Covid 19 – The Best Thing That Has Happened To My Dog

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Covid 19 – The Best Thing That Has Happened To My Dog

My dog  has waited his whole life for this moment in time. His dream come true is that we now have the same life and spend every moment together. 

We sleep in.

We have breakfast together.

We go for a walk every morning. 

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We do Yoga.

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 We get a new Corona hair style.

We meditate/nap.

We do sports

We  cook at home and have delicious table scraps every night. 

We get into bed and watch TV.

We go to sleep.

We start over again tomorrow.

Stay safe,

JAZ

 

 

Stay safe,

JAZ

Anxiety And The Dog

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Anxiety And The Dog

“When you hear hoofbeats coming down the street, think horse – not zebra.”J.C.Peters

My dog Banksy and I both have anxiety. I can’t decide if that makes him the best dog or the worst dog for me. We live in Venice with a lot of scooters, bikes and dogs running free on the beach. He is fine as long as I carry him. I don’t think that he is well equipped with coping mechanisms.

Banksy is very excited to go in the car because it means he is not being left to fend for himself alone. Every time he gets in the car he has a panic attack. The heavy breathing, panting and crying begins. He is in the car a lot. If i open the window and he can look out, it is better. Is he claustrophobic as well?

Banksy also has a lot of fears of things that don’t really present any harm to him. At the moment he is afraid to walk on the wood floors in the house. He must have slipped and now the light reflection looks to him like we are on thin ice. If he has to walk he does it very slowly and carefully. I have to walk first to show him that its safe. Today we came home and the plumber was in the house. He wouldn’t walk in and ran down the stairs as if to say “Save yourself.” I realize now that all the barking he does when someone comes over is really just him falling into psychological chaos.

I have different fears but just as strong. Writing is a way to accept and work through the turbulences of life. Mindfulness helps – being in the here and now keeps my thoughts from looping down a bottomless pit to nowhere. Deep breathing, Qi Gong and sunset on the beach help a lot.

The funny thing about Banksy is that he can’t ask me what’s wrong but he knows when I’m in trouble and will shower me with affection to let me know things will be OK. If I begin to panic, I just look down and there is a wagging tail ready to distract me from my anxiety trigger. He also knows that I will pick him up if he is scared. The bond between someone and their dog is unique. We may be two completely different species, but we have a mutual understanding that we will take care of each other.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Banksy’s First Night In The New House

Banksy’s first night in the new house

“She took a step and didn’t want to take any more, but she did.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Dogs don’t understand concepts like moving. They don’t even understand that when you leave the house you are coming back. Moving can be more stressful on a dog than kids. I have a particularly nervous puppy. He is small and he can squeeze through most little spaces when in panic mode. Also Banksy is – to put it delicately, not that smart. I don’t think he is well equipped with coping mechanisms.

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He did not do well with the packing and sorting stage which went on for a while. It was a big house. People were coming and going and he was not happy as big pieces of furniture that I gave away left the house. He did not like all the plastic bags and boxes of stuff around. He fell into psychological chaos – barking much more, having a lot of accidents, following me around the house and never leaving my side, except to rip up any paper he could find.

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Also, he is not a fan of stairs,. Both small and large flights elicit heavy breathing then crying followed by piercing yelps.

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The new house has two and half flights of steps and one of them is not small dog or child friendly. Banksy is not a problem solver. When he thinks there is a problem the heavy breathing/crying begins.

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Banksy stayed with a friend during the three days of moving and packing. Moving is the most stressful thing a person can do and he was already feeling it. An open door is the time for him to flee if someone decides to go out and leave him in the kitchen with music on. it was better not to have him around during the actual move.

Banksy arrived at the new house with workers there. I had set up a space with his stuff. He looked around and fell asleep.

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I took him outside and within one minute he had a found a way out to the street and was running down the block. I’m sure he was trying to get home. All the stairs were freaking him out. He went back to sleep. He didn’t feel like playing with toys. He woke up again ate something and looked around. He saw that we were still here and he went back to sleep. I say it’s ok every five minutes.

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.  Banksy is a hyperactive puppy and while all this sleeping makes him a good neighbor, he is clearly depressed. He doesn’t want to walk. He doesn’t like the sand, wind, cars and bikes and people.

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Instead of quiet Mandeville Canyon we are living in a beach community in the middle of the summer. There are loud scary noises coming from every direction. He is exhausted from being on alert all the time.

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Banksy has a lot of fears of things that don’t really present any harm to him. Today Banksy played with his toys and has reluctantly gone up and down the steps a few times.  Life is getting better.  Once he learns to stay positive and embrace the full reality of the move he will be fine.

Fly safe,

JAZ