Thursday, January 01, 2015

New

Ten days ago, movers packed a truck full with our furniture and boxed goods and headed north. They were to arrive at our new-to-us rental at 10am the next day. That night, our good friends came over and helped us pack our personal items into our cars, clean up the house, and say goodbye. E and I got a few hours of sleep on our old mattress that we dragged out to the curb just before we left for good at 3:30am, racing to get to the rental before the movers did.

It was a dark drive. My husband drove ahead in a pickup. In my little car, our cat yowled the whole night, but we tunneled along through black-dark and into the velvet charcoal of the Tule fog in the Central Valley before dawn. Dawn broke as we rolled over the hills south of the Bay, then we found ourselves climbing up the spine of the Peninsula, and we were here.

It's an imperfect house without a level surface anywhere in the place, but it has some gems: lots and lots of sun that streams in on wood floors, a huge front deck that looks out over rolling hills and treed neighborhoods, a room that will serve as an office for me—an office! The cat has already discovered the joy of floor venting heaters. And our dog, well, this move has been the best possible event for our dog.

The busyness of our move and the temporary living apart of me and E led us to recognize that we couldn't give Indy the time he needed in the interim, so this fall, we sought out a Bay Area dog trainer who focused on aggressive dogs. Indiana lived with this trainer for a month. When he came home to E at Thanksgiving, E had the fence already built in the back yard and had a warm lap waiting for him. The dog that came back to our family was still Indiana, with all of his noble love and loyalty to us, and his desire to crawl into our laps even though he's so big, but without the aggression towards other dogs that made both his and our lives harder. Our rental house has a dog park a few blocks away. In our old life, a trip to the dog park was an impossibility. Now, it's a joy.

There are many parts of this move that told the both of us, even though it would be very hard, it was the right thing, but this better life for a creature that we have loved but imperfectly served since the beginning of his time with us seals the deal. We're home.


9 comments:

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

Nice. Just nice.

michelle hamer said...

Happy New Year and welcome home!

altadenahiker said...

Ok, spill. Any idea how the trainer worked this miracle?

Christina said...

AH: Yes, I know exactly how he did it: an electric collar and 24hour constant exposure to other dogs, starting with very submissive ones to more agressive ones. We were so heistant to use the electric collar, but we've worked with three different trainers and spent thousands of dollars on different approaches, and none had worked. He never "believed" it. But, he believed the electric collar. Since the training, we've had to use the collar exactly twice, for the first two walks on Thanksgiving. Ever since then, he's been great.

Aimee said...

Congrats on your new adventure! Best wishes to you and I'll catch up with you here now and then :)

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Great micro epic adventure. I was there with you throughout your description. And yes on electric collars. Less barking dogs would be sent off to the pound if people investigated alternatives to doggy dumping.

congratulations on your new life

Barbara Tallent said...

Could you please share the trainer's name? My dog is not aggressive yet, but I've seen some of those tendencies in him and want to head if off quickly. Thanks so much!

Christina said...

Hi Barbara. The dog trainer is named Felix Sunga. He's based out of the Sacramento area, but he does a lot of training on the peninsula. He's easy to find online.

Barbara Tallent said...

Thank you!