On August 30, 2015, we marked 10 years of life in Canada.
On August 31, we moved from our rented house to a high-rise rental apartment, likely our last move for a very long time.
The move itself was an absolute nightmare, a Murphy's Law Spectacular. I don't even want to bore you with the details. It just sucked.
My mom is here for her annual visit, which does not suck, and in fact is very wonderful.
The dogs are doing well, a bit better day by day. The move was extremely stressful on Tala, involving four trips in the car, almost 24 hours of activity, and endless confusion. The following day she seemed old and frail.
Both dogs were not themselves at first. The first morning when I took out Diego's leash, he was actually unsure and afraid! He had never been walked first thing in the morning before!
I reminded myself that although Allan and I knew we were moving for months, for the dogs it came out of the blue. They were confused and a little shook up. But each day they seemed a bit better, a bit more like themselves. It's been five days and they're almost there.
La Universidad del Diego
Diego has been absolutely amazing. About 80% of the time he doesn't react to other dogs at all. Maybe another 10% he barks once, but without seeming agitated. And there are still some situations where he barks and pulls and does seem agitated, but we can very quickly regain his attention, having him sit or lay down for treats.
Our awesome trainer says that we'll get to a point where other dogs never stress Diego, where the presence of strange dogs on leashes makes him happy because he knows he will earn praise and treats. I would have once laughed at that idea, but not anymore. I never believed we would get as far as we have. I was afraid that walking him around other dogs would be a continuous nightmare. So if K says we can do it, I'm willing to try!
The ongoing training means we need to walk the dogs separately for a while. We were dreading the work involved, but so far it's not so bad. If we're both home, all four of us go out together. When only one of us is home, that person takes them out separately.
Diego is especially great on the elevator! He sits or lays down and stays - gets treats - until we say let's go. We let the door open, then wait a second or two, then give the let's go command. He never charges out when the door opens. That's a first for us. In New York our dogs were out like a shot.
The building is full of dogs. There are at least six dogs on our floor alone, maybe more. Seemingly every time we're out, we see people walking dogs we've never seen before.
The best thing about a building full of dogs is that everyone is super chill. People with dogs wait for each other to exit and enter the side door, giving each other space, knowing it will prevent confrontations. We wait for them, they wait for us, it's all easily worked out.
Diego, like many dogs, reacts to people when they are afraid of him. He's been known to bark menacingly or even lunge at people on the sidewalk when they are afraid of dogs. (This was part of my motivation for training.) But in this building, no one bats an eye at our dogs. If Diego barks once or twice at another dog, the person walking it doesn't freak out; they just lead their dog away as we lead ours in the other direction.
This, I find, is a Canada vs New York thing. People here are more patient, more considerate, and generally less likely to make a fuss. (And if they do make a fuss, it's not to your face!)
Life on Floor 19
The apartment itself is fabulous, without a doubt the best apartment we've ever lived in. Three bedrooms, two full baths, sweeping views with lots of green, the Toronto skyline and the lake in the distance (pics to follow on the first clear day). In addition to a big closet in every room, there are three gigantic storage rooms. New Yorkers have kitchens and bedrooms the size of these storage rooms.
We totally lucked out snagging a three-bedroom, two-bathroom. We're very accustomed to each having our own office, and we're grateful for not having to give them up. And I'm relieved I can continue to have my own bathroom!
The building is extremely clean and well-maintained, with beautiful landscaping and flowers galore. Repairs happen almost instantly. Residents here are somewhat frustrated with slow, cranky elevator service, but all five elevators are being replaced and upgraded, one at a time.
There is still plenty to adjust to. I've yet to come home from work hungry and tired and have to walk two dogs separately. I haven't done laundry yet. And I've been too busy unpacking to miss the backyard.
But all in all, life is good.