Our beloved, silly dog is having a hard time.
She is happiest when there are multiple people who love her, and when she has a somewhat predictable lifestyle. She’s a creature of habit, with high social needs. Even on her best behavior, she’s still kind of a hyperactive weirdo. Her needs are pretty straightforward – food, water, exercise, companionship.
More than any of us, she dislikes the “van on the road” lifestyle. When riding in vehicles, she prefers to have a seat where she can watch the road through the windshield. She wants more stops, and to be able to go with us everywhere we go. She seems to like it when we have the kind of sleep schedule that lets her to go bed early with me and stay in bed later with Carlos, which isn’t really how things work out in the van.
As a consequence of our life lately, her behavior has slipped somewhat. I catch her nibbling on Rock’s snacks when he’s not looking. Her levels of excitement at new people are through the roof, which means lots of headbutting people in the crotch and jumping on them. At least it’s not biting, right?
This morning my best lady friend sent me a video of her tiny dog wresting with another dog, in complete silence. I had forgotten that dogs could play without barking their heads off! I knew that Dita Lily has been needing some more focused care than she’s been getting, but until I watched Anchovy flipping around, I hadn’t realized quite how much. We exchanged 45 text messages about the best, dog-trainer approved ways to address her barking, and oh, my. So much work to be done.
When we launched in the van, I knew that there were going to be things that would be rough, and that there would be areas that we would have to work on. I feel bad for Dita, and her limited ability to communicate with us about her struggles. Perhaps more than any of us, she’s going to be happy when our chaos settles into a more permanent location.