The Moving Chronicles: Part 4
It’s been over a month since the move, and the corgis have been settling in slowly. When we first moved in, they were on their very best behavior. Here is a picture of them on the very first morning in the new house. They had been there but ten minutes and already seemed to know they were not allowed upstairs, just like in the townhome.
Seemed is a key word.
At the vet’s recommendation, we try to limit the amount of stairs the corgis conquer each day (because of potential back problems—their father broke his leg and injured his back doing the corgi version of acrobatics). When I went upstairs to unpack some boxes, they stayed without any physical restraint, patiently waiting for me to return.
It wasn’t a day later that Leia was doing laps around the house, up one staircase and down the next. Yoda, good as always, stayed put. We soon acquired three child safety gates to keep her downstairs during the move.
Next, the sleeping arrangements. At the old house, the corgis had a very large, open kitchen that could be easily gated from the rest of the house via a large safety gate. The floor, vinyl, was easily cleaned, and Leia’s slopping around in the water dish (she dips her paws while she drinks if we’re not watching) didn’t cause any problems. Because the new house has a very different layout, there was no large, cleanable space available. The only choices: crate the corgis or let them have the run of (most of) the downstairs floor.
We decided to trust them, and for three nights, they proved that they would sleep all night in their beds, spend time when people were away in the kitchen, and not go on furniture or anywhere else they weren’t allowed.
Or so I thought.
One morning, I decided to sneak downstairs quickly and snap a picture before the dogs had time to react. Note that each morning, Leia had been sleeping next to her brother, either on the floor or in her dog bed. But here is what the picture proved:
Yes, Leia is a sneak. She had been sleeping on the couch and jumping off when she heard me getting ready upstairs. You would think the solution would be to crate them at night, but no–as cute as they are, the solution was just to make sure I covered the couch really well with the blanket next time 🙂
For a few days, the corgis enjoyed the new house without incident (unless you count Leia puking twice on the nice, stainless carpets an incident). Leia seemed comfortable almost right away:
Yoda, still afraid of everything, followed his sister around and watched everything from a distance. After watching Leia “help” to unpack books twice, Yoda decided finally to help:
Inside the house, the corgis had settled in nicely. But outside… a whole new world.
The new house has a very large yard, and it’s only fenced in by a horse fence–a corgi could easily escape. It also came with an invisible fence. But when we first moved in, the corgis seemed hesitant, staying only very close to the house or to me. They’d previously lived only in a townhome with a tightly-fenced, small yard. This was a big change for them. I thought I’d cut them a break and not train them on the invisible fence just yet. We were scheduled to go away for a week (the corgis were staying with their dog cousin Buster), and I decided to commence training after we returned. But once again, adventurous Leia spoiled those plans. One morning, at dark:thirty, Leia lit out after a group of deer about a quarter mile away. Sharing her excitement, Yoda followed her. I screamed at them, of course, and Yoda stopped almost immediately, plopping on his back so I could put his leash back on. Leia did not stop.
You’ll understand why I don’t have a picture!
Though Leia will listen indoors, when she’s outside, she is distracted by anything. I was screaming her name, shouting any tone I could think of–anger, fear, control, calm–and nothing got through to her. She was feral. It wasn’t until she hit the treeline two yards down (and the deer disappeared into the woods) that she turned around, realized she was being called, and ran back. She ducked under the fence and immediately plopped onto her back in ultimate submission. I didn’t yell at her, but she knew I was mad. All that morning, she followed me around the house, cuddling as much as possible. I’m telling you: it’s impossible to stay mad at Leia.
Still, it necessitated an earlier-than-expected invisible fence training. And that will be the subject of the last of the moving chronicles. See you next time.