You face the move with mixed feelings. Sadness at parting from old friends, relief at knowing someone else will fix the faucets and cut grass, and anticipation of more time to do the things you want to do. Of course, the task of moving is enormous. You know it will take a while before your family is comfortable in the new home. But you’re prepared for some turbulence in the family routine. But what about your pet?
The advertisement read “Pets Welcome!” but will Sparky feel welcome?
Veterinarian Christina Slater, from Houston, Texas, rejects the idea that breeders can foretell how your pet will adjust to life in an apartment complex. “Every dog has its own personality,” Christina says, “The way you have trained him determines how your pet will cope with a new situation”
Apartment dweller Bob Carter says, “We’ve had our dog, Dusty, for five years. We lived in a house, but did not confine Dusty to the yard. He ran with other dogs in the neighborhood. Now Dusty is kept on a leash, and he does not like it. He has taken a dislike to two other dogs in our building, and when I walk him he won’t relieve himself unless I drop the leash.”
There are eight buildings where Bob lives, and every tenant family has children or dogs – or both. If, in this type of situation, your pet would not be dangerous to other dogs or children, there is always the chance that harm might come to him from them, or he might be injured by a car in the parking area. Even the well-disciplined pet cannot be allowed to run at will in a compact living arrangement, and dogs who have never worn a leash before must become accustomed to restraint.
On the other hand, some dogs react to life in an apartment complex with enthusiasm. A pet who had a lonely yard life to himself may be delighted to accompany his owner on long walks, and may respond happily to meeting other dogs.
Such an eager young dog is named Tiger, whose size is awesome compared to the small dogs living in nearby apartments. In his last home, Tiger was allowed to run, but there were no other dogs in his neighborhood. Tiger is only now learning to socialize with other dogs. His customary greeting to a new acquaintance is a swipe of his large paw! And he does so with the fullest of affection and excitement. Truly, this is one dog that is loving the new changes of living in a small apartment.