Written By Jenny Pavlovic
Over the summer I was offered a new job in Wisconsin, the state where I grew up. I wanted to move back closer to my family, and I love the Madison area. So in September, after I had lived in Minnesota for 31 years, and in the same house for almost 26 years, we made the move to Wisconsin.
Our home in Minnesota was all that Chase and Cay probably remember. With plenty of room to run and play on 5 acres and a state park in the backyard, we’ve all been spoiled. While our Minnesota place is on the market we’re staying with family in Wisconsin, on a 17-acre place with plenty of room to run. I’m pondering what our next place will be like. I want to downsize with less to take care of, and live near a park with wild spaces where we can hike very day. I want a quiet place where we have neighbors, but don’t feel crowded, where a dog is allowed to bark once in a while without disturbing the neighborhood.
While exploring the area and looking for our new home, I realized how much my life and decisions involve the dogs. Every evening when I come home from work, the dogs and I go for a walk. Proximity to trails is a plus. A large fenced or fence-able yard is a plus. A dog-friendly neighborhood is a must.
Although Minnesota and Wisconsin are neighboring states, when you’re moving over 250 miles, you might as well be moving across the country. I tried to stay aware of and minimize the stresses the dogs had with moving. We were lucky to be going to a familiar place they had visited many times, where they’re comfortable. But when we started packing up the household, the dogs showed signs of stress. I told them where we were going and hoped they understood. When family helped us move over the course of a few weekends, the dogs watched our belongings gradually leave our house. When the house was almost empty and I was sleeping on the floor, they were clearly concerned. Almost all that they had known and guarded had been taken right out from under their noses, and I had told them it was ok!
I tried to keep the schedule the same, feeding and walking the dogs at the same time every day, before and after we moved. Exercise and our daily walks are clearly a good way for all of us to unwind. I kept their food and supplements consistent, including Canine Shine and Omega Nuggets to help them stay healthy. I gave them Rescue Remedy during the most stressful times, when boxes and furniture were being moved out of our house. The ride to our ‘new’ residence was an easy trip that the dogs and I had made many times.
Once in Wisconsin, I had to adjust to a new work schedule. We arrived late on a Saturday night and I had to start my new job on Monday morning. During that first week I felt exhausted, and Chase didn’t finish his breakfast. He must have been concerned by the change in the schedule and perhaps my nerves with starting a new job. I tried to stay calm and not make him any more nervous. But I could tell that he was sensitive to anything that concerned me. Fortunately, by supper time, Chase was hungry enough to finish his breakfast and eat his supper, so he was still eating enough food and supplements. But his finicky behavior at breakfast told me that it was going to take a while for us to settle in.
We’re living with other people in their house, a place we’ve visited for long weekends, but not for this long. We miss our home in Minnesota, and the St. Croix River. But we’re staying at a beautiful place here in Wisconsin, and getting more time to visit with family. We’re discovering new places to hike, including Lake Kegonsa State Park and Blue Mound State Park, both wonderful parks with lovely trails through the woods and prairies, and even a dog beach.
As we continue to explore the area, we’ll search for and consider what will be important about our new home. The 4-legged members of the family will surely have top consideration.
Click here to learn about Bernie Siegel’s new book ‘Love, Animals, and Miracles’ with our story about Chase the Library Dog and my story of dolphin healing: http://www.newworldlibrary.com/BooksProducts/ProductDetails/tabid/64/SKU/83345/Default.aspx#
Click here if you’d like to live on a little piece of heaven in Minnesota, next to Afton State Park: http://titanrealestatemn.com/listings/263859/5381-saint-croix-trail-s-afton#.VjbGprerRD8