As we had contemplated the move to Knoxville, I was really worried about how well Rugby would fare. After all, he’d had so many homes already, and I didn’t know if he would completely fall apart or not. He hadn’t been with me for a full year yet, and although he had lived with me longer than any previous owner, I knew there were gaps in his trust with me. I didn’t know if the move would help or hinder that progress. I needn’t have worried!
He walked into his new home like he owned the place! He seemed so excited to explore and check out every nook and cranny! I was completely shocked that he seemed so comfortable almost immediately! I had honestly expected him to fall apart, and he was rising to the occasion, and with joy and delight! It seemed like he was enjoying his new adventure, and it filled me with hope! Perhaps there was more trust than I had guessed!
Dogs are amazing adapters!! It sometimes takes them time to adjust to new situations or circumstances, but I’m so in awe of their abilities to figure things out and continue forward. This move for Rugby was proof of that. He was pleased with everything….house and yard. He really loved his new yard! It was “Bunny Central” in our back yard, with the occasional squirrel thrown in for good measure, plus lots of birdies to chase! He had never enjoyed being outside at our old house, and I think he was always worried about stray dogs wandering into his space. That didn’t seem to happen in the new yard, so he quickly relaxed and we saw a whole new side of him!
One memory of his quick adjustment to his new house that sticks in my mind is Rugby’s new housebreaking signal. In our old home, when he needed to potty, he had gone out a big sliding glass door in our dining room. When he needed to go out, he stood on two legs, and scratched the glass until we got him outside. In our new home he was also going to need to go out a sliding glass door, but it was in the basement, and we were rarely ever down there. I wondered if he would be able to figure out going downstairs to scratch on the door, and I wondered if I would hear him!
Well, this smart little puppy just bypassed all of that, and started to bark when he wanted to go out! He would come to whoever was handy, and bark insistently to let us know he needed to go out. Not one accident or awkward adjustment. He simply realized that he needed to do something differently, and barking was his solution. However, on a rare occasion, if he needed to poop, he would grab my pant leg and tug it, which always made me laugh!
I think having his people and his known furnishings really helped with his transition to the new house. He liked his new human neighbors, and even really liked the three dogs who lived behind the fence on one side. The two Boykin Spaniels and Chihuahua/Poodle mix were all calm dogs, and they did wonderful nose sniffing and tail wagging at the fence with Rugby. However, the two Lab mix dogs on the other side of the house were hateful to him, and Rugby returned the sentiment! All of them growled and did aggressive fence barking at that end of the yard. I was hopeful that Rugby would make some dog friends, and that I could work him through his dog on dog aggression issues once he settled into his new home! But at the very least, things were off to a terrific start, and that was worth a whole lot of peace of mind for me!