him yip again poor guy) and it seemed OK today. But I just felt terrible.
The guilt just poured over me last night…for dragging these poor creatures here. None of them are happy. Everyone says they will adjust. But will they? Certainly not if this kind of stuff happens. Now I won’t let my dog go near anyone again, not unless I’m positive they are safe.
If only we could explain: how much we love them, why we do the silly things we do, how sorry we are that things happen and most of all that eventually it’ll be OK. I couldn’t have even thought of leaving them behind though. But in the end one wonders what really is best for them? I know it would have made me feel like my family was gone, but I will never be able to ask them if they would have preferred it.