Home Is Wherever I’m With You

All moved into the new place now! I am so glad that I listened when my partner (aka, Lilo’s other favorite person) suggested I might want to move before the long weekend instead of after. Saturday and Sunday were intense, but right now — mid-morning Monday — all is peaceful.

I mean, there are still boxes to unpack and things — so many things! — to sort and at some point this week I’ll regret not having done laundry over the weekend. (No washer/dryer at the new place yet.)

But I have cooked. Taken a bubble bath. Read a book. Done only a very little exploring because it has been negative billion degrees (not actually an exaggeration), but I’ve scoped out the closet rail trail access and that’s on the docket for later today after meeting Amanda for lunch. I am content. I think we’re going to be happy here.

Getting comfort-a-bull.

Lilo was a tougher sell. She’s more comfortable more quickly in new places than she was a few years ago, but she still, at the end of the day, really wants to be at home. So it’s hard for her when “home” is suddenly somewhere new.

I’ve gotten some practice in this unsettled stretch in figuring out how to help her along. Moving her mat doesn’t do it; she’s used to that traveling to temporary places and while it gives her structure, it doesn’t seem to signal “home.” Moving her favorite blanket, though — an afghan that Amanda made and gave me not too long before Lilo came into my life? That’s a big deal. She doesn’t seem to care about it under normal circumstances, but when stressed or not feeling well, snuggling with her afghan is alllll that Lilo wants to do.

Afghan hound.


I also think that letting her see the old place empty was useful. She went back with me on Sunday to clean it — she is pretty sure that we live in the car now — and her confusion was obvious, much like when we showed up at the new house on Saturday and magically all our things were here. But when we got back home again — maybe I am anthropomorphizing? But she seemed to understand.

How do you help your critters feel at home in a new space?



4 thoughts on “Home Is Wherever I’m With You

  1. For Duncan, it’s where the toys are, so new places, after being shown the potty spots (dog door if there is one, or the “ask to go outside here” door if there isn’t), I break out all the Good Toys and toss them about and Duncan’s content to live wherever the Good Toys are. Like Lilo, he’s gotten better about moves over the years, and I think there will be at least one more in his lifetime. Toys, chews, and the hamper filling up with my dirty clothes seem to be his cues that this is where we are now. (I don’t take the hamper on trips, even longer trips. Dirty stuff gets shoved into a bag inside my bag.)

    It’ll be interesting to see how Keeper handles a move. I don’t think we’ve even done a hotel overnight since I got her. Somehow, I expect she’ll have a rough day or two, then settle in so long as my bed and the dog beds are there. I expect both Twist and Sunny to have mental meltdowns, as they’ve never moved and they’re both emotionally high strung. I’m expecting an adjustment time of weeks for them to be comfortable.

    I hope Lilo starts loving the new digs soon, and I’m glad she has her literal safety blanket.


  2. Interesting, thanks! Toys make a lot of sense as a signal for a toy-driven dog.

    Lilo went away with me for a weekend in the first month that I had her: one night in a hotel and one at a friend’s place, with many hours in the car. Maybe not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but she did okay!


  3. I haven’t had to move with my current dogs. Poor Freya and Lasya moved SO much! Back then I wasn’t as in tune to my dogs or as crazy a dog person, they always seemed to do okay. I think moving would be very hard on Ruby, but when the time comes it will be to a home with a yard so hopefully that will outweigh the stress for her. I expect Boca would just be her usual chill self and find the best place to nap.


    1. A yard of her own would be pretty god incentive! Has Ruby ever traveled with you?

      I remember thinking around the six-month mark in our last place that Lilo’s comfort had suddenly leveled up. Hoping it doesn’t take that long this time around! She seems to have figured out the morning routine, at least.


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