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So, this post is mostly going to go into the separation anxiety that Bella has and how it manifested itself while I was away.
Morning of the Trip
Well, I knew that the first day was going to be difficult emotionally. For starters, it was a rushed morning as we finished the last minute packing and also making sure that I had all of Bella’s necessary meds and the notes/instructions for each item. The list of things that I included for her allergies were: Apoquel (prescription one pill per day in pm), Bag Balm (tin of salve for open cuts/scratches), lavender essential oil + water spray (helps calm skin the extra bit at night), benadryl for extra emergency.
I had made sure before the trip that I found a pet sitter that would bring her into their own home and treat her as part of the family. I did the necessary vetting by checking to make sure they were okay with feeding Bella’s raw food (pre-portioned by me into single meals) and seeing how Bella actually interacted with them in person.
Okay, so I’ve recently gotten a new phone since going on the trip and sold my old one… and I forgot that the text messages that the pet sitter sent me were on the old one… so this is going based on memory that is about a month old…. But, what I do remember was that I checked in with the pet sitter that evening after we landed in California. She told me that it took quite a few hours for Bella to stop crying and whining… which is actually not a huge surprise because whenever I end up leaving her with hubby, she does whine for a bit after I’m gone. I remember feeling so helpless and horrible for leaving her. #MomGuilt
I have to give kudos to the pet sitter… she sent me updates each evening saying what they did and how Bella was managing. I even got some pictures sent mid-week.
I know that while I was on vacation, there wasn’t really much that I could do to help unless there was a situation that needed information from me… so I tried not to stress TOO much.
Back Home After The Trip
Once we got back home and I was able to go pick her up the next morning, I was able to see that she really does need the lavender spray to help calm her nerves and getting her back into her “normal” routine did help. I noticed that she was just a bit extra clingy to me the first few days… and I didn’t begrudge her that. I brought her with me when I went to pick up food from the drive thru and so on.
It also took a few days to get her system back into gear. She was having soft poops and had a lot of tummy gurgles. I think it had to do with the not so strict diet she had while she was gone. Bella doesn’t generally get a whole bunch of treats, and if anything, it is usually some bits of fruits and veg. Processed dog treats from the store is not something we have in our house. I do dehydrate pork liver for her as treats when I get the chance/time/energy to prep it all properly. #NoteToSelf
Would I send Bella to stay with that pet sitter again? Yes. Why? Because they let her sleep in the human bed at night with them. It really is awkward asking a stranger to let your dog sleep in their bed with them at night. I knew that I would be bringing Bella’s bed because the general agreement was that she was going to sleep in the bedroom in her own bed on the floor. The pet sitter was actually nervous about telling me about the change in sleeping arrangements thinking that I would be upset that the dog was in the human bed. Not to mention that they were gushing about having her stay over once again and even offered to arrange transportation after our move to Calgary (over an hour away from where they lived).
I got lucky with this pet sitter that I found on Kijiji (Canada’s version of Craigslist).
I’ll just have to remember to factor in the adjustment time for afterwards and perhaps be a bit more explanatory and provide treats that are a bit more Bella appropriate and review bedtime procedures