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Old 07-11-2013, 02:02 PM
Omnomivore Omnomivore is offline
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Location: Eastern MA
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Default Advice for major life changes with a dog

Okay, I know I'm pretty new to the forum, and haven't been as active as I'd planned due to some major rl things cropping up, but I don't know anywhere else I can go to for advice on this.

Long story short, my Norwegian partner - let's call her T - lost her job in May, and despite her best efforts finding something new, everything fell through. Partially because of extra requirements for the companies she's allowed to work for as an international student. It sucks, a lot, because she makes way more money than me, and I flat-out cannot support us, or even afford the the expense of getting her a green card through marriage. Anyway, she's going back to Norway at the end of July. I won't be able to follow for at least six months, after my Fiancee Permit paperwork goes through.

On top of it, this has all happened as our old lease has run out, meaning we're preparing to move to a different apartment that's a considerable distance from our current one. I'll have to find at least two roommates to be able to afford that one, too. So in the period of a few weeks, Samwise is going to have to adjust to a new house, new walking spaces and local dogs, one of his people leaving (he's at least as attached to T as he is to me), and strangers coming to stay in his living space.

We're a bit shook up here, as you can imagine. Sam's a tough little guy, and he tends to take changes well (he gets excited when we have guests, but not territorial), but any advice on how to make this as easy for him as possible will be appreciated.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:00 AM
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AliciaD AliciaD is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,560

So sorry that all this is happening to you.

As for Sam try to keep as many things consistent as possible. Like if you are moving far away stock up on his food incase the stores there don't carry it- because switching foods at the same time as all this change would be stressful.

Give dog a space of his own like a crate or bed etc so that he can have a quiet place to relax away from roomies. You can look into dog calming aids (pheromones, supplements) if Sam developes any anxiety and that interests you.

Try to keep a similar routine if possible. If you walk in the morning continue to walk in the morning. Etc.

Good luck.

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Old 07-14-2013, 02:32 PM
Omnomivore Omnomivore is offline
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Thank you for the reply! I'll try to keep his routine steady, though it'll be difficult considering my partner and I split responsibilities now, and she's been home 24/7 for the two months she's been out of work. He does have his crate, but despite playing all kinds of crate games, he's never really warmed up to it. He doesn't throw a fit or anything, but he only goes in on his own rarely. Prefers to be out with us, I guess. Maybe that'll change in a new environment.

Poor guy's already been acting up a bit. I think he can tell we're stressed - he's decided that anything remotely paperlike needs to be shredded all of a sudden . Of course, that also might just be his teenager-ness coming out.

Weirdly, one of the things I'm bummed out about is that I'll probably never be able to title him in Norway. We were going to try agility or rally or something now that he's nearly done growing, and I doubt I have time to get him up to competition level. See, he's docked, and Norway's so tough with their anti cropping/docking laws that you cannot compete with an 'altered' dog - despite the laws in the country they came from.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:28 PM
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Snark Snark is offline
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That's too bad about the agility/rally titles...

If you know, for sure, where your next apartment will be (before you go to Norway, of course), maybe you could drive over on weekends and walk the neighborhood with Sam so it starts to get familiar to him before you actually move there. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you!
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