Mummy, how did it go? Was George ok on this trip? Did he do a runner?
May’s report: Besides his panting sessions every time we were in a moving vehicle, he did really well.
When we arrived at La Cascada in Mallorca I finally let him off the lead. I was worried from that moment that he would do a runner but it would be cruel to not let him run freely. He was beyond excited and did his spins. He scampered off, but he never went far. He was very curious on the first day.
La Cascada is on a large piece of property and when I asked Manuela if it is well fenced it, she said it was impossible to know where there maybe gaps. I was a little nervous – remembering how he had gone feral again in Sussex when we were there in August.
I didn’t want to speak too soon and waited till our week was over before I reported back that George was amazing with his recall. He ran outside and happily explored but only close to the house.
When I lost sight of him, he would come running back when I called. When Manuela was out and about on the property, George followed her around.The doors were always left open and whenever he heard something, he ran out to investigate but he came back on his own. He would choose to sit in or near the house rather than running off. I have been so amazed at how good he was.
One of the most endearing things he did was on the third morning. By then he already knows Manuela was a part of us. I had let him out that morning to relief himself and then find some grass to eat. He was hovering nearby. When Manuela came downstairs and called out “Good Morning”, George heard her voice and came running back excitedly and jumped up to greet her. I was so proud of him for doing that.
Besides that, when we’re at someone else’s home, we must respect their wishes. Manuela’s Luna sleeps upstairs but she is not allowed on the bed nor on the sofa. It was understood that our host would prefer not for George to sleep on the bed. So on the first night, I had to tell George he couldn’t come up. He looked confused. I told him he had to sleep on the towel on a cushion. He went to the other side of the bed, put his paws up, scanning the bed surface. Again I told him “no” – he came back to my side, sat and looked at me. I pointed to the towel beside the bed – he walked on it, curled up and went to sleep. And he stayed there all night. I don’t think Darcy would have done that. She would have jumped up again and again all night long – completely confused by my behaviour. LOL!
With the panting, which seemed to have now become a habit in every moving vehicle from car to train to plane, it was unstoppable. However, we did manage the plane a lot better. He was in his Sleepy Pod Air which he had become familiar with. He was panting a lot on our first flight from London to Frankfurt. On Lufthansa, they didn’t seem to mind when I lifted the carrier and had it on my lap. I put my hand in to make contact and stroked him. It turned out not to be a good idea. After a tip from another flyer with her dog, I realised it was better to leave him alone once the bag is securely under the seat on the floor. And he eventually stopped panting when he realised that the situation wasn’t going to change, maybe smaller pants but not tongue hanging out and dripping saliva type of panting that occurs on every car ride and now train journey. We’ll have to give the Pet Calm and Thunder Shirt a try.
If we can manage the panting, George is the perfect size to travel with. He can fly in-cabin. He seems (touch wood) to have learnt to stay with me. He remains curious but he knows to return to his “owner”. That was major.
Of course he got into an excited and furious barking session when he saw the donkeys and other dogs when we were dining outside. But he was also capable of being left on his own when need be. Two years later … there are still a few more things to iron out. But so does Darcy. Not perfect the way we wish them to behave but they are dogs and they have their own minds as much as we like them to do exactly what we want.
Would I do it all over again?
Yes!Yes! Yes! and Yes! Georgie, “you have four Yes-es!“It was truly a bonding time. Because it was just he and I going through the motions. I was introducing him to new situations and he was looking to me to see him safely through each one. With each new experience, we bonded. I really believe he is a slightly different dog to when we started the journey. I can’t completely describe it but we have become more “one” with each other.This is my favourite photo from this trip. Both our heads were tilted and it looks like we both have ears flying in the wind. We are in sync.
I loved George, my heart opened up to him when I first saw him two years ago at South Mimms. It was more a compassion for his state of being. And I had struggled with learning to love two. During this trip, with our intense one-on-one when I had to take care of his every moment in every new situation, or was it the depth of responsibilities where I was concerned for his well-being, worrying about his safety and enjoying being the protector – my heart was moulded into a shape of George. I felt and I saw my Georgie-love which is different to how I love Darcy.
My little guy.