Same breed, different dog. This is a phrase I have been hearing quite often since we have moved kennel. Apologies, since we have moved home.
My parents have been pondering on the difference between Lenny and myself. Specifically the time it has taken Lenny to settle into his new environment, which was about thirty minutes, and myself who hasn’t properly settled after three weeks. Lenny seemed to walk into the house and explored as soon as the external doors were closed. He strolled about sniffing and checking every room with the result that, after thirty minutes or so, he was asleep on the sofa. I strolled about with him, again checking every room. However I seem to be of a mind that this is still a strange place. As a result I haven’t really slept properly since we have arrived, every time someone leaves or enters a room I want to know what’s happening and if a parent happens to be outside the building I pace around the room and then lie very close to the door, awaiting their return. According to some this isn’t very helpful as, opening a door with a beagle behind it, seems to be a hazard to health and human access. Who knew? Lenny just lays in a tight ball, nose tucked under his tail, almost as if he knows that he is safe and secure.
At my last kennel (sorry my last home) I was almost the same behaviourally when someone left the house, or went to retrieve something from the garden, garage or even another room. It is a difficult thing to quantify really but I think I have some inner fear of being left behind once more. When I first adopted my parents back in December 2013, I had been in and out of a home and rescue so I didn’t know what to expect. We worked hard to help me overcome my initial fears of belonging to a place I could trust and rely upon. I had my moments where I could relax and was sometimes found sleeping with a “silly grin on my face”. I suppose I was getting used to the daily cycle and starting to relax when, like a hand grenade, Lenny was dropped into my world. He seemed to feel at home almost immediately whilst I didn’t know what had just happened and was readjusting to a new aspect of my life.
Fast forward to the current home and Lenny wanders in, sniffs, strolls about and then leaps onto the sofa for a snooze. I wander with him, sniff, stroll about, sniff some more, whimper when someone leaves the room and then lay on a chair with my eyelids drooping shut whilst I try to keep them open just in case something is happening. It’s not even as if we have different things here. We have the same sofas, the same chairs, the same beds all over the house, the same blankets, harnesses and leads and the same food in the same bowls. The routine of eating, snoozing, going for a walk and bed time remains pretty much identical. Lenny’s brain seems to just switch him off like the proverbial light, whilst my brain is asking “what’s next, what am I missing, why is this happening”. I think my parents fear I will not be able to settle, that my brain is so “hard wired” that even if I am so tired I can hardly stand on my paws, my brain will still try to tell me not to sleep properly in case I miss something.
The conundrum remains unanswered. I will have to stay awake and alert for more clues. Lenny, stop sleeping as you are supposed to be helping me.