Friday, November 22, 2013

Two things come to mind while moving

When it's time to move, two things always come to mind: The #AnniesMove episode of Community, and this cartoon from Hyperbole and a Half. 

Annie's Move, well, just because it's hilarious. The Community gang destroys Annie's old apartment above a porn store as they move her in with Troy and Abed where -- SPOILER ALERT (seriously if you haven't seen the episode by now...) her room is revealed to be a blanket fort. They tweet the whole thing, which is how Jeff gets busted for faking illness and going to the mall instead where the dean blackmails him into hanging out, and Shirley and Britta pick up an interesting passenger.

In the Hyperbole and a Half post, the author, in great detail, describes her dogs' complex and not-so-complex emotions as they move.

The characterizations of "simple dog" and "helper dog" fit my two to a T. Lizzie is "simple dog." She's fairly intelligent, independent and carefree. She doesn't let things bother her until they really bother her, then she breaks down into a bundle of nerves.

The first canine breakdown came when I brought her home from the sitters. I had taken a carload of stuff, packing the car after I dropped them off, and when she came home, she paced around the house, looking for all the missing things.

Then she stopped. Her eyes got wide. Her ears pointed. Like she just remembered something really important. She rummaged around her crate, emerged with her tail wagging, prized green ball in her mouth. We tossed it around, and all was well with the world again.

It squeaks.
The next week it happened again. I was packing and Lizzie was hanging out, unphased. Then someone came to buy my dresser. This was her tipping point.

As the strangers carried my dresser out the door, she started whining, and it didn't cease for 15 minutes. I tried petting her, coaxing her, feeding her, nothing worked. She finally laid down on my bed. I sat down next to her, talked to her like an adult, and promised her everything was fine.

Oh, Lizzie.
I scratched her ears for awhile. Then she suddenly jumped up, rummaged around her crate, again emerged with her ball, and all was well again.

While Lizzie is having her ups and downs, Brandy has settled into the role of "helper dog".

Brandy is a quiet, shy girl, and gets startled easily. Unlike the dog in the cartoon though, she didn't pick up on the fact that her environment was changing.

Until Lizzie had her first panic attack.

While Lizzie recovered, Brandy hasn't wanted to be alone. She gets anxious when I leave, and when I get back. She hoovers over me when I'm packing. She freaked out when I moved the couch.

My landlord was showing prospective tenants my apartment. When I go running, Lizzie and Brandy take turns lapping around Corn Hill with me. One tenant showed up early, Lizzie was with me, Brandy was at home.

Steve described her reaction when the strangers walked into the house: "She was like, umm, I don't know if you're supposed to be here and I don't know if I'm supposed to do something about it." So she stayed on the couch and watched intently.

Lizzie wears her emotions on whatever the canine version of a sleeve is. Brandy is harder to read, and I can't tell the difference between her worried look and her "feel bad for me and let me on the couch" look.

The Brandy look.
Either way, our lives will return to normal soon enough.

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