Doug is boundless energy and exuberance. I tell everyone that he is powered by joy. Sure that results in a lot of walks and sessions out back to wear him out, but there are far worse things than being powered by joy.
Additionally, even though he is the most active dog I have ever had, he is equally the most chill upon arrival. Active and chill don’t usually go hand-in-hand and for Doug they certainly do not go together at the same time. When I am home, he be cray, but when I leave, he is totally chill. When I first got Melvin and Jake, they both had separation anxiety. If I was outside, Melvin would follow me from window to window frantically so that his body could be as close to mine as possible. If I came home to grab something quickly, and then left again, Jake would flip and flail and shoot out meatballs. Eventually they would both relax and it got much better over time.
From day one, when I leave Doug, he lays down. If I come home and then leave again. He wiggles with delight that I’m home and the moment I leave, he lays down. Chill, chill, chill. In fact the moment I say gotta go bye-byes, he runs and hops in his crate in the mudroom. That is where I have been putting him when I leave, mostly cause we are still finishing up potty training. And because he chews my pillows.
It’s true, I find pillows to be delicious.
The mudroom is perfect for him. We had no reason to change-up our routine. Until we did have a reason. The mudroom is going to be out of commission for a little while and I needed to (sorta quickly) figure out how to keep Doug doing great when I left. I thought about moving his crate to another room but honestly, I think we are at the point where he can have free roam, at least over the main floor, while I’m gone. As long as he is comfortable with that freedom.
So yesterday, I left him in the house, un-crated and outside of the mudroom, and I watched him on the Dropcam the whole time. HE DID GREAT! He roamed around for a little while, checked the window a few times to be sure I wasn’t hiding and then after about ten minutes, he hopped on Melvin’s chair and went to sleep. I left him again last night and he did the same, only this time he took a snooze on the couch. He also did some redecorating.
I like to joke about how crazy Doug is, AND HE IS CRAZY, but sometimes I forget to share with you how incredibly smart and awesome he is too. He knows that when I turn the security alarm on, its time to go upstairs. He goes right to his bed. He knows that I push snooze every morning and he does not get up until he sees that I am really rising. He knows potty and walk and dinner. He knows sit, touch and down. He continues to do great with other dogs. He knows how our day goes and he’s learning to be more independent. Sometimes I open the back door (there is a screen he can go through in and out of the house) and he goes outside and plays and then naps on the patio and then will come in and check on me. When he’s not Zoomie Doug, he’s Really Laid Back Doug.
I love him. I have met him where he is and I love him for all his crazy and his good. In the same way I trusted him to be left out and about, he trusts that I’m coming back. He meets me where I’m at sometimes too. Jake has been gone for three months (today), and it feels like three months (like three rotten months). Doug has been here for six weeks and it feels like much, much longer. It feels beautiful, like he’s been mine forever. It feels like Doug must have been here when Jake was here. Grief and time and sadness and joy regularly collide.
It can be difficult and great simultaneously.
There can be tears and laughter at the same time.
There can be unexpected reasons why the mudroom is suddenly being re-purposed…