I'm heading to Minnesota, to visit my grandparents, in a couple of weeks. I'm trying to decide what to do with Harriet. I could take her with me. She's an excellent traveling companion, so that's not a concern. Or, I could leave her with my youngest brother and his girlfriend. She really likes Gabe, and they'd be staying at my mom's house (mom is going with me), so Harriet would be in familiar surroundings.
The question is, where would Harriet be most happy? Because she's absolutely going to be stressed, either way.
I'm tempted to take her with me, because my gut feeling is that she'd be better off stressed but with me. My family is ginormous, though, so there will be a lot of people around, which will tweak Harriet out. Also, my grandparents have a Silky, so I'd have to be super careful to keep them separated. I could stay at an aunt or uncle's house, but I really want to be at my grandparents', because the main goal of this trip is 1) to see them they're getting awfully old and
2) to get as much family history as I can from them again, they'regetting old. I'm hoping to get a large chunk of time for scanning photos and letters and stuff, which would be good relax-and-hang-out time for Harriet, but there will also be a lot of visiting with the barbarian hoards, which will not be so relaxing for her.

Aieee!
If she stays with my brother, it'll be pretty quiet, so lots-of- strangers won't be a stressor for her. But, she suffered from pretty serious separation anxiety when she was younger, and she's not 100% over it. She's fine on her own territory, and on her normal schedule. However, when I leave her for even a short time at my mom's house (e.g. when I make a store run), she is anxious, and will start pacing and whining if I'm gone for very long.

I have a feeling that I'm not going to come to a final decision until I actually get to my mom's house. I know that going to Minnesota will be stressful for her, but I'm afraid that leaving her for a week will be even worse.

Shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
1 2 3 4
I have a feeling that I'm not going to come to a final decision until I actually get to my ... to Minnesota will be stressful for her, but I'm afraid that leaving her for a week will be even worse.

I'd choose to take her. At least that way only one being would be totally stressed!

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Shelly (Email Removed) spoke these words of wisdom in $f31$(Email Removed):
I'm trying to decide what to do with Harriet.

take her.. and have a great trip. You will worry about her if you don't, diminishing the pleasure of your trip. She will worry if you leave her. She's going to worry anyway, just take her and she and you will both know the current status, and offer her a bit broadening experience.
She really likes Gabe, and they'd be staying at my mom's house (mom is going with me), so Harriet would be in familiar surroundings.

I'll go with the leave her argument. I think it's a good idea to have pets and children stay with friends or relatives every now and then, because you never know when they might have to do that under less then optimal circumstances. Better to get them used to it under good circumstances.
The question is, where would Harriet be most happy? Because she's absolutely going to be stressed, either way.

Whatever you decide to do, my experience has been that dogs are incredibly resilient and they tend to do much better than you expect them to do.
That said, when I have to travel I miss my dogs like crazy. Having them with me would reduce *my* stress level. Taking seven Siberian Huskies to, say, an IETF meeting is pretty much out of the question. Still, taking one dog with me to a family shindig (I also have a huge, sprawling,
in-everybody's-business family)? I'd do it.

Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - (Email Removed)

Prouder than ever to be a member of the reality-based community
take her.. and have a great trip. You will worry about her if you don't, diminishing the pleasure of your ... just take her and she and you will both know the current status, and offer her a bit broadening experience.

I think you and Janet make a good point. Probably least stressful option for all involved is to take her.

Shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
@panix2.panix.com:
Whatever you decide to do, my experience has been that dogs are incredibly resilient and they tend to do much better than you expect them to do.

True. I'm just really worried (probably needlessly, but I can't help it) that she'll backslide into being a basket case whenever she's left alone.
That said, when I have to travel I miss my dogs like crazy. Having them with me would reduce *my* stress level. Taking seven Siberian Huskies to, say, an IETF meeting is pretty much out of the question.

Heh. I'm thinking you would have a difficult time pulling off a stunt like that.
Still, taking one dog with me to a family shindig (I also have a huge, sprawling, in-everybody's-business family)? I'd do it.

It is tempting! And the point that Harriet's stress is likely to be the same, no matter what, but my stress will be lower if I have Harriet with me, is a good one. I'm going to enjoy the trip more if I take Harriet along.

Shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
I'll go with the leave her argument. I think it's a good idea to have pets and children stay with ... might have to do that under less then optimal circumstances. Better to get them used to it under good circumstances.

The thing is, though, with this sort of anxiety, there is* no getting used to it. She *has made some improvements over the years, but staying for a week with my brother isn't going to make her anxiety issues better long-term. About the only long-term impact it could potentially have is negative.

Shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
I'd take her along less stress for both of you that way.

Celeste
Show more