Sunday, April 12, 2009

Finn goes to NYC

Or at least to Hoboken, NJ. We had planned a trip to visit family over Easter, but the thought of putting Finn in a kennel had me willing to stay home rather than subject him to that. I thought leaving him some strange, stressful place would undo all the we had done trying to get him to accept us as his new family, and trust us. Fortunately our hostess, my sister-in-law, is a dog person and specifically asked us to bring Finn.

We loaded 3 teenagers, a lot of luggage, my husband and I and Finn in our suburban, and off we went. We had not yet found a way to get Finn to let us know when he needed to got out, so we stopped every hour or so to take him on a potty break. He did well, was a bit bewildered about what was going on, but seemed ok as long as he was with us.

We got to Hoboken and my in-Law's apt to find it was freezing! the wind off the river was cutting right through us, and the jackets we had brought were not enough. Finn however loved the cold wind in his face, and was fascinated with the walkways and boardwalk. Fortunately the apt was in a building with dog-friendly grassy areas around it, I'm not sure Finn would have gone on the pavement. We were prepared with our poo bags no matter what.

After a walk, I went up to the apt, and Finn got to meet everyone. We turned him loose in the apt, and he was very mannerly, walking around to greet everyone. He came up to us often for reassurance though. Dinner was chicken, and as usual I put a few scraps in with Finn's kibble and added some gravy for flavor.

I don't know if it was the gray, or the trip and stress, but Finn promptly threw up dinner, all over the In-laws expensive oriental rug! Yikes! Not a good way to make an impression. We cleaned it up, and I walked to a market to get him a bit of yogurt to settle his stomach. I got a little food in him, but he wasn't happy for the rest of the evening.

We kept him in the room we slept in that night, so he wouldn't walk around a lick people all night. He did well, waking up once at 3 am, so we took him for a walk just in case. At 7 people started stirring, so we walked him again, and he supervised breakfast. Evey time we walked him, he drew attention, almost causing traffic accidents when people stopped their cars to ask what kind of dog he was. Everyone loved him, including the building staff.

We had tickets to a matinee, so we left him in the apt and took a ferry to the city. When we came back nothing was disturbed (we had our worries!) and Finn was delighted to see us again. I noticed that Finn was starting to relax, and enjoy the trip. Meeting the people, exploring new places, taking over the entire rug in the living room. He also really enjoyed the view, spending a lot of time watching the traffic on the sidewalks and greens.

Everyone was taking turns walking him, so he was getting lots of attention. He did well with the elevator, and even did stairs, with a bit of coaxing. We had one walk in the rain, and when he came back, we had two of us drying him. I think that;s when he finally realized being dried off was a good thing, and started leaning into the towels.

The next day we drove home, and Finn was happy and relaxed. The trip was a lot of fun, and I think Finn realized when we took him on the trip, kept him with us, and brought him home, it showed him he was a part of the family. This was a turning point with him, he stopped looking for his old family, and started bonding with us.

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