Chewie is still adjusting. He finally has agreed that biting me that one time on the big toe because I was trying to make him go outside to pee was unacceptable, and after a little training he’s learned that barking during our mealtimes doesn’t get him a little bite but sitting quietly always earns him a few. He’s learned to stay off the furniture (except when he gets too excited and I remind him to get down), and he’s learned from Smidge to sneak onto the couch to peek out the front door window when we’re not home/outside doing yard work (Yes, Smidge! I know you do it!!!). He’s been to the groomer and decided early on that he loves the dog food Smidge likes (as has Frito, Sahara’s cat, who will eat it all. day. long!).
After reading a bunch of articles about adopting older shelter dogs, I realized some things I was doing wrong and adapted our home to feel more safe and welcoming for him. I deep cleaned the laundry room (he would sneak back there and pee sometimes), removing everything on the floor that might tempt him to “mark” it. I installed a small pet gate to keep him out of the hallway leading to the laundry room, Sahara’s room, and my craft room. I learned that even though he never had accidents at Gramma’s doesn’t mean he won’t here as he’s adjusting, and I learned that higher stress levels from moving into a new household (and suddenly going from being the only dog to being bottom of the pack of four dogs) really does a number on older dogs; they get confused easier and are likely to have separation anxiety issues (which he does). I learned that slowly allowing him access to all our rooms will be best for him and help him learn that it’s all his den (so no marking anything) and something as simple as figuring out where he would like his bed can actually prompt him to start sleeping in it.
I also learned from Smidge that sometimes all it takes is a really good friend to help you through your grief and some really big changes.
This makes me so happy to see.