Hubby and I are both loving life here at the new house…Ruby, not so much.
The first night here she refused to go up the steps to go to bed that night. I was tired and not in the mood to fight her so I just carried her up. Then when Hubby went to work at 5am she went down stairs with him. After he left, she stayed downstairs and whined and whined wanting to come upstairs. I was exhausted so I just came downstairs and carried her up again.
The next day I would carry a box upstairs and she would sit at the bottom and whine. She wanted to go up but was just too afraid to do it on her own. I tried coaxing…no luck…not even treats.
That night I refused to carry her up and she refused to go upstairs. I knew she needed to get over it. So I grabbed her by the collar and more or less pushed her up (just a little dose of tough love). After three steps she took off and went the rest of the way on her own. I swear if a dog can smile, she was smiling. I thought our problem was over.
The next night Hubby and I chased her around the living room trying to get her to go up. She wouldn’t until Hubby put on his mean voice and we corner her near the stairs and then finally she went.
She likes to think she is a tough dog but really, she’s wimpy and timid when it comes to new things. At first she was even uncomfortable with this door in the kitchen. At the farm house we didn’t have any low windows or doors like this making it a new experience for her and making her afraid. As a couple of days passed this window has become her favorite place to hang out. I even put her old pillow in front of the window so she can lay there and see the happenings of the back alley.
On the third day here, Betsy came for a play day. It was just what Ruby needed. Betsy is fearless. I mean truly fearless. She was flying up and down the stairs and finally Ruby just ran up with her. Since then the stairs aren’t a problem for her at all. I think the stairs bothered her because our stairway at the farm house had full walls on each side, these are open on one side. When she first started going up the steps here she would always be really close to the wall side.
There is a door upstairs in my sewing room just like the kitchen door shown above. I didn’t even think that would be a problem as it’s just like the kitchen door that she got familiar with. WRONG. She was scared of that door at first too but that has gone away now too.
The first four days here was pretty hard on Ruby. She wouldn’t nap during the day when I was unpacking. She would just follow me as I took things here and there.
I ended up asking Kalissa if Betsy could just come for a few days and I’d dog sit Betsy while Betsy played therapy dog for Ruby. It worked. Betsy would play hard with Ruby and go off and take a nap. Ruby followed suit. Every day Ruby has gotten better and better. I am so thankful because honestly, she seemed like a completely different dog at first. I almost got the same type of feeling from Ruby as I did when I’d first get a foster dog-unsure of what to expect and constantly trying to guess how best to help them.
It turns out that although Ruby had conquered the upstairs steps she was deathly afraid of the basement steps. These were enclosed so I couldn’t figure that one out. After a try or two of coaxing she still wouldn’t go. Betsy was there and was flying up and down the steps….I finally picked Ruby up and put her on the middle step. She went down and sniffed around…then when I went back up she did too. Since then, the basement steps are not an obstacle anymore. Rather than a ‘fraidy cat, she’s a ‘fraidy dog. That’s okay, I still love her.
We’ve had lots more “strangers” come by and she’s working on not barking…not entirely successfully but we’re working on it.
She is finally back to more of herself. I think she misses the big south bay window that she used to sun herself in but she’s slowly finding new napping places… again, thanks to Betsy. I am a one dog person…I only want to have one dog but I do have to say, having Betsy to come over and help Ruby feel a little more comfortable sure has been a huge blessing…and for that, I will forgive Betsy for the chewing she did on the mini rocking chair my grandpa made.
Betsy, although wonderfully fearless, does come with her own puppy antics-chewing and barking are high on the list….but Ruby is working hard to set a good example for her.
We bought Wilbur our basset a new kennel and it took him about 6 months to go into it for any length of time – same garden he was always used to but just didn’t like the new box in the corner!
We got a new car one time and one of my beagles wouldn’t go into the garage for 3 days! We moved this fall from a rural setting to a neighborhood where there are a lot of neighbors close by. The same beagle, Chase, had such a hard time with all the traffic going by the house. We lived through a lot of frantic barking. Luckily, he’s settled back down. Best of luck to you in the new house! I’ve enjoyed watching you make it your own!
What a great idea to have Betsy stay for a few days!
So glad Ruby has a little helper to help her acclimate to her new surroundings:)
On another note, I got my copy of your book yesterday (sooo excited!). I absolutely LOVE IT! I have gone through and read all your stories and looked at all the quilts. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing your talents with us. I’m not sure which quilt I will start with, I think I’ll have to go through the book a couple more times to figure that out.
Your Ruby sounds a LOT like my Lucy – only my Lucy is a 105# St.Bernard! LOL! It’s so funny to see such a huge dog be such a fraidy cat! :) I am glad Ruby is adjusting, I think Lucy would take just as long to adjust as Ruby if we moved too…..
What a sweet post! Our beagle/Australian shepherd also struggles with fear.
I’m packing my house so we can sell it and downsize. (a foreign thought to me….how to do that?) My mini Dachs are taking this part in stride. They are barkers but were mostly quiet when the painters were here. I do worry about how a strange house will affect them. They have each other but I think I will have 2 Ruby’s….scaredy dogs. I just want it to be over. Back to my packing.
I love that Ruby,, no matter what and by the way, those floors are just beautiful.
Perfect solution to your Ruby problem! I love the way Ruby is protecting her family by barking. Pretty soon she will figure out what is a threat and what isn’t. So many new sounds and smells…must be confusing!!
Loved reading this story about Ruby – good to know she is feeling at home now – and best wishes to you all in your house move :)