Poor Maddux. I’ve been so focused on Toby and then Bear, I haven’t really talked a lot about Maddux.
He’s going through an adjustment stage, and I likely haven’t addressed it as much as I should have, because honestly, I never really thought of it as a big adjustment – although, it is.
For those of you that don’t know, in mid-November I started covering a maternity leave for a science magazine in New Jersey as a full-time temp. This meant being in an office 5 days a week day, 8 hours a week. It also meant spending the week at my dad’s in New Jersey. When my contract was up, they hired me as full-time senior editor at one of their pharma magazines.
Toby grew up with me working in an office and being gone all day. Since he was a puppy and I brought him home, Maddux on the other hand, has always been with me, because I worked remotely. So while I worked all day, he was either sitting on my lap or somewhere near/next to me. I also lived upstate all week. Yes, when I traveled for work, he would stay at my dad’s but then we would go back home.
He was also used to going to obedience and or agility training classes two or three times a week, almost every week, as well as before and after work walks where we would practice what we learned in class.
It wasn’t uncommon to go to the dog park after work, take a short hike or while on our walk stop in at a local restaurant or bar and for Maddux to quickly become the center of attention.
Overall we spent a lot of active time together. All that changed pretty drastically, and quickly, form him.
Maddux adjusts pretty well to new situations, but I guess I didn’t really fully think about how much of a change it was until last weekend when he, and I, had a meltdown while trying to take a “family photo” near the lake. It was not pretty.
Truth be told, it has not been easy on me either. It’s been a total lifestyle change, and as I said before, a quick one. And one, I honestly, am not 100 percent happy about. I’ve been battling bouts of depression and anxiety, and feelings of failure.
I never really thought how this lifestyle change may have impacted Maddux. Like me, Maddux is pretty resilient, but it’s still a big change. Our whole social life has shifted, as has our everyday routine. Actually, everything has changed for us.
Then, adding Bear into the mix was another big change that took attention and time away from Maddux. I’ve tried to do my best to give each dog separate attention and make everyone feel included, but it still has to be difficult – on all of them.
During our little meltdown Sunday it all hit me like a ton of bricks. I spent the rest of the day snuggling Maddux and just comforting him. I don’t know if he understood, but he did start acting like his old self again on Monday.
Like everything else, we will get through it, but it is going to take him, and me, some time.