Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Madness... from a Dog's Point of View

By Jennifer Shryock

Reprinted from the Family Paws Parent Education blog


As the holidays approach and you make your plans keep in mind that stress and changes in routine can impact our dog’s behavior.

Often we get frustrated and are on edge as there is so much to do to prepare for dinners, visits and other celebrations. The following is a glimpse of some of the confusion our canine family members may experience. Keep in mind that as you are busy rushing around your dog is observing and sensing a change in you. They may “act out” if and when usual attention seeking methods do not work.

This is predictable and can be avoided by being aware and maintaining some of the usual routines your dog is comfortable with.  Plan and prepare ahead for success.

I wrote this years ago (2005) with my dog Carin in mind.  This is what I imagined when I put myself in her shoes on a busy morning like this.

Hi, My name is Carin. I am a spunky young and beautiful female dog. I am writing to share an experience with you that many of us dogs feel needs to be addressed and understood by all of our 2 legged friends. So, here is the story.

This morning was different then most. My 2 legged friend got up before I was ready and convinced me it was time to go “potty” in the dark. Seems a bit backwards from my point of view and I was a bit thrown off. Anyway, I went with her odd idea of going potty before the sun went up. It is only every now and then that she does this odd routine change. This means our whole day is unpredictable. What is she thinking!?!        

As I am out there doing “potty” she is rushing me. What is wrong with her!?! Geesh, I have not gotten an opportunity to sniff properly to strategically place my gift to the earth. “Let’s go Carin.” She says as she heads for the door. As I turn away from the opportunity to explore and leave more gifts, I wander behind her back indoors. I head for the bedroom but no, this is not where my 2 legged friend is headed. She is really confusing me. I follow her to the kitchen and figure I will just snuggle up here for a nap and ignore her apparent memory loss about the sun coming up and our relaxing time in bed together for a morning cuddle. Seems she has forgotten altogether about that as I watch her from under the table. She even nudged me with her foot once not paying attention to my being there. Something is definitely different about today...

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