I work Sundays and Mondays at a part-time job outside the home. This is work that actually pays me money, something the rest of my work rarely does. It guarantees me at least a little cash each week! It also makes for rather hectic days as I have to change my schedule around as a result.
Yesterday (Sunday) my roommate offered to walk Kestrel for me as she was going to walk up to campus to print some things off in her office, and, being the weekend, could bring the dog. The walk is about 30 minutes each way. I thought it was a good idea to expose Kess to some new surroundings and encouraged her to take her. Just an aside, there are very few people I am comfortable letting walk my dogs, but my roommate is one of them. She really is excellent with them and has terrific dog skills. So while I took Ross for a very long walk, she took Kess up to campus.
I expected Kess to have a great time and enjoy herself thoroughly. There would be tons of people, plus she absolutely adores my roommate. Kess makes a big fuss every time my roommate comes home or into the room with us etc. Kess never fusses over me; she barely greets me when I let her out of her crate. I think Kestrel is terrific and her lack of enthusiasm over me doesn’t bother me. I see it as her viewing me as part of the woodwork as opposed to other people who are exciting, and also a little stressful. I see her squeaking and wiggling and carrying on around other people (including my roommate) as a sign of stress as much as it is excitement. As such, I don’t stress her out and I take that as a positive statement on our relationship.
I’ve had other foster dogs be the same way in the past and I know she will grow to be more demonstrative with me as we work more together and build our bond. Certainly she gives me all her focus attention when we’re doing stuff together.
Back to the walk… apparently it was not the treat I thought it would be for miss Kessie. She was in fact very stressed by the experience, and stress panted, cough, sneezed, and choked her way there and back again. And by the time they got to their destination, she was shedding up a storm and had developed horrible dandruff – all signs of considerable anxiety.
So it seems that my little puppy is much more of a home body than I realized. I really shouldn’t be surprised. All of my animals are different when I am not around and it seems they draw considerable confidence from having me here. I guess that’s a good thing in terms of what it says about our relationship. Or maybe it just means they are creatures of routine and when you change it, they stress. Mind you, I change a lot of things in their routine almost every day: what time they eat, pee, exercise, train etc., when I am home or not, what time we got to bed and so on. There is some thread of routine in our schedule, but it really does change from day to day. So they are not exactly used to a rigid regime.
However, my dogs pretty much never leave the house without me. Like I said above, I trust very few people with them and so they are almost never out without me. But I thought Kess would enjoy a walk with my roommate, whom she clearly adores. Apparently not! Perhaps I should get other people to take my dogs out for me more often.