Luna’s ‘Help Me Help My Dog’ online consultation.
There is a lot happening all at once for the couple.
- Three days ago they adopted 5-month-old Romanian pup Luna.
- Their baby is due in a couple of weeks.
- The pregnant lady broke her knee
To be able to leave Luna
There are several things they will be working on. The most pressing is being able to leave Luna alone for short periods of time.
Because she cries when they leave her alone downstairs, she sleeps in their bedroom in her own bed which they are happy with.
But Luna hasn’t encountered stairs before and will neither walk up nor down.
In the morning when the man gets up for work at 5.30am, he has to carry the pup downstairs to go outside to toilet. They had then wanted to leave her down until the lady gets up later, but the puppy panics and cries.
The man couldn’t take her back upstairs because the heavily pregnant lady, with her broken knee, is unable later carry her back down when she gets up.
They left her to cry for a couple of days, but the third morning the lady came down and spent the couple of hours until she was ready to get up on the sofa.
They now have two choices while they work on this.
One is for Luna to manage the stairs. The other is for the lady to continue coming down early with her husband and spend the next couple of hours sleeping on the sofa.
Leaving Luna to cry isn’t an option my opinion. It will only encourage insecurity and hinder their progress with being able to leave her.
Conquering the stairs
The simplest solution to this is to teach Luna to love stairs!
Fortunately they have two little landings with just three stairs each that they can start with (she’s ok with a few steps outside). They can roll food up and down and play games.
When she’s happy with the little stairs, they can do the same thing on the bottom three steps of the main staircase, gradually adding another step as she gains confidence.
The man may also find if he sits on the stairs and bumps down, it will encourage her.
Luna’s ‘special place’.
Luna needs a special place where they can leave her. I suggest a pen though they may lack space. It could be behind a gate.
Instead of feeding her three meals in bowls a day, they will make eating fun and enriching – in a Kongs or Snufflemat for instance – in her ‘place’. They can keep her toys in there.
This special place will be invaluable in a few months’ time when their baby becomes mobile.
The couple will build a little ritual before briefly leaving the room that Luna looks forward to, using food. They will slowly build up the time they leave her for.
Luna hasn’t ever been out on lead either, so they are first introducing her to the harness. They will walk her around house and garden beside them as a kind of game and then, very gradually, introduce her to the outside world.
They are just three days in and Luna will no doubt blossom over the next few days and weeks.